'Magnetized Ion-plasma Cannon'

Discussion in 'Army' started by by78, Feb 14, 2019.

  1. by78
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    by78 Colonel

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    An announcement posted on the Chinese Military procurement website mentions a tender for a 'magnetized ion-plasma cannon' concept demonstration system (磁化等离子体火炮原理试验测试系统). This isn't a science-fiction particle beam weapon. Rather, it's a new type of projectile-firing system that replaces conventional chemical propellant with magnetized plasma.

    A Chinese patent for such a gun was registered back in 2015. Here's a PDF of the patent.

    Here's a Google translation of the patent's abstract (emphasis added):
     
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  2. by78
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    by78 Colonel

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    Upon further research, I think "磁化等离子体火炮" should translate into "magnetic plasma cannon" or "magnetised plasma cannon".
     
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  3. Skywatcher
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    Skywatcher Senior Member

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    160_200km ranged howitzers?
     
  4. taxiya
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    taxiya Major
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    delete
     
    #4 taxiya, Feb 18, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2019
  5. Hendrik_2000
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    Hendrik_2000 Brigadier

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    More like 100-150 km range Here is a bit more info on the plasma gun via Jsch

    China to test magnetized plasma artillery
    By Liu Xuanzun Source:Global Times Published: 2019/2/18 14:47:00

    [​IMG]
    A PLZ-83 152mm self-propelled howitzer system attached to a brigade under the PLA 81st Group Army fires at mock target during a round-the-clock live-fire training exercise at an artillery training base in north China in late September, 2018. (eng.chinamil.com.cn/Photo by Yan Zheng)

    The Chinese military is looking to procure test systems for magnetized plasma artillery, according to a notice on the People's Liberation Army (PLA) weapon and equipment procurement website weain.mil.cn last week.

    Released on Wednesday and due expire on Thursday, the notice invites tenders for a theory-testing and a launch system for magnetized plasma artillery.

    Although the weapon sounds as if it comes from a sci-fi movie, it will probably not shoot high-energy plasma but ultra-high velocity cannon shells.

    The notice did not elaborate on the nature of magnetized plasma artillery. However, the PLA Academy of Armored Forces Engineering filed a patent with the same name in 2015 to the National Intellectual Property Administration, according to the administration's website.

    According to the specification of the patent, the cannon will have magnetic material covering the gun barrel and a magnetic field generator to create a certain magnetic field inside the barrel.

    When artillery is fired, gas inside the barrel will be partly ionized into plasma by the high pressure and heat. The plasma will then form about 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, making it possible for the initial velocity of shells to exceed Mach 6, the limit for conventional artillery.

    By comparison, an electromagnetic railgun can in theory accelerate its munitions to Mach 7, US-based media outlet the National Interest reported. But a railgun and its power system are so large that they are not mobile unless installed on large warships, the report said.

    The patented Chinese technology, however, can be installed on tanks and self-propelled guns, the specification said.

    "Thanks to the increased thrust, the range of the artillery can also be extended." Wei Dongxu, a Beijing-based military analyst, told the Global Times on Monday.

    Wei predicts the new technology would extend the range of a conventional 155-millimeter self-propelled howitzer from 30-50 kilometers to 100 kilometers.


    The plasma layer might also reduce friction between the barrel and rounds, making the weapon more accurate, he said.

    The layer can also provide heat resistance to the barrel, which will prolong its service life.
     
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  6. Biscuits
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    Biscuits Junior Member
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    Range isn’t all that would be extended.

    Imagine a ZPT-98 mod. with this technology, it would probably punch through M1A2s like they were Shermans
     
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  7. Skywatcher
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    Skywatcher Senior Member

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    So a 203mm plasma cannon could shoot out to 160-200km, and if you're using an airbreathing munition, you could go out to 300km+...
     
  8. ougoah
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    ougoah Senior Member
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    I think defeating M1 series, Challenger, and Leopard series (and all the Leopard's international derivatives) is actually remarkably easy. Not only is it likely to have been done years ago, the entire anti-tank strategy itself has now been shifted to missiles. I'll explain myself.

    All the above tanks DO NOT have modular main armour. Leclerc is the western exception and it is a superior tank design simply because it is adaptable. The rest have armour blocks that must be completely replaced if damaged. On a real battlefield, this will mean a huge turnaround time to get tanks back to optimal performance. This is a binary status where the tank is either damaged and nothing near operationally competent at defending itself or its plates are undamaged and function as intended.

    Superior armour design like the Soviet and then RF method is totally modular. Core armour is of course there but all the add-ons properly bolted in place. If shots hit, limited areas are damaged and need only a relatively quick and easy replacement without the need to major cranes and big factories. Leclerc sort of adopts this design choice and so do Chinese tanks and the latest Korean K2. This of course do not make them better tanks than the above at all. It does make upgrading them with add on wedge armour and layers of different reactive armour for evolving projectiles easier compared to the alternative.

    Now that the static nature of western armour is established, what can vary is the actual composition and material of the armour plates and to some extent, the structural elements that can be altered very slightly. This makes the armour effectiveness just a little bit more predictable. Reactive armour is pound for pound WAY superior than plated armour. The whole Chobham superiority and mystery has been hyped into a legend. The Soviets had their own types of "magic" combination. Chobham worked against old export quality rpgs operated by untrained guys. Big freaking achievement. Let me know when a single western tank withstands any actual harm. Leclercs, demolished in combat, Leopard 2s, embarrassed in combat and one even had its turret displaced, Abrams, littered around the middle east. All against untrained people using substandard export grade cold war era anti-tank equipment. Plated ceramics and welded turrets is old tech and now, 30 years after the first few generations of western and soviet plated armour designs have appeared, the material and mechanical performance I bet is soooo freaking easy to predict to perfect accuracy by now, it is insanity to think that major military powers have not developed ammo and guns that can 100% punch through the front with a single shot. In reality, this has not only been achieved before, the question is not; can I take out an M1A2 at 1km with my ZPT98 Sabot, but how many M1A2 can I cook in 10 seconds using my drone/gunship/ATGM systems. To believe otherwise demands that one believes certain communities are in possession of ceramics and material sciences that is well and truly above all other industries and nations. This is absurd. Tanks and armour is ancient technology and 3rd rate undergraduate level science. It's boring. Whether China can find an economical and efficient way to fabricate high thrust turbofans that can match the last generation of retiring US engines is an interesting question. Punching through an Abrams is 90s stuff.

    They can guarantee 100% kill through the front by sabot or whatever anti-tank round because

    1. they have good reason to make sure they can in case of real war involving heavy weight 80s western tank designs like the abrams, leopard, and challenger. There is a limit to understanding of material science and nowadays armour tech is more of less equal for everyone. M1 upgrades with ERA and NERA don't bother with frontal arc. Most defense intelligence will not even bother with looking for material data, rather they just assume everyone is working with latest knowledge in the field and all they need to know is total weight, dimensions, and weight distribution... volume of certain areas etc to determine what is necessary to punch through it at x range.

    2. Even if you can predict what the best combination of materials and what they should be in terms of making the most effective means of defending against KE and CE, you can manufacture any combination and test against all permutations and then work with a Factor of Doubt of 1.5 or 2.

    You might think this will be too demanding on the projectile and it cannot achieve such penetration against all the possible armour configurations. Well then they will use IEDs and top attack ordinance. Any asymmetric means of killing a 60+T tank. But we only see PLA adopt one type of top attack that's at least shown publicly. If their "conventional" means of countering Abrams and the like are potentially unrealiable or unlikely to work, there would be little funding to continue purchasing the whole slew of them. The real issues are now not whether penetrating an M1A2 is possible, but a question of range and hit probability which comes down to the fire control and mechanism of the gun. Two areas where the quality of 99 series do not likely meet western counterparts. So improving the gun is honestly a bit redundant especially with UCAVs and gunships in huge numbers now. If they really want to improve 99 and 96, improve the FCS, communications, optics, sensors, reliability, transmission, engines, combat radius, and the fume extractor. Those tanks are more dangerous to its occupants than M1s just from the propellant not properly discharged. Always see the cabin smoking up after shots on the few clips that show them.
     
    #8 ougoah, Feb 22, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2019
  9. dawn_strike
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    dawn_strike New Member
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    It is generally a technology to extend the operational life span of the barrel...
     

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