China is developing underwater AI robots that can hide in the sea and attack enemy vessels with torpedoes WITHOUT human guidance
- Unmanned underwater vehicles were developed over a decade ago in China
- They use artificial intelligence to identify the target and attack it with a torpedo
- Drones use sonar and onboard sensors to fetch data while operating in the sea
- Comes as China warned Japan against getting involved in a dispute over Taiwan
China is developing underwater AI robots that can hide in the sea and attack enemy vessels with torpedoes without human guidance.
The unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs) were developed in experiments over a decade ago and successfully managed to use artificial intelligence to find a dummy submarine and attack it with a torpedo.
In the experiments, conducted in the Taiwan Strait, saw the UUV deployed on fixed course 30ft below the surface.
China is developing underwater AI robots that can hide in the sea and attack enemy vessels with torpedoes without human guidance (pictured, an ‘Orca’ undersea drone being built by Boeing for the US Navy)
It was able to identify the location of the submarine, change course, circle the target, and then fire at the dummy with an unarmed torpedo.
The UUV used sonar and onboard sensors to fetch data, which were analysed by the computer, to help it make complete the task.
The experiments were described in papers written by researchers at Harbin Engineering University in 2010 and declassified last week.
‘The needs of future underwater warfare bring new development opportunities for the unmanned platforms,’ wrote the scientists, led by Professor Liang Guolong.
He added the UUVs – which have presumably developed since 2010 – could be programmed to operate in a group and make simultaneous attacks on one target.
The drone was able to identify the location of the submarine, change course, circle the target, and then fire at the dummy with an unarmed torpedo (pictured, a British submarine)
China conducted the tests in the Taiwan Strait – a contested body of water that Beijing claims, with the island, as its own
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China conducted the tests in the Taiwan Strait – a contested body of water that Beijing claims, with the island, as its own.
The oddly timed announcement comes after China warned Japan against offering to join forces with the US military to defend Taiwan.
An opinion column in Global Times claimed Japan was ‘digging its own grave’ by offering to defend Taiwan from China alongside the US.
The article also said Japan was ‘powerless’ against the Chinese military and warned it not to cross Beijing’s ‘red lines’.
UUVs are already used by commercial shipping companies and navies but they have never been used in combat.
Several UUVs have been washed up on various beaches in Asia. In December, Indonesia fishermen found a two-metre unmanned underwater drone in waters near Selayar Island, just off South Sulawesi.
The UUV was reported to authorities six days later and images published in local media showed Indonesian military officers posing with the long grey drone, identified as a Chinese Haiyi, or ‘Sea Wing’.
The high-tech unpowered surveillance device is known as a glider and utilises variable-buoyancy propulsion to explore the waters.
Local media said the drone was ‘in the shape of a missile’, made of aluminium, and was 225cm in length with a 50cm wing on either side. A rear antenna attached to the equipment is also 93cm in length.
In December, Indonesia fishermen found a two-metre unmanned underwater drone (pictured) in waters near Selayar Island, just off South Sulawesi
The UUV was reported to authorities and was being inspected by the Indonesian military. Local media shared pictures of officers posing with the submarine drone (pictured)
A UUV (Chinese UUV pictured) is used to gather oceanographic data such as temperature