China has revealed plans to develop a futuristic warship that would include breakthrough technologies that would bring “science fiction to the real world,” according to a report.
“It will completely overturn the combat formation of naval fleets that has been in place for over a hundred years,” People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy Rear Adm. Ma Weiming said in a peer-reviewed paper, the South Morning China Post reported.
The Chinese supership would look to adopt new technology such as rail guns, rocket launchers, laser weapons and high-powered microwaves. The technology would “cleverly and effectively transform the energy from the ship’s power source – nuclear energy – into the electromagnetic energy needed to power” the weapons, Ma wrote.
The admiral argued that these different capabilities would turn a single ship into an “all-purpose” platform that can perform “the traditional tasks of a fleet of conventional ships.”
Ma did not specify how long it would take to develop and build the weapons or the ship, but he made several claims that China has developed foundational technologies for it, such as an electromagnetic launch system for weapons and combat platforms.
He also claimed that the Chinese navy has carried out large rail gun weapons tests at sea, and the Naval University of Engineering in China has made several breakthroughs in developing smaller electromagnetic guns. Most significantly, these advancements would include spin-up technology to enhance shooting accuracy.
“At present, China has solved all the key technologies of the electromagnetic launch system for weapon payloads on various types of combat platforms, including vehicle-mounted, shipborne and underwater systems,” Ma wrote.
“Long-range field tests with [the] bullet exit kinetic energy of tens of kilojoules have been completed, which broke the range and kinetic energy record of current firearms in the world,” he added.
Perhaps Ma’s boldest claim is that the rail guns could hit targets in near space elevations at up to seven times the speed of sound, and the electromagnetic-launched missiles could load like an automatic rifle.
“This was a big step forward for electromagnetic energy equipment. It has moved from being just a theoretical concept to becoming a practical engineering reality,” Ma added.