13:02 GMT +314 December 2018
Listen Live
    A photograph taken from a high-speed video camera during a  railgun firing at the Naval Surface Warfare Center on January 31, 2008

    Turkey Announces Successful Test of ‘Sapan’ Railgun Hypervelocity Weapon

    CC0
    Military & Intelligence
    Get short URL
    51110

    Ankara announced that it successfully tested an electromagnetic kinetic weapon, joining a club of developers alongside Russia, the US, China, and India.

    Turkey announced a successful test of its new electromagnetic weapon — referred to as ‘railgun' — which shoots metallic projectiles at hypersonic speeds.

    Turkey is the fifth country in the world to develop the weapon, after Russia, the US, China and India.

    The weapon has been named "Tübitak Sapan," or "Tübitak Slingshot," after Turkey's Scientific and Technological Research Council (Tübitak). Weapons similar to Sapan are capable of firing a projectile as far as 100 km, at speeds of up to 3,500 meters per second (12,600 km/h).

    Particle debris ignites as a test slug exits the Office of Naval Research (ONR) 32 MJ (megajoules) Electromagnetic Railgun (EMRG) laboratory launcher located at the Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division (NSWCDD)
    © AFP 2018 / John F. Williams / Office of Naval Research
    According to the Turkish Armed Forces, the Sapan has been tested at 9,300 km/h, faster than Mach 7.5. Ankara intends to boost the velocity of the round to Mach 8.5 (10.500 km/h), making it almost impossible for a target to defend itself, Business Times reports.

    Railgun technology has certain upsides; the hypervelocity round is very difficult to intercept, and, since it has no electronics inside, it is immune to jamming and electronic warfare. In one live fire tests, a railgun successfully pierced a one meter-thick reinforced concrete bunker.

    ​The primary downside of the weapon is its extremely high energy consumption. In order to fire at 10 rounds per minute (one shot every six seconds), a railgun requires some 20 megawatts of energy, the output of a power plant used to light and heat some 250 small homes.

    First tested in 2014, Turkey's Sapan is a byproduct of Tübitak's research into inertial confinement fusion technology, also known as controllable thermonuclear energy, Business Times reports.

    ​Turkey reportedly plans to build eight TF-2000 class frigates, equipping them with full-scale combat-ready versions of the Sapan railgun, according to the newspaper.

    Only five countries have working railgun technology: Russia, the US, China, India and Turkey. While the US considers railgun to primarily be a weapon, Russian scientists have more recently examined peaceful applications, such as delivering cargo into space, according to 2017 Zvezda report.

    Related:

    China Leads Race to Install Railgun on a Warship – Reports
    China Flexes New Electromagnetic Railgun-Armed Warship (PHOTOS)
    Indian Scientists Successfully Fire Electromagnetic Railgun (Mach 6) Test Shot
    Enthusiastic US Engineer Test-Fires Homemade Railgun (VIDEO)
    ‘Future of Maritime Superiority’: US Navy Advances Railgun Testing
    Faster, More Powerful Navy Railgun Coming This Summer
    Tags:
    test, railgun, Sapan railgun, Turkey's Scientific and Technological Research Council (Tubitak), Turkey
    Community standardsDiscussion
    Comment via FacebookComment via Sputnik