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Chinese Navy ship seen carrying an apparent railgun capable of firing hypersonic projectiles

| A Chinese naval warship has been pictured out at sea carrying what appears to be an electromagnetic railgun.

Key points:

Railguns use enormous electric currents to shoot projectiles from tracks at great speed

China's first railgun was revealed in 2011, and has been since tested for more range

The US has been slow to develop the technology since initial research in 2005

| A photo taken and posted by Weibo user (and prominent defence blogger) Haohan-Red Shark, purports to show the Type 072II Yuting-class tank landing ship Haiyangshan with a railgun mounted on its bow.

Compared to conventional artillery that uses gunpowder to fire projectiles — a practice that has been in wide use since the 1500s — a railgun uses a high-powered electric circuit to shoot a projectile along magnetic rails,

| firing at hypersonic speeds of Mach 5 or higher (five times the speed of sound).

While the US has been pursuing its railgun capability since 2005, China has seemingly taken the front foot, with anonymous sources confirming the existence of the weapon in 2011 to CNBC.

Railguns to usher in naval 'hemispheric battle space'

| Dr Malcolm Davis, a senior analyst at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, told the ABC the technology would usher in a "hemispheric battle space".

"This would see belligerents able to strike at each other at distances ranging in the hundreds of kilometres", Dr Davis said.


| This is why I love /news/

| Those bullet trains aren't going to shoot themselves.

Total number of posts: 6, last modified on: Sat Jan 1 00:00:00 1546612727

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