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

March 22, 2021
China started fielding the HSU001 large unmanned water vehicle (UUV) in October 2019; the vessel is about 16 feet long and about five feet wide.

BEIJING – The robot submarine (and unmanned surface ship) era nearly is upon us. Chinese naval strategists say they intend to circumvent their long-recognized weakness in submarine warfare by cultivating undersea artificial intelligence (AI) and by developing capable unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs). The National Interest reports. Continue reading original article

The Military & Aerospace Electronics take:

22 March 2021 -- The Achilles Heel of the Chinese navy long has been undersea warfare. The Middle Kingdom’s nuclear submarines are considered noisy, with their nuclear missile submarines only recently taking up what might loosely be considered an actual deterrent patrol.

The diesel submarine force relied on the imported Russian Kilo-class from Russia until the last decade. Even if China could field quiet submarines with proficient crews, the geography is not conducive to the extensive operation of submarines, given the shallow waters off of most of China’s coastal regions.

The Chinese navy also lacks experience in hunting adversary submarines, since it is just now starting to field advanced fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters for that purpose. Yet, now these trends are starting to reverse.

Related: Unmanned submarines seen as key to dominating the world’s oceans

Related: Chinese submarine-launched torpedoes getting more sophisticated, and may approach best U.S. ASW torpedoes

Related: China shows off powerful new weapons like carrier-killer missiles; are they sending a message?

John Keller, chief editor
Military & Aerospace Electronics

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of Military Aerospace, create an account today!