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Captain Risky

China builds world's first railgun?

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Captain Risky

DID CHINA BUILD WORLD’S FIRST RAILGUN AT SEA?

China has potentially become the first country in the world to successfully equip a warship with a powerful electromagnetic weapon known as a railgun, based on photos that have recently emerged online.

http://www.newsweek.com/did-china-build-world-first-railgun-photos-look-powerful-electromagnetic-798313

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GlitterRose

Well, that sucks.

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Captain Risky

Lol. Yes it does suck if you’re not Chinese. Basically what makes it important for the military is that you don’t need explosives to project the sabot. Meaning that a rail gun can project the sabot at ten times the speed of say a conventional cruise missile. Also a rail gun projectile can’t be electronically jammed and it’s a lot cheaper to use. 

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and then
1 hour ago, Captain Risky said:

Lol. Yes it does suck if you’re not Chinese. Basically what makes it important for the military is that you don’t need explosives to project the sabot. Meaning that a rail gun can project the sabot at ten times the speed of say a conventional cruise missile. Also a rail gun projectile can’t be electronically jammed and it’s a lot cheaper to use. 

2

Those are the greatest advantages.  The greatest disadvantage is that they aren't guided.  They're purely ballistic, so agile targets are much harder to hit.

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Captain Risky
2 hours ago, and then said:

Those are the greatest advantages.  The greatest disadvantage is that they aren't guided.  They're purely ballistic, so agile targets are much harder to hit.

I really don’t know too much on the mechanics of rail guns other than at the speeds they travel, like 10x the current speed of a tomahawk missile the projectiles reach their targets faster and in a flater trajectory. The accuracy is the main gun’s responsibility and not the projectile. Of course this weapon won’t outdistanced a tomahawk but within 150 NM the pure speed of the weapon will make it extremely accurate against other ships and fixed ground based targets.

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Hammerclaw

Impressive....if true.  Of course, it's not effective against torpedoes. 

http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2017/09/21/worlds-first-automatic-railgun-tested-us-navy/

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Gromdor
On 2/3/2018 at 6:54 PM, and then said:

Those are the greatest advantages.  The greatest disadvantage is that they aren't guided.  They're purely ballistic, so agile targets are much harder to hit.

They aren't really for agile targets though.  With a range of 100 miles and a speed of MACH 7 they are better suited at punching holes in things like aircraft carriers or battleships.  It's the primary reason why we are seeing them developed primarily in the Navies of the world. 

 

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Captain Risky

another potential use is in the ground to air role. in that role, the railgun could outmatch aircraft in range and speed. the biggest obstacle in its use is a massively sapping power source. thats why they're better suited on large nuclear fuels ships that generate constant surplus amounts of power.

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Podo

If it's true, that's a huge gun to put on a ship. Glad I speak Mandarin. I'll make sure you all get extra rations when our new benevolent overlords take over.

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Piney
On 2/8/2018 at 4:29 AM, Captain Risky said:

another potential use is in the ground to air role. in that role, the railgun could outmatch aircraft in range and speed. the biggest obstacle in its use is a massively sapping power source. thats why they're better suited on large nuclear fuels ships that generate constant surplus amounts of power.

and most of China's ships are diesel.

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Captain Risky
7 hours ago, Piney said:

and most of China's ships are diesel.

i'll take your word for it. thou China is a growing naval power building and commissioning ships almost every day. at some point they will as will the U.S. finding a way to incorporate such a game changing armament on naval platforms. ever notice how history constantly repeats itself with the exception of technology. ;)

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Piney
21 minutes ago, Captain Risky said:

i'll take your word for it. thou China is a growing naval power building and commissioning ships almost every day. at some point they will as will the U.S. finding a way to incorporate such a game changing armament on naval platforms. ever notice how history constantly repeats itself with the exception of technology. ;)

I'm just taking my bosse's word for it. He was a marine and keeps track of all that stuff. 

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imrunningthismonkeyfarm

China first discovered gun powder and the crossbow repeater both well before their time. Infact they've been at the forefront of many deadly inventions. I'm not suprised by this report. I am suprised they havent invented the hoverboard yet though.

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aztek

so what, it does not make it any harder to sink that ship.

we just developed most advanced ship killer missile, 

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aztek
Posted (edited)
On 2/25/2018 at 10:36 PM, imrunningthismonkeyfarm said:

China first discovered gun powder and the crossbow repeater both well before their time. .

yea they did, but it took Europeans to actually weaponize it.

their repeating crossbow would not go thru even light armor, Europeans bolts however had no problem punching thru any armor of the time.  it would easily go thru even modern Kevlar, if the tip was sharp enough.

Edited by aztek
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stevewinn

This development is what i mentioned a few months back are we about to see a new age of Naval artillery, moving away from expensive Anti-ship missiles.

We've all seen how supersonic and hypersonic anti-ship missiles catch the headlines, but with this great speed comes limitation. it gives the missile less time to manoeuvre or readjust for the target, then we have the weapon defences, the anti-ship missile missiles and the soft kill decoy systems. all making it harder to hit the target.

This is where the new age of Naval Artillery comes in, these new age guided shells and rapid firing, means Rail guns could have navies returning to old school shells, which are much cheaper than missiles plus they'd have a better success rate of hitting the target no modern day ship today could live or cope with an incoming volley of 35+ shells a minute. and as these rail guns have a range of over the horizon to compete with today's anti-shipping missiles.

As always the greatest Anti-Ship asset is a Submarine, followed by fixed or rotary wing aircraft carrying torpedoes, or Anti-Ship missiles.

 

 

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bison
Posted (edited)

The picture shows the 'railgun' very far forward on the boat. I suppose that it would be gyro-stablized to compensate for pitching and rolling of the boat, to some extent, but why place it where this would be made as difficult as possible? Could't this affect the aiming accuracy?

The boat is described as a landing ship, and doesn't look particularly large. Would it have a electrical power unit large enough for such an energy intensive weapon? 

The article, linked below strikes a skeptical tone about a Chinese Naval railgun:

http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/does-chinas-navy-really-have-railgun-or-it-hoax-25230

Edited by bison
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Hammerclaw

Of course, there's that one little detail missing, of how they plan to track and hit a target with it that won't be vulnerable to counter-measures. Plus, the USN has ships mothballed with guns big enough to fire over the horizon, negating any advantage of a railgun, and firing "dumb" munitions impossible to intercept or shoot down. 

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RoofGardener
On 03/02/2018 at 9:20 AM, Captain Risky said:

DID CHINA BUILD WORLD’S FIRST RAILGUN AT SEA?

China has potentially become the first country in the world to successfully equip a warship with a powerful electromagnetic weapon known as a railgun, based on photos that have recently emerged online.

http://www.newsweek.com/did-china-build-world-first-railgun-photos-look-powerful-electromagnetic-798313

I tried to read the article, but the page was flooded with large, auto-play video adverts, so I left immediately. 

One thing puzzles me: what is the purpose of a ship-mounted railgun ? It would be incredibly dangerous against line-of-site targets, but couldn't hit anything over the horizon. (or rather, only if it was.. like.. a hundred miles over the horizon) ? 

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Captain Risky
52 minutes ago, RoofGardener said:

I tried to read the article, but the page was flooded with large, auto-play video adverts, so I left immediately. 

One thing puzzles me: what is the purpose of a ship-mounted railgun ? It would be incredibly dangerous against line-of-site targets, but couldn't hit anything over the horizon. (or rather, only if it was.. like.. a hundred miles over the horizon) ? 

that's about the range of the rail-gun, i.e. LOS. but its a helluva weapon capable of saturation fire, effectively, anything that flys towards the ship, no matter the speed gets pommelled. anything within LOS surface wise gets killed. there is just no defence against such a weapon. its Achilles heal is LOS.  

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DarkHunter
8 hours ago, Captain Risky said:

that's about the range of the rail-gun, i.e. LOS. but its a helluva weapon capable of saturation fire, effectively, anything that flys towards the ship, no matter the speed gets pommelled. anything within LOS surface wise gets killed. there is just no defence against such a weapon. its Achilles heal is LOS.  

There are far more limitations to rail guns then just line of sight. 

Rail guns actually have a very limited effective range.  The US in its railgun program, which it has had problems achieving its goal, is trying to get a rail gun that has an effective range of 10 miles.  The problem is the projectile while leaving the barrel is going Mach 7 but it quickly loses velocity due to drag, if I remember correctly after only a mile or two from where its launched the muzzle velocity is halved and it continues to drop rather rapidly.  The faster an object is going the faster drag slows it down.

Then there is the issue of power consumption, to just fire a single round at the desirable velocity requires 25 MW of power.  To put this in perspective most US naval ships can only spare at most 9 MW of power at any given time and only the Zumwalt class destroyer can effectively power a rail gun.

Second issue is the barrel degrading rapidly.  If I remember correctly the US naval rail guns that are being tested are only able to fire about 100 or so rounds before the barrels degrade to the point they are no longer operational.  The amount of heat generated from friction is insane, like it turns the air to plasma insane which degrades the barrels rapidly.  

There are also issues with continues firing and heat dissipation, basically heat reduces the effectiveness of the rail gun immensely by drastically increasing the electric resistance of the barrel.

Rail guns are definitely the future, but they are far from perfect and currently have massive issues and draw backs.

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