Military Applications of Superconductivity and Future Perspectives

Document Type : Original Article



Kamerlingh Onnes of Leiden University discovered Superconductivity (SC) in 1911. Two distinguishing properties of superconducting materials are zero resistance below a certain temperature and their ability to expel the magnetic field from inside. These properties enable a size and weight reduction of 50-70% in superconducting electrical equipment as compared to the conventional. SC has applications in many areas including military. Current military applications of superconductivity include electric power generation & distribution, mine protection & mine hunting, marine ship propulsion, radar and communications etc. The paper reviews the current state of military applications of superconductors and challenges (e.g. geometry, material properties, cryogenics, reliability and overall cost etc.) impeding the widespread use of superconductors in military applications. Recent developments suggesting the possible solutions to these challenges are discussed.