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Science & Technology

China's hypersonic railgun 'ready by 2025'

February 1, 2019 | Comment icon 27 comments

The US is working on its own secretive railgun program. Image Credit: Bradley J. Sapp / US Navy
The Chinese military reportedly resumed testing of the world's most powerful naval gun earlier this month.
First seen back in 2011, the warship-mounted electromagnetic railgun - a weapon with the potential to revolutionize naval combat - has been in development in China for the last two decades.

Unlike conventional weapons which use gunpowder to propel projectiles, a railgun uses electromagnetic energy, thus reducing the need for ships to carry volatile munitions.

Reports indicate that China's prototype railgun is already capable of striking a target up to 124 miles away with a round propelled at 1.6 miles per second.
Railguns are also cheaper to run, with each round costing between $25,000 to $50,000 - a mere pittance compared to the US Navy's Tomahawk cruise missiles which cost $1.4 million each.

While the US has also been working on its own top secret railgun program for years, it seems as though it may be China that gets there first with an estimated deployment date of 2025.

One way or the other however, it appears as though railguns may be here to stay.

Source: CNBC | Comments (27)

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #18 Posted by aztek 4 years ago
yes, but they have plenty of rust buckets to send on a last voyage and 1,6B people. †whether they stole a design or not, not that important. †ussr copied majority of weapons during ww2 †they were just as deadly a sif they developed themselves. china figured no point to spend effort to research if you can steal, or license. †it does not make it any less deadly. †
Comment icon #19 Posted by Piney 4 years ago
You need to read Sun Tzu and about something called "Japanese intelligence skills" and something called†a "Shin Shin". Japan doesn't have to sacrifice lives. Because Americans aren't following Sun Tzu.†
Comment icon #20 Posted by aztek 4 years ago
japan would not exist today if it was not allied with usa after ww2 and no sun tzu would change that. † times changed, 1 missile can wreck havoc in sun tzu tactic. sure some of it still valid, and some no longer is. we've come long way in 2500 years
Comment icon #21 Posted by Piney 4 years ago
It wasn't "allied" it was a "occupation" to keep the Russians† and Chinese out.†
Comment icon #22 Posted by aztek 4 years ago
i will, thanks, you made me very interested now. † maybe we do not follow it cuz you can't apply it everywhere every time, ††sun tzu was brilliant strategist, but i'm not sure if he was politician, every war is politics first exactly, japan would be speaking chinise and russian now if it was not for usa. also i'm sure Chinese generals read sun tzu as well.
Comment icon #23 Posted by Piney 4 years ago
We'll just say it was a good idea putting my grandfather and Uncle Jimmu in the camps.†
Comment icon #24 Posted by Trelane 4 years ago
Solid Snake†and Foxhound are being dispatched to deactivate†it.†
Comment icon #25 Posted by RoofGardener 4 years ago
I wouldn't dismiss the Peoples Liberation Army Navy ! Far from being rust-buckets, much†of their destroyer and frigate fleet is post-2000, and very modern in design. And they have LOTS of them. Certainly more than Japan. They also appear quite strong on submarines. Also rather worrying is their recent surge in production of landing craft and floating docks.... e.g. land assault vessels. They have about 60 of them now !!!!
Comment icon #26 Posted by and then 4 years ago
Railguns are capable of doing amazing amounts of damage... against STATIONARY targets † †Not so much against mobile aggressors.† It's been a while since naval vessels have been used for extensive shore bombardment.† Just sayin' ...
Comment icon #27 Posted by and then 4 years ago
They're trying to intimidate Taiwan.† The Taiwanese enjoy air superiority and would smoke the PLAN like a cheap cigar † †

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