Maglev: Devised by Americans; implimented by Germany and perfected by China
The Maglev principle was devised in the early 1900's by two Americans, Emile Bachelet and Robert Goddard. By the 1930's the challenge was being tackled by Hermann Kemper who demonstrated the use of magnetic fields to produce the advantages of trains with aircraft features.
For some odd reason, in 1968, Americans James R. Powell and Gordon T. Danby were granted a patent for a magnetic levitation train but I guess Kemper was history by then.
Research and development programs have been conducted by Great Britain, Canada, Germany and Japan into Maglev technology.
German Maglev technology is now speeding passengers between ShangHai Airport and downtown and further installations are planned by China.
The US might realise huge savings by having China do the development of this launch device since it is, essentially, just a short run, high energy Maglev system.
The US Military/Industrial complex only knows how to build things at monstrous cost with not always successful conclusions.
Perhaps they could develope a gun using the same principle so the RN could shoot anything to hand as long as it fit a barrel. A very Green solution.