Chinese Launch Fully Autonomous Drone Ship For Ocean Control

Chinese drop ship for ocean observations

Drone ship carrying yet more drones launches in China – The Register

China launched a vast ‘drone ship’ that could be used for military purposes as a hub for various unmanned weapons and surveillance systems. It is said to feature an advanced artificial intelligence operating system.

Chen Dake, director of the Southern Marine Science and Engineering Guangdong Laboratory (Zhuhai) of Sun Yat-sen University, believes the ship will bring revolutionary changes to ocean observation.

The Zhu Hai Yun (The ZHY) construction began in July of 2021 in Guangzhou, northwest of Hong Kong. The ship measures 290 feet long, 46 feet wide, and 20 feet deep and can sail at a top speed of 18 knots.

The ZHY, a Chinese ship with AI and drone-carrying capabilities, can perform secondary military functions, such as searching for targets of interest and coordinating persistent observation of those targets.

The ship can launch uncrewed submarines with the capability to gather three-dimensional dynamic observations, which would prove particularly significant if China became involved in a conflict in the Pacific. It would also be helpful for wide-area surveillance and the employment of boat and aerial drone swarms.

China has been investing significant resources into unmanned technology and AI/machine learning, including small drone swarming capabilities and platforms to field aerial drones at sea.

The launch of The ZHY has been reported as a triumph for Chinese marine research, but the vessel is speculated to be for anti-submarine warfare.

The ZHY is a ship with huge potential for Chinese maritime defense, both in fielding weapons and obtaining real-time surveillance. Its launch underscores China’s recent efforts to dominate AI.

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