Citing CCTV, the Global Times wrote: “The US is also experimenting with the new weapon, but China will be the first country to actually equip it on a warship… China’s naval electromagnetic weapon and equipment have surpassed other countries and become a world leader.”

Others took a more measured view. Even if China was testing an electromagnetic railgun at sea, it could still be ”a year or two away from being operational,” Carl Schuster, former director of operations at the US Pacific Command’s Joint Intelligence Center, told CNN. He noted the significance, however, of China developing its own technology rather than copying foreign designs, saying it indicates the country is no longer 10 to 15 years behind the US and is “approaching parity with the West in terms of weapons development.”

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