China’s Railgun Has Reportedly Gone to Sea

China has beat America in placing railguns on ships, but how far ahead it actually is, that’s a good question.

According to a new report, China may have beaten the U.S. to mounting a railgun on a ship.

A naval vessel called the Haiyangshan, carrying what appears to be a railgun on the bow, allegedly left the confines of the Yangtze River and is being tested on the Pacific Ocean. First spotted in January of 2018, the railgun appears to be the first put on a warship by any country—the United States included. Whether or not China is actually ahead of the U.S. in the world of railgun tech is an open question.

The Haiyangshan, a Yuting I-class tank landing ship, resurfaced on social media December 29. Its location is unknown, but believed to be on the open ocean, though the heavily overcast background makes it impossible to geolocate the ship.

Photographs of what was dubbed the “Yangtze River Monster” first emerged in late January 2018. The photos showed Haiyangshan with a large gun turret on the bow, with the rest of the ship covered shipping containers, tarps, and miscellaneous equipment. The 390-foot-long ship is an older tank-landing ship, designed to run up on enemy coastlines and disgorge 10 tanks or 500 tons of cargo.

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