Chinese Develops Smart Shell For Kinetic Energy Weapons, Reshaping Military Landscape

CHINA has reportedly created a dream bullet capable of reaching speeds of about 5,300mph and changing direction via the SatNav signals. Designed exclusively for kinetic energy weapons, this bullet can quickly be fired from a railgun and can travel almost 8,200 feet in one second. The weapon of destruction can stably receive signals from the satellite navigation system and adjust its flight path continually. Consequently, it maintains an error of less than 49 feet — the highest duration any technical system can fail without contractual consequences — until it hits the target. However, the new toy is based on earlier designs from the US military.

Famous as the “dream shell”, initial development strategies were introduced in 2012 before America decided to abandon them by 2021. And even though there is no available information on the fate of this GPS-guided shell assignment, China’s naval scientists state that they have developed it, reported the South China Morning Post. In a paper published in the Journal of Naval University of Engineering in November 2023, the team stated that while the West might have received a head start in research, they got no help from foreign nations.

Weapon
Representation Image

There was no guidance, not even an introduction to the concept of guided missile navigation systems, particularly the satellite navigation component, per the team. Spearheaded by Feng Junhong with the National Key Laboratory of Electromagnetic Energy at the Naval University of Engineering, the expert team might have reshaped the larger military landscape. In August, it was declared that the Chinese military was examining the most powerful gun in the world that can launch shells at a speed of 2,200 mph.

Popular as a coilgun, the futuristic sci-fi weapon is capable of firing a projectile nearly missile size in seconds as it lays a path for more accurate and catastrophic attacks. While electromagnetic launch weapons can successfully deliver a barrage of cost-effective shells, they maintain missiles’ long-range and precision capabilities. However, an intense electromagnetic field generated during the launch can have everlasting impacts on delicate electronic components like antennas and chips. But these “smart” shells must also be able to receive weak satellite signals.

Such a contradiction with electromagnetic shielding skills has stumped scientists as well as engineers all over the world, including those who are in China. In the research paper, Feng’s team disclosed a novel antenna design capable of resisting powerful electromagnetic radiation when receiving high-precision positioning signals via the BeiDou military frequency band.

The naval scientists shared details of the unique internal structure of the BeiDou signal receiver. But there are problems to be addressed when the shell launches. First, the shell receiver is subjected to a force that is more than 25,000 times that of Earth’s gravity; thus, any flaw in its design might lead it to malfunction. There is the issue of the shell resulting in intense heat owing to friction as it hurtles in the air. To counter the problems, Chinese scientists used a cost-effective but mass-produced aerogel as a thermal barrier.

In response, the Chinese researchers employed a mass-produced, reasonably priced aerogel as a thermal barrier. Another major problem is the navigation software, causing the shells to swirl and move wildly during flight. Feng and his coworkers have addressed the issue by developing a simple algorithm that protects satellite communication from disruptions throughout the shell’s journey.

Reference: Eurasiantimes

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Marine Insight News Network is a premier source for up-to-date, comprehensive, and insightful coverage of the maritime industry. Dedicated to offering the latest news, trends, and analyses in shipping, marine technology, regulations, and global maritime affairs, Marine Insight News Network prides itself on delivering accurate, engaging, and relevant information.

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