China Arms Warship With Railgun—Six Years Ahead of Estimates
A Chinese naval warship was spotted at sea late last month armed with what appears to be a hypersonic electromagnetic railgun, indicating that the next generation of warfare has arrived in China years earlier than expected.
The Haiyang Shan, a Type 072-ii Yuting-class tank landing ship, was photographed off the Chinese coast with a railgun mounted on its bow. A prominent Chinese defense blogger known as Haohan-Red Shark posted the image on Sina Weibo, one of China’s most popular social media networks.
On January 3, China’s state-run Global Times discussed the Weibo post and quoted a Beijing-based naval expert as saying China’s railgun technology has “reached a mature stage after a series of tests.”
The reports shocked many onlookers because United States intelligence had previously estimated that China would not have deployable railguns before 2025. If the weapon is already operational, as the Weibo post and the Global Times report suggest, it would represent a remarkably precocious advance for the Chinese Navy. It would mean China has crossed a major technological milestone six years early, and it is a milestone that the U.S. is still apparently years from reaching.
The milestone is noteworthy because military analysts view railguns as game-changing weapons. Rather than using gun powder to fire projectiles the way cannons have for some 500 years, railguns use electromagnetic pulses. Besides making them far cheaper to operate than cannons, this also means they can fire at hypersonic speeds of Mach 5 or higher.
This gives the weapon astounding power and a range that could profoundly alter the nature of military altercations.
“This would see belligerents able to strike at each other at distances ranging in the hundreds of kilometers,” senior analyst at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute Dr. Malcolm Davis told abc News on January 3. “This would fundamentally change the nature of engagements as you could have adversaries being able to make precise strikes from afar for much less money.”
Analysts believe that China’s railgun technology could dramatically help the nation in its quest to assert control over the South China Sea. Last year, writing about railguns for the Drive, Joseph Trevithick said, “If the Chinese were to deploy these weapons on their various man-made outposts in the South China Sea, it would only further limit the ability of a potential opponent to operate in that region. If the system were at all mobile or air transportable it could be even more flexible in a ground-based role.”
In the South China Sea context, the news of Beijing’s early development of railgun technology takes on biblically prophetic significance.
Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry wrote in our July 2016 issue that China’s increasing control over the South China Sea is fulfilling specific Bible prophecies. In his article “China Is Steering the World Toward War,” he wrote, “China is being aggressive and provocative,” and thereby challenging “seven decades of American naval dominance in the Pacific Rim.” This aggressive behavior “should alarm the world!” he wrote.
Mr. Flurry pointed to the biblical book of Deuteronomy, in which God issues a grave warning to the nation of Israel, explaining that if it rejects Him, He will hand over control of the world’s strategic sea-gates to its enemies. And He warned that these enemy nations would use that control to besiege Israel: “And he shall besiege thee in all thy gates, until thy high and fenced walls come down, wherein thou trustedst, throughout all thy land …” (Deuteronomy 28:52).
Mr. Flurry explained that this ancient warning is not just for ancient peoples. “It is a prophecy for the modern-day descendants of Israel,” he wrote. “Two nations in particular represent Israel in this end time: America and Britain.” These two countries “are full of terrible sins today, and God is going to correct them for that!” he wrote. “This prophecy and several others show that He will send foreign enemies to punish America and Britain!” (For proof that America and Britain are the descendants of ancient Israel, read our free book The United States and Britain in Prophecy, by Herbert W. Armstrong.)
Today we see China tightening its control of the South China Sea and several of the sea-gates, such as Hong Kong, that allow access to it. This is happening in some locations that just a few decades ago were under the control of the U.S. and Britain. This shows that the prophecy in Deuteronomy is in the process of being fulfilled. China’s early development of railgun technology could further tighten its grip and speed up the fulfillment of these prophecies.
But Mr. Flurry made plain that although these developments are sobering, they are linked to hope-filled news:
All this prophesied destruction is what it will take for God to reach this world! After this, people will be ashamed—and they will get to know God! Ezekiel repeatedly talked about that inspiring conclusion (e.g., Ezekiel 6:7; 7:4; 11:10; 12:20; 13:9; 23:48-49; etc). Yes, there is a lot of bad news when you consider what it takes to get people to the point of knowing God. But ultimately, the outcome is spectacularly good news!
To understand the prophetic significance of China’s rise and to learn the inspiring details of this “spectacularly good news,” read “China Is Steering the World Toward War,” and order a free copy of Mr. Flurry’s book Ezekiel: The End-Time Prophet.