Magnetized Plasma Hypersonic Projectile Gun

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

30 thoughts on “Magnetized Plasma Hypersonic Projectile Gun”

  1. Previous post on this site

    Future Tech dominance – China outnumber USA STEM Grads 8 to 1 and by 2030 15 to 1

    “The World Economic Forum reported that China had 4.7 million recent STEM ( science, technology, engineering, and math) graduates in 2016. India, another academic powerhouse, had 2.6 million new STEM graduates last year while the U.S. had 568,000. Chinese STEM graduates outnumber US STEM grads 8.2 to 1.
    The gap is going to become even wider. Even modest predictions see the number of 25 to 34-year-old graduates in China rising by a further 300% by 2030, compared with an increase of around 30% expected in Europe and the United States. By 2030, China and India could account for more than 60% of the Stem graduates in major economies, compared with only 8% in Europe and 4% in the United States.”

    It’s as if the consequences of actions in the real world dont matter if you believe hard enough.

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  2. eh, I hate to say this, but I think he’s right. Americans don’t have the patience to get advanced degrees and then do pure research. They want to make money now! Why do you think most grad students are from outside the country? OTOH, we’re pretty good at assimilating immigrants, so those researchers stay on and become Americans. Their kids get a masters and become an engineering manager, and then their grandkids get a BA and work at Facebook sanitizing/censoring the Internet.

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  3. He announced he was giving up the last time the comment system died and was replaced with a new one with all the old comments deleted.

    However I think I’ve seen a few comments, under what I think is his real name rather than Anthropic. But I’m not sure.

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  4. That’s good to know. Whether or not it’s from lack of sleep or my ignorance regarding the subject matter, I somehow got the impression that the plasma WAS the projectile. And that was the point at which I lost my ****. xD Like, “Nope, no way, no how.”

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  5. There are different types of magnetic properties.

    Typical iron and other permanent magnets have what we call “ferromagnetism”. And you are correct that this is lost when the magnet gets too hot.

    However plasma can exhibit different forms of magnetic fields. The sun, which is fairly warm even compared to a gun barrel, has incredible magnetic fields on it.

    This is why you can have plasma generating magnetic fields at temperatures way above what your reference told you a magnet fails at.

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  6. Explosive flux compression generator as part of the propellant case? Won’t it be late for projectile start down the barrel, then too much power after?

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  7. Laughs in Elon Musk.

    BTW, an American patented an inertial dampener the other day. Suck on that one while you are taking a Long March Chairman Mao.

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  8. I read through the article again, there is no mention of kinetic force. The function of the plasma is to reduce the friction in the barrel so the same gun can go further on the same set up.

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  9. I believe you are correct regarding the plasma. It’s rather clever. However I have a very hard time envisioning how you could induce said field in the plasma without having the induction assembly outside of the barrel.

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  10. Wait… is there a physical projectile, or is this akin to a blaster cannon from Star Wars? Because I dunno about all that noise… >_>

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  11. You know, the usual technical explanation by somebody who hasn’t a clue how the technology works, aggravated by translation difficulties.

    I’m I’m correct, what they’re actually doing is creating a magnetized plasma between the projectile and the barrel, to act like a kind of very low friction sabot. Naturally, the field is going to seep into the barrel with the passage of time, so the plasma won’t keep them from touching indefinitely. But that’s fine, because the projectile doesn’t spend much time in the barrel anyway.

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  12. You thought their military procurement department folks were so misguided because common sense tells you “metal loses its magnetic properties when it becomes white hot”.

    Next time your common sense based beliefs are at odds with some scientific theory, your first instincts should be to find out what the science says that you don’t know and not just assume it cant be real.

    While system 1 reasoning by itself may be adequate for everyday contingencies, don’t let that fool you into thinking it can substitute for system 2 when dealing with science.

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  13. I think WFT is referring to the fact that it would be difficult to use the *barrel* to induce said magnetic field at high temperatures. Even if the magnetic element were separate and outside of the barrel, at high temperatures (e.g. a normal rate of fire) the barrel material would become a source of interference. Most barrels are made from 4150 which still has magnetic properties but it’s a far cry from the magnetic properties of lower grades steels that don’t have as much nickel or chromium.

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  14. Wrong. Plasma is conductive, you can induced currents in it, which render it magnetic until they decay. Done all the time in fusion research.

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  15. What is “a magnetic material”? What amount of “a certain magnetic field”?
    To be able to inductively ionize a gas and accelerate a plasma to hypersonic speed in ambient air with Lorentz forces, one needs hundreds or thousands of teslas in a pulse power discharge. This can be done with explosively-pumped magnetic flux compression generators. The Russian MK-1 and MK-2 achieved 2500 teslas in a few milliseconds with conventional chemical explosives and copper coils, early 1950s. They accelerated that way little aluminum rings (instantly vaporized by eddy currents into stable, self-confined toroidal plasmoids) up to 100 km/s in 1952.
    After that, a more compact and more powerful magnetocumulative generator has been invented by Vladimir Chernyshev, search for the DEMG.

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  16. China will far outpace America now. Every scientific advancement there is an American chinaman in their research. They make it faster, more and most importantly, cheaper.

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  17. So this is some more of that good old China, we did some crazy test, where in non-real world conditions we did something un-replicateable, type of BS.

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  18. Sounds like this could also be deployed on ships too. The trade-off is that you need the shell to hold the explosives where as rail gun uses electricity to power the projectile. However, the advantage is that the firing rate is much greater compared to a rail gun. It might be worth the trade-off, especially for smaller ships where both power and space for the rail gun is not practical.

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