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China's futuristic electromagnetic railgun may already be the most powerful cannon to ever roam the high seas — ahead of schedule.

中国的未来电磁轨道炮可能已经成为公海上最强大的大炮 - 超出预期。

In June, a U.S. intelligence assessment estimated that the Chinese military planned on fielding its own version of the electromagnetic railgun on naval vessels as early as 2025, far outstripping the Pentagon's truncated efforts to develop its own version of the much-hyped supergun. Now, new photos appear to show the railgun perched on the bow of its test ship at sea.

今年6月,一项美国情报评估估计,中国军方计划最早在2025年为海军舰艇部署自己的电磁式轨道炮,这远早于五角大楼计划的版本-那门它自己大肆吹嘘的超级大炮。现在,新照片出现,揭开了那门在海上测试船的船头上栖息的轨道炮的面纱。



But in terms of actually developing an operational shipboard prototype, things may be looking up for the Navy. The 2019 National Defense Authorization Act included an additional $20 million for Innovative Naval Prototypes Advanced Technology Development (0603801N) explicitly to accelerate the development of a shipboard tactical demonstrator, well beyond the $15 million recommended by Rep. Jim Langevin, a Democrat from Rhode Island and co-chair of the Congressional Directed Energy Caucus, in last year's NDAA to help the railgun make the transition from shore to ship.

但海军正被寄予厚望来实际开发一种可操作的舰载原型​​。2019年国防授权法案(NDAA)明确涵盖了额外的2000万美元创新海军样机先进技术开发费用(0603801N),用以加快舰载战术演示的发展,这远远超出由众议员吉姆·朗之万(来自罗德岛的民主党和美国国会指导能源核心小组联合主席,曾在去年NDAA帮助磁轨道炮项目上岸)建议的额外1500万美元。

When taken with the additional $20 million allocated in the 2019 NDAA for the Army's distinct railgun efforts, this suggests that the Pentagon hasn't totally given up hope of fielding the supergun despite existing obstacles. "With China and Russia challenging our technological superiority, we cannot just play defense," said Langevin of the defense budget back in May 2018. "Instead, we must promote and accelerate the adoption of game-changing technologies including hypersonics, directed energy, and applications of artificial intelligence."

2019年NDAA分配额外2000万美元给部队用以单独发展磁轨道炮,这表明尽管存在障碍,但五角大楼还没有完全放弃研发这门超级大炮。“随着中国和俄罗斯挑战我们的技术优势,我们不能只是防守,”朗之万在2018年五月份的国防预算会议上说道。“相反,我们必须促进和加速通过改变游戏规则的技术,包括高超声速,定向能武器和人工智能的应用。“

This is a good sign for the future of the Navy's powerful supergun, true. But with the Haiyang Shan prowling the high seas — and tensions between the U.S and Chinese navies at a boiling point — this funding may simply be too little, too late.

这对海军强大的未来超级大炮来说,是一个好兆头。但随着海洋山号在公海上徘徊 - 以及美国和中国海军之间像在沸点一样的紧张关系 - 这笔资金可能就是太少,太迟了。