Share
News

Chinese Navy Drone Ship Seen at Sea, Experts Notice Critical Detail Right Away

Share

China has completed the first sea trial voyage of its latest domestically manufactured drone ship, the communist government’s media reported last week, and experts say elements of its design look suspiciously familiar.

The autonomous surface vessel has a displacement of approximately 200 metric tons and a maximum speed of over 20 knots, the state-run China Global Television Network reported.

Chinese authorities started testing the new vessel Tuesday near Panzhi Island in Zhoushan, Zhejiang Province, state-run Global Times reported.

“The voyage results are almost identical to what we expected. Next, we will conduct collision avoidance tests for the drone ship and further examine the vessel’s performance,” the project’s on-site leader said, according to Global Times.

The ship can operate in waters with conditions that go up to level 5 in the World Meteorological Organization’s sea state code, CGTN reported.

Trending:
AOC Accused of 'Literally Admitting to Election Interference' with Trump 'Ankle Bracelet' Comment

“Level 5” refers to situations where waves are between 2.5 and 4 meters in height and waters are rough.

Chinese authorities started developing the vessel in 2015 to deploy a highly advanced, autonomous ship that produces less noise than traditional vessels, CGTN reported.

If the ship enters into service, it could help expand and bolster Chinese naval capabilities, allowing the People’s Liberation Army to carry out new naval warfare tactics.

Of major importance: While the vessel is new to China, experts have pointed out critical detail that show its styles of construction are not all that new to the sea, according to The Jerusalem Post:

The vessel’s frame resembles the United States’ stealth Zumwalt-class destroyers, and it has with trimaran outriggers similar to those on the American Sea-Hunter drone ship, the Post reported. So, the new Chinese ship looks like a “hybrid” of two ships already deployed by the U.S. Navy, as the South China Morning Post described it.

China is no stranger to stealing American military secrets, including aircraft designs, through cyber espionage as well as the recruitment and bribery of individuals working closely with U.S. military projects.

The new Chinese ship was developed by the Chinese company Beikun Intelligence, according to The Jerusalem Post.

“At present, the unmanned boat is sailing autonomously in relatively open waters, and there is still some distance to go before it reaches the goal of high-speed autonomous navigation,” Beikun head Mu Hiafang told Chinese media, the Post reported.

Related:
Breaking: China Launches War Games Around Taiwan as 'Punishment'

All parts of the vessel are made in China, Mu told Chinese media, according to the South China Morning Post.

China, in recent years, has modernized its military technology, notably naval technology, at a significant pace.

Part of the Chinese government’s strategy to establish itself as a world power has been working gradually towards a naval force capable of operating in the “far seas,” according to Michael D. Swaine, a senior fellow with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

Is China a bigger threat to the U.S. than Russia?

With that said, the country has retained a focus on operating in the “near seas” to deal with regional disputes over the South China Sea and Taiwan.

While China has modernized its fleet in an attempt to secure a dominant foothold on near seas, America’s naval capabilities have been aging, as the Navy warned for years, according to Forbes.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →



We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

Tags:
, , , , , ,
Share
News reporter and international affairs analyst published and syndicated in over 100 national and international outlets, including The National Interest, The Daily Caller, and The Western Journal. Covers international affairs, security, and U.S. politics. Master of Arts in Security Policy Studies candidate at the George Washington University Elliott School of International Affairs
News reporter and international affairs analyst published and syndicated in over 100 national and international outlets, including The National Interest, The Daily Caller, and The Western Journal. Covers international affairs, security, and U.S. politics. Master of Arts in Security Policy Studies candidate at the George Washington University Elliott School of International Affairs. Follow Andrew on Twitter: @RealAndrewJose
Education
Georgetown University, School of Foreign Service
Location
Washington, District of Columbia
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish, Tamil, Hindi, French, Russian
Topics of Expertise
International Politics, National Security, U.S. Politics




Conversation