China is preparing to create long-range “plasma artillery”

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UNITED STATES (VOP TODAY NEWS) — On Thursday, China finished accepting applications for participation in the tender for the development of “plasma artillery” technology. A research team from the Academy of Armored Forces received a patent for the use of magnetized plasma principles in artillery systems in 2015 at the National Intellectual Property Office.

As explained in the information on the website of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA), the technology involves the use of an electromagnetic field for firing projectiles, which allows them to increase the speed and range of their flight.

Chinese designers are still only on the approaches to the creation of “plasma artillery”, its appearance as a full-fledged weapon is possible only in the distant future. Nevertheless, experts now recognize that in practical use it may be more convenient than other railgun electromagnetic weapons.

In contrast, a magnetic plasma gun can be mounted on tanks and self-propelled units, greatly increasing their combat effectiveness.

According to the specification of the patent, the instrument will be made of magnetized material covering the trunk, and a generator that forms a magnetic field inside the trunk.

Moreover, the strength of this field gradually weakens from the walls of the trunk to its central internal axis. When fired, the resulting gas is ionized, turns into a plasma and by means of a magnetic field is attracted to the inner walls of the barrel, covering them with a continuous layer.

This, according to the authors, reduces the friction force of the projectile, significantly increases the power and range of the shot, and also reduces the wear coefficient of the barrel.

The distinction of the patented Chinese technology from the electromagnetic railguns, which are tested for on warships no less than a destroyer, is in its relative compactness.

The gun, equipped with a generator, can be installed on a tank or self-propelled artillery installation (SAU). The use of the described technology at the same time will allow to accelerate the projectile to a speed exceeding 6 Mach (limit for conventional artillery).

In an interview with the newspaper Huanqiu Shibao, military analyst Wei Dongxiu said that the firing range of the magnetic-plasma SAU with 155-mm shells would also be between 50 and 100 km. For the self-propelled artillery systems currently in service with the PLA, the firing range reaches 40 km.

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