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Chinese Navy is testing the most powerful coil gun ever built

Facts for Prelims (FFP)


Source: Business Standard


Context: The Chinese navy is reportedly testing an advanced coil gun, an electromagnetic weapon that can launch high-speed projectiles with exceptional velocity.

  • Coil guns, also known as magnetic accelerators, have the potential to revolutionize warfare by allowing faster and more devastating attacks on enemy targets. These weapons could be used for launching missiles or satellites into space.
  • Compared to traditional artillery, the coil gun offers advantages such as faster launch speeds and lower launch costs.
  • The potential applications of coil guns extend to weapon systems, near-earth satellites, and high-speed missile launches.


The technology involves a series of energized coils along the barrel of the gun that generate a magnetic field to propel the projectile forward without touching the barrel’s walls. This approach prevents wear on components and enables repeated firings. Despite the technology’s existence for decades, challenges in materials science have limited the development of powerful coil gun models.