The ship is said to be capable of carrying dozens of drones, unmanned ships and submarines
China has unveiled the world’s first autonomous drone carrier, which can be used for both maritime research and security purposes, hosting dozens of unmanned aircraft, local media reported.
The South China Morning Post reported that the 8-meter ship, named Zhu Hai Yun, was launched on Wednesday. The ship could be controlled remotely or navigate autonomously in open water, the report said, adding that it would make a significant contribution to marine scientific research and observation. China’s Science and Technology Daily reports that Zhu Hai Yun could be deployed for marine disaster prevention and offshore wind farm maintenance.
In addition to these civilian uses, carriers may be deployed to intercept. “Offensive targets.“
Zhu Hai Yun, which operates unmanned ships and submarines with the exception of a swarm of drones, is able to navigate without human intervention for a unique on-board artificial intelligence system. Known as the Intelligent Mobile Ocean Stereo Observing System (IMOSOS), it was developed by the Southern Marine Science and Engineering Guangdong Laboratory.
Speaking to the Science and Technology Daily Outlet last year, the director of the laboratory, Chen Deck, said:Intelligent, unmanned ships are a beautiful, new ‘marine species’ that will revolutionize marine observation.“
The drone carrier can reach speeds of up to 18 knots (33 km per hour), according to Chinese media.
Zhu Hai Yun, whose parts were all designed and made in China, is expected to enter service by the end of the year.
Turkey is following a similar technology. Last May, Forbes reported that national drone maker Baker Anadolu Assault had come up with a way to turn the ship into a drone carrier. But judging by media reports, Ankara has not yet implemented the project.