WANT to win a war? Build a better gun. Now China appears to have taken a huge stride ahead of the United States with the first experimental deployment of a new ‘supergun’ aboard a warship.
The first images began circulating on the internet last week.
They showed a Chinese amphibious assault ship — usually used to deploy troops and tanks on a beach — fitted with an enormous cannon on its bows.
Overnight, Beijing’s official mouthpiece The People’s Daily Online published an article reporting speculation the unusually large single-barrelled weapon was an electromagnetic rail gun.
This is significant.
The Chinese newspaper says cutbacks in US funding for rail gun research had allowed Beijing to catch up: “the US Navy demonstrated its rail gun prototypes in 2006 and announced in 2016 that it would test electromagnetic railguns on the joint high-speed vessel USS Millinocket (JHSV 3), though no rail gun has ever been seen on any US military vessels …
“Though the test rail gun is not the final version of the hi-tech weapon, its size does fit the 055 destroyer, which would become an invincible vessel once equipped with electromagnetic weapons.”