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Competing with China, Japan Test Shoots Electromagnetic Railgun at Sea

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    Competing with China, Japan Test Shoots Electromagnetic Railgun at Sea

    The Chinese Navy's achievements in Electromagnetic Railgun testing have undoubtedly worried surrounding countries. Especially Japan, which is known as a superpower in terms of technology, certainly does not remain silent watching what China has done.

    Acquisition Technology & Logistics Agency - Japan's Acquisition Technology & Logistics Agency (ATLA), via its X (Twitter) account, announced that it had successfully tested the firing of the medium caliber maritime Electromagnetic Railgun on an offshore platform. 

    ATLA said this was the first time a successful test had been carried out by Japan. ATLA, which is part of the Japanese Ministry of Defense, carried out this cona test in collaboration with the Japanese Navy.

    Quoted from (17/10/2023), the Electromagnetic Railgun ATLA prototype was first seen in May 2023. It is said that this weapon is capable of firing 40 mm steel projectiles weighing 320 grams. Railguns rely on electromagnets rather than chemical propellants to fire projectiles at very high speeds, even to hypersonic levels.

    The Electromagnetic Railgun ATLA in trials can fire bullets at a speed of around 2,230 meters per second (equivalent to Mach 6.5). This bullet uses a charge energy of five megajoules (MJ), or 5 million joules (J). Later ATLA intends to run it with a charge energy of 20 MJ.

    There is a strong suspicion that in the future the ATLA Electromagnetic Railgun will become a complete weapon system on Japan's new generation of destroyers. With the projectile's rapid speed reaching hypersonic levels, the Electromagnetic Railgun type is considered ideal for destroying targets in the air and sea surface.

    Meanwhile, the Chinese Navy calls the Electromagnetic Railgun the Gauss cannon. The Gauss cannon is said to be able to launch a projectile weighing 124 kg at a speed of 700 km per hour in 0.05 seconds. The Chinese scientists involved claim that the projectiles can travel at very high speeds without losing accuracy.

    Gauss cannon is a kind of electromagnetic mass accelerator. The barrel is made of dielectric material and is installed inside the solenoid. 

    When an electric current is applied to the solenoid, it will form an electromagnetic field that accelerates the projectile. Chinese scientists believe that electromagnetic launchers have a bright future. Its advantages over traditional barreled artillery are high speed, low cost, and fast training.

    China is currently developing a more powerful Gauss cannon. This Electromagnetic Railgun made in China is expected to be able to hit targets more than 100 kilometers away, and accelerate projectiles up to 3,600 km per hour (or almost Mach 3).

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