China reportedly developed unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV) able to attack enemy submarines autonomously

July 20, 2021
No details offered about how the UUV would identity underwater targets, about how it is powered, and what kinds of performance the UUV might have.

HONG KONG – A new report claims that China, apparently for decades now, has been working on underwater drones able to identify and attack hostile submarines autonomously. The Drive reports. Continue reading original article

The Military & Aerospace Electronics take:

20 July 2021 -- The once-secret unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV), may have been tested already in the strategically vital Taiwan Strait, back in 2010.

These revelations come from a military-funded research program that was partly declassified recently, according to the South China Morning Post. The UUVs in question have the ability to recognize, follow, and attack enemy submarines without human instruction, and was developed by the Harbin Engineering University, Beijing’s top submarine research institute. The same article also raises the possibility of a variant of the sub that could be planted on sea floors and activated in the event of a clash or war.

The concept seems to be based on using artificial intelligence (AI) technologies to identify and track submerged targets, promising results better than human sonar operators. Sonar operators still need to use their eyes and ears to make judgments on important issues such as identifying friendly vessels, with final decisions taken by the captain, the article asserts.

Related: China looks to artificial intelligence (AI) and unmanned underwater vehicles to boost submarine capabilities

Related: Navy eyes unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV) weapons payloads to stop or disable 160-foot ships at sea

Related: Unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV) for long-endurance persistent surveillance use introduced by Kongsberg

John Keller, chief editor
Military & Aerospace Electronics

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