The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy claims to have developed a powerful electromagnetic railgun that can launch projectiles at “very high”speed and precision.
Reported by the South China Morning Post, the country’s new Gauss gun can fire a 124-kilogram (273-pound) projectile at a speed of 700 kilometers (435 miles) per hour in less than 0.05 seconds.
Although not much details on the railgun are available, it is worth noting that the weapon utilizes electromagnetism instead of chemical energy used in conventional firearms to fire at their targets.
According to the outlet, the “futuristic” weapon could “revolutionize” warfare through faster, more accurate, and more devastating attacks.
Rivaling US, Japan
China’s claim of developing and testing a powerful railgun comes after Japan mulled partnering with the US to develop a railgun-based counter-hypersonic weapon system.
Tokyo announced last year that it was setting aside 6.5 billion yen ($56 million) to support the initiative, which could yield actual results “by the second half of this decade.”
The US Navy also attempted to develop an electromagnetic railgun with multi-shot and auto-loading capabilities.
However, research and development on the much-hyped weapon were canceled due to fiscal constraints, combat system integration challenges, and technology maturation of other weapons.
Funds for the railgun development efforts, which reached approximately half a billion dollars, will be used to develop hypersonic missiles instead.