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The development comes at a moment when tensions between China and the U.S. are already high, underscored by crucial trade talks that were scheduled to move to Washington on Wednesday.
Railguns use electromagnetic energy instead of gunpowder to propel rounds, and China's is capable of striking a target 124 miles away at speeds of up to 1.6 miles per second, according to the people who have knowledge of the intelligence report. For perspective, a shot fired from Washington could reach Philadelphia in under 90 seconds.
Railguns - US - Lists - Weapons - Navies
Railguns have long appeared on Russian, Iranian and U.S. military wish lists as cost-effective weapons that give navies the might of a cannon with the range of a precision-guided missile.
The rounds used in China's railgun cost $25,000 to $50,000 each, according to the intelligence assessment. Though not an exact comparison since the weapons have different technologies, the U.S. Navy's Tomahawk cruise missile has an estimated price tag of $1.4 million each.
US - Navy - Railgun
The U.S. Navy's railgun, which is...
(Excerpt) Read more at: CNBC
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