Pictured, China's railgun: Hypersonic superweapon capable of striking targets 125 miles away is spotted on warship
What appears to be the world's first naval rail gun - a hypersonic weapon capable of firing projectiles at five times the speed of sound - has been pictured on a Chinese naval warship at sea.
A hazy photo, posted by defence blogger Haohan-Red Shark emerged on Chinese social media last week, claims to show the tank landing ship Haiyang Shan at sea with what looks like an electromagnetic railgun (EMRG) mounted on its bow.
The same Type 072II Yuting-class tank landing ship was pictured with the same weapon atop the bow in a port at an unknown location last March.
The latest development in warfare technology means China is the first to develop a electromagnetic weapon, despite the US dedicating millions of dollars and more than a decade to its own railgun program.
An US intelligence report found that China's weapon would be able to strike 200km (125miles) away with a projectile velocity of 2.5km (1.55miles)per second — greater than Mach 7, the ABC reported.
Australian Strategic Policy Institute senior analyst Dr Malcolm Davis believes the most recent development will transform naval warfare and spark a 'hemispheric battle space'.
'This would see belligerents able to strike at each other at distances ranging in the hundreds of kilometres,' Dr Davis told the ABC.
'This would fundamentally change the nature of engagements as you could have adversaries being able to make precise strikes from afar for much less money.'
Dr Davis told 9 News the weapon would give China an advantage over US naval forces.
'If China were to introduce this as an operational capability within the PLA Navy - perhaps on a future Chinese warship - it could be a game changer,' he said.
HondoPX, Smallville, United States, 6 days ago
I thought the US gave up on this concept. to make it work requires so much power the generators would be 10 times the size of the gun.
mikenos, Dublin, Swaziland, 6 days ago
Can it shoot down missiles.
Volbeat, Tucson, United States, 6 days ago
1st to develop these?! Lol, um no. Let's just say this tech isn't exactly new to the US, or even the best.
MplsDJ, Minneapolis , United States, 6 days ago
Ummm, pretty sure the US Navy has these... for like, 10 years.
Matthew, Idaho Falls, United States, 6 days ago
Chris Paterson, Donegal, Ireland, 6 days ago
At least no one can complain about Co2 emissions from the explosives, this is basically the tesla of cannons.
cheeky Monkey, London, United Kingdom, 6 days ago
And the US will claim they copied the worlds first ever hypersonic rail gun right.
bukelacktavose, Kaiserslautern, Germany, 6 days ago
Britain let's China operate nuclear power plants in their country . How foolish
dangermouse, South West England, United Kingdom, 6 days ago
Railguns are probably not the future of warfare because they need vast amounts of power to make them work,
Brian, Glasgow, 6 days ago
Nothing new, the US Navy has been testing railguns since 2007
Old school British, Cheltenham, United Kingdom, 6 days ago
But the rail gun is flawed as the barrel gets so hot they ruin after approx 7 shots.
Stall Turn, Exeter, United Kingdom, 7 days ago
So our new carriers are already vulnerable and obsolete. What a waste!
atjen66, brighton, United Kingdom, 7 days ago