HomeNewsDiplomatic NewsRevolutionary electromagnetic Catapults for China’s future carriers

Revolutionary electromagnetic Catapults for China’s future carriers


Beijing, March 26 2024 (TDI): A groundbreaking electromagnetic catapult system has been developed by a team of scientists and engineers in Beijing, China.

It marks a significant leap in China’s naval capabilities. The system, designed for China’s future aircraft carriers, promises unparalleled performance and reliability.

Utilizing a principle akin to electric vehicles, this new system can catapult a 30-tonne aircraft from zero to 70 meters per second in just 2.1 seconds. It sets a new standard for carrier-based aircraft technology.

Revolutionizing China’s Future Aircraft Carriers

This innovation is particularly noteworthy as it enables the launch of heavier aircraft. This includes the J-20 stealth fighter, previously deemed too heavy for carrier operations.

Traditional systems, take more than three seconds to launch a fighter aircraft. Whereas, this system accelerates aircraft swiftly and efficiently.

Moreover, it can bring an aircraft to a full stop from 72 meters per second in just 2.6 seconds, meeting stringent military requirements.

Ye Lezhi’s breakthrough in electromagnetic Catapult Systems

Ye Lezhi is an associate professor at Beijing University of Technology’s School of Mechanical and Energy Engineering.

He wrote in a peer-reviewed paper published in the Chinese academic journal Acta Armamentarii on February 27 that the new catapult system “has a small footprint, a simple structure, is lightweight, and does not require a complex power supply system.”

Ye Lezhi, leading the development team, emphasized the system’s compact design. In addition to this, it includes simplicity, and the ability to operate without a complex power supply.

The gadget that Ye’s team created operates on a similar premise. Before catapulting, a hefty flywheel rotates quickly thanks to a powerful engine.

Following the aircraft’s attachment to the catapult shuttle, the flywheel transfers its kinetic energy to a winding wheel. It pulls the shuttle through a steel cable to exert stress on the landing gear. This accelerates the aircraft’s takeoff velocity.

An eddy current clutch creates the electromagnetic force that holds the flywheel and winding wheel together. They never come into contact with one another.

An aircraft may be stopped without additional gear by simply reversing the flywheel’s rotation.

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Published in the esteemed Chinese journal Acta Armamentarii, the team’s research highlights the system’s potential to revolutionize naval aviation.

The new electromagnetic catapult offers a significant advantage in deck space utilization, enabling long-range air strike capabilities for warships.

This technological breakthrough reflects China’s rapid advancements in military-civilian integration and underscores its commitment to cutting-edge defense technologies.

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