Railgun is the best military technology that US can ever have for this century, so much better than directed energy weaponry. I can’t make it more obvious than that. Russia calls it useless but China shouldn’t be stupid enough to listen. Railgun can run on nuclear energy, so it definitely is not a conventional weapon. Whenever railgun is used in a war, that war is immediately unconventional, an unwritten rule to say the least. Russia calls railgun a military fantasy simply because Russian navy isn’t nuclearized. Power is not an issue for the latest naval nuclear reactors. So, what’s the problem then? Well, I talked about this before and you certainly can find lots of articles about this on Google. Railgun is simply too powerful that it breaks down very often after a certain number of shots, needing frequent serious repairs. In the battlefield, you don’t have time for repairs like that. It breaks down and you are dead.
It used to be that missiles are the only option for long-range attacks. Unfortunately, missile engines are too expensive. In order to save money, US thought about directed energy weaponry and railgun. Gliders are very interesting, too, but they are essentially missiles and in fact powered by expensive rockets. Glider rockets may be reusable, but their reuse cycle is definitely too long for military purposes. You can’t keep on firing because you have to wait for rockets to land and refuel, not to mention regular maintenance each time. You will have to store enough rockets for continuous firing. Directed energy weaponry are great, but protons cannot penetrate strong magnetic shielding while photons cannot penetrate superreflective materials. They have their limitations. That leaves railgun, the only candidate standing. What’s more? Railgun can fire gliders as well. Railgun can easily exceed escape velocity and hit any target in space, including geosynchronous satellites or even a moon base. Of course, the projectile will have to carry a small engine for final adjustments in this case, simply because there’s no air in space. Otherwise, gliders will do. Railgun can kill everything and anything, anywhere and anytime, at the click of a button. You can’t ask for more. However, there’s one limitation. You can’t touch anything too deep underwater. It’s not the perfect weapon yet, but close.
China will have to make its own railgun, by all means, given that Russia already opts out. I don’t see why Russia is that shortsighted and I don’t know why China is listening to Russia on this one. This is not an engineering problem but a military strategic failure. China is very advanced on Maglev and all kinds of electromagnetic technologies. Even if they just start now, they will not lose to US. Listening to Russia will be the most stupid decision ever made by Chinese military leaders. Enough said. Now, let’s look at how they want to follow US on a stpuid mistake.
There you go. US is always right, unless Russia says no. Russia still has that veto power in the Chinese military circle. How funny is that? Why do I want a submarine carrier underwater? Nuclearized submarines already have unlimited range, don’t they? Why do they need a carrier? Anyways. I am not going too deep into this, as US is still not spending big enough on this option. They really have to invest more on their new unmanned underwater navy before we can talk about it. Money attracts talents. Once they start pouring tens or even hundreds of billions of dollars into this research program, smart people will show up and join them. We will see what the smartest of US have to say about underwater options. Of course, they will embrace the strategy to make money, but they will optimize the tactical options, the why and how of which we will want to know.
That’s about it.