IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


28th August, 2023 Security

Disclaimer: Copyright infringement not intended.


  • The Chinese navy is reportedly testing the planet's most powerful coil gun, a type of electromagnetic weapon capable of launching projectiles with extremely high speed in the blink of an eye.

WATCH: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r8YHxpa5cJA

  • A coilgun is a type of projectile accelerator consisting of one or more coils used as electromagnets in the configuration of a linear motor that accelerates a ferromagnetic or conducting projectile to high velocity.
  • In almost all coilgun configurations, the coils and the gun barrel are arranged on a common axis.
  • Coilguns generally consist of one or more coils arranged along a barrel, so the path of the accelerating projectile lies along the central axis of the coils. The coils are switched on and off in a precisely timed sequence, causing the projectile to be accelerated quickly along the barrel via magnetic forces.

In a nutshell,

  • Also known as Gauss guns, these weapons come with a series of coils arranged along the barrel of the gun. To create a magnetic field that can launch a projectile forward, each coil is energized one after another.
  • During the launch, the projectile stays suspended in the center of the coil, which helps prevent it from touching the wall of the barrel. Repeated firings do not cause wear on components.
  • Challenges in materials science have made it difficult to build powerful models even though the technology has been around for decades.

The Chinese Coil Gun

  • According to scientists, the coil gun accelerated a 124kg projectile in a firing test to a speed of 700km/h in less than 0.05 seconds. It was the heaviest known projectile to be used in a coil gun experiment.
  • The coil gun has several advantages over traditional artillery, including faster launch speeds and lower launch costs.
  • The coil gun has the potential for revolutionary breakthroughs in terms of speed, range, power, accuracy, safety, flexibility and reliability.
  • The coil gun could have applications in areas such as weapon systems, near-earth satellites, and high-speed missile launches.


  • Coil guns, also known as magnetic accelerators, could bring massive changes to the way wars are fought, paving the way for more devastating attacks on enemy targets. They could potentially launch missiles or send satellites into space.


Q. What is a Coil Gun? What are its applications? Explain.