China is working on magnetized plasma artillery which could enable hypersonic projectiles from a tank. This technology is different than railguns. China has started testing railguns on large navy ships. This technology could be ten to one hundred times smaller to fit onto a tank.
The plasma cannon will have magnetic material covering the gun barrel and a magnetic field generator to create a certain magnetic field inside the barrel.
Gas inside the barrel will be partly ionized into plasma by the high pressure and heat when the gun is fired. The plasma will form a millimeter sheath on the inner wall of the barrel due to the magnetic field, the patent specification said.
The magnetized plasma layer can greatly reduce the radial force the barrel takes and boost thrust of the cannon shell which takes the initial velocity of shells beyond Mach 6. This goes beyond the limit for conventional artillery.
SOURCES – Google Patents, Chinamil.com
Written By Brian Wang