Chinese forces are reportedly researching high-speed 'doomsday trains' capable of launching high-powered nuclear weapons.
Reports claim that the plans are to create a train that can zoom around the country with intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) on board to keep them moving to avoid enemy detection.
The so-called “doomsday trains” may also be used to launch missiles, or even nuclear warheads, using highly reinforced railway tracks and foundations to absorb the deep shock of the blast.
While the planning is still in the blueprint stage, the research has been funded by the central Chinese government led by Yin Zihong, associate professor of civil engineering with Southwest Jiaotong University in Chengdu, South China Morning Post reports.
A recently published peer-reviewed study in the Journal of Southwest Jiaotong University looked into the pros and cons of the plan.
The researchers wrote: "Compared with heavy-haul railways, high-speed railways operate faster and more smoothly. This means that on high-speed rails, the mobility, safety and concealment of military vehicles would be greater."
The news comes after China revealed they have plans to be a major player in space tourism – rivalling US entrepreneurs such as Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos.
After the demise of NASA’s Space Shuttle, Russia’s Baikonur launch facility in southern Kazakhstan has become a key lifeline for the International Space Station.
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The giant space station is scheduled to be deliberately crashed into the Pacific in 2030, but Russian space agency Roscosmos said earlier this month that it has authority to operate for only two more years and “the issue of extending the agreement in the current conditions causes our skepticism".
But by contrast China’s Tiangong space station, launched in April 2021 and with the final modules set to launch later this year, has a healthy 10 to 15 year service life ahead of it.
While its primary purpose is said to be scientific, the Chinese space agency is eyeing space tourism as a possible way to finance the project, with an announcement of plans to open Tiangong up to tourism within the decade.
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