|Kinetic Burst Weapons|
|Faction||Empire of the Rising Sun|
|Function||Advanced firearms of various different calibres|
|Brief||Plasma propelled bullets|
History and Development Edit
In the years leading up to Japan's entry into World War 3, research and development in the Empire was somewhat different to the rest of the world. The Emperor's vision of the "Divine Destiny" of the empire had fuelled a huge burst of funding into any R&D that could promise a military application. Corporations, universities, Zaibatsu, even the Imperial Government itself released large amounts of funding to any researchers who could phrase their research proposals in ways that would make the Shogunate happy.
One such research project that yielded fruitful results was the Plasma Propelled Kinetic-Burst Weapons project, developed by the little known technology-start up company of KōsokuGijutsu Ltd. The idea behind it was a simple one that the company's founder, Dr Nishina Morokomo, had been thinking of since university.
A conventional firearm detonates an explosive charge behind a projectile in an enclosed barrel. The rapidly expanding gasses produced by the explosion accelerate the projectile down the barrel at frightening velocity. What Dr Morokomo had realised, is that any rapidly expanding gasses could be used, providing they expanded rapidly enough. The first Plasma Propelled Kinetic weapon used a high voltage discharge in a small spark gap behind the projectile, provided by a set of high quality nano-wire batteries. The arc instantly ionized the air behind the projectile, forming a rapidly expanding plasma that accelerated the projectile down the barrel.
There were some minor problems with the first prototypes. The velocity of the projectiles wasn't yet comparable with conventional firearms. However, the prototype was still workable, and the Shogunate was impressed with the prospects for the weapon. Plasma propelled Projectiles had a number of significant advantages if they could be made to work. Because the rounds didn't need an explosive propellant, they were smaller and lighter, allowing soldiers to carry more of them. There was also a further advantage of the weapon design. As no spent casings needed to be ejected from the breach, fresh rounds could be chambered quicker than in conventional firearms, allowing the gun to fire very rapid bursts of projectiles, although the gun would need to stop firing every so often, in order to cool.
With the promising initial results, research funding continued, and a more workable version was developed. The problem with low muzzle velocity was solved via a two stage process. A thin layer of a polymer was applied to the base of each round, and the current was now passed through the projectile, to the breach of the weapon. The voltage was so great, that the polymer would break down, and ionize, forming the plasma. Due to the higher volume of material being vaporised, the plasma was significantly more expansive, allowing the projectile to travel faster. As an unusual side effect of materials in the polymer, rounds fired by the new version of the gun tended to have a glowing blue tracer effect. This system had a further advantage. Because the current passed through the projectile, the projectile was quickly super-heated before it left the barrel. This was particularly useful trait, as most types of body armours used by various military organisations are held together with materials that melt easily.
KōsokuGijutsu Ltd no longer exists in any real sense. Once the technology was perfected and endorsed by the Imperial military, the small company was bought out by Tenzai Robotics, and the technology equipped as rapid fire weapons on the newly developed Tengu Model. The licensing rights to the technology have proved an extremely lucrative asset for Tenzai Robotics. Smaller versions of the basic technology are licensed out to Byakko Barracks Armoury Division, to be manufactured for infantry. Even Shirada Shipworks, (begrudgingly) purchased a most expensive licence in order to construct the massive cannons that equip the Shogun Battleship. Teams of Shirada engineers and legal experts are constantly trying to create a version of the technology that is sufficiently different from the original version such that the Tenzai patent is not applicable.
Due to recent developments, Kinetic-burst Weaponry now burn the target for a short time after hitting.