Every country wants to avoid going to war. Now, every country really wants to avoid going to war with China.
New photos have emerged online, suggesting Australia's biggest trading partner has successfully equipped one of its a warships with a powerful electromagnetic weapon known as a 'railgun'.
Details are still sketchy, but it's believed the images are recent and China is getting ready to test the world's first battleship-mounted railgun, surpassing even the U.S.
So what is a railgun?
It's a futuristic weapon which can fire a projectile really fast. It uses two parallel, conductive rails with a powerful electric charge, creating a magnetic field. The projectile inside the gun, most likely a missile, is then launched at supersonic speeds.
Have a look at this YouTube clip of a railgun being tested in the United States. This one fires its weapon at a speed of over 9000km per hour. Yes, 9000km per hour. This is not a typo.
The United States already has its own land-based version of the weapon, but has not managed to get it working on the high seas.