China’s “Innovative Design”-The PLA Navy announces the world’s first AI-powered drone carrier with incredible features

China launched an unmanned vessel named Zhu Hai Yun on May 18. The vessel can be remotely controlled, navigates autonomously in the open ocean, and carries dozens of drones, submarines, and other vessels for marine research. ..

The ship is 88.5 meters long, 14 meters wide and 6.1 meters deep, with a design displacement of 2,000 tons. She has a top speed of 18 knots (33 km / h) and can sail at 13 knots (24 km / h).

Dozens of unmanned aerial vehicles, including drones, unmanned aerial vehicles, and underwater vessels, can be mounted on the vast deck of the ship. All of these are part of the Intelligent Mobile Ocean Stereo Observation System (IMOSOS) for ships developed by the Institute for Marine Science and Engineering, Southern Guangdong Province. ..

The system is said to be the first in the world and, according to Science and Technology Daily, can be used to monitor the marine environment, prevent and mitigate marine disasters, maintain offshore wind farms, and provide accurate marine information.

Zhu Haiyun (Photo: Handout via South China Morning Post)

“Intelligent unmanned vessels are beautiful and new’marine life’that will revolutionize ocean observations,” the Institute’s director, Chen Dake, told Science and Technology Daily in 2021.

Construction of Zhu Haiyun was started in Guangzhou last July by Zhongfeng Huangpu Shipyard, a subsidiary of China National Shipbuilding Corporation, the largest shipbuilding company in China. The ship will soon begin sea trials and will be delivered by the end of this year.

Most of the ships were made locally, according to Funley, chief designer of the Nakafune Huangpu Shipyard.

“Equipped power systems, propulsion systems, intelligence systems, and research and operation support systems are all developed by China,” Fan told Science and Technology Daily last year.

The emergence of unmanned aerial vehicles

The rapid development of artificial intelligence has given way to increasing the role of unmanned platforms for ocean security, sea lane control, and competition for marine resources.

Therefore, the PLA Navy is also working on the China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC), especially the Unmanned Surface Ship (USV) known as JARI, developed by the No. 702 Research Institute and the No. 716 Research Institute.

The 15.24 meter long small aircraft is called a mini destroyer because of its ambitious weapons and sensor compatibility. The Remote Weapon Station (RWS) will be equipped with a small vertical launch system (VLS) for surface-to-air missiles and two lightweight torpedo tubes. In addition, the sensors include phased array radar, electro-optic devices, and sonar.

JARI USV (Twitter)

The People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) first announced JARI as a model in 2018, announced a prototype in August 2019, and conducted a sea trial in January 2020.

China tests JARI at a secret PLAN pier near Dalian, just 9 miles from Xiaoping Island’s submarine base, based on Maxar’s satellite imagery and open-source analysis, according to HI Sutton of the US Navy Research Institute (USNI). doing. Intelligence.

Several other navies have predicted USVs at the heart of future strategies, such as the U.S. Navy, and have set up overall operational commands dedicated to testing and developing the next-generation USV known as Unmanned Surface Ships Division 1. I am.

“It’s clear that unmanned systems are important for future operations and need to provide affordable, deadly, and scalable connected capabilities,” said Admiral Michael Gildi, Chief of Naval Operations. It is reportedly mentioned by the Marine Research Institute last year. Engineering, science and technology.

US Navy Sea Hunter USV (Wikimedia Commons)

“That’s why we’re currently expanding and developing a range of drones and surface ships that play a central role in shifting focus to smaller platforms that operate in a more decentralized way,” Gilday adds. I did.

With the exception of the United States and China, the United Kingdom, Australia, Singapore and Turkey have also adopted USVs in their navies early on.

PLA’s upcoming drone carrier amphibious assault ship

Zhu Hai Yun is not only an unmanned ship, but also a “drone carrier”, under development, and a prelude to the PLAN Type 076 Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD), which is said to be capable of carrying unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAVs). It may be a song. ..

The Type 076 is a next-generation amphibious assault ship currently being developed as a successor to the PLAN Type-075LHD. It will be equipped with the Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) for launching airplanes from aircraft carriers. A similar system is installed on the US Navy’s Ford-class aircraft carrier.

Rendering of type 076 (Reddit)

China’s Stealth GJ-11 Sharp Sword UCAV is reportedly one of the drones scheduled to board the Type 076LHD, based on a CG simulation presented by the China Aviation Industry Group at the Zhuhai Air Show last year. there is.

The simulation showed a stealth drone that does not belong to the Liaoning or Shandong aircraft carriers and, unlike the current Type 075 amphibious assault ship, takes off from a ship with a full straight deck, suggesting that it may be a Type 076LHD.

The GJ-11 UAV has a length of 12.2 meters, a wing width of 14.4 meters, a height of 2.7 meters, a maximum takeoff weight of over 10 tons, an estimated payload of about 1.9 tons, and a combat radius of over 1,500. Kilometers with a durability of 6 hours.

To understand the emergence of USV and UCAV over the next few years, EurAsian Times spoke with Indian Navy Lieutenant General Shekhar Sinha (retd).

Admiral Shinha said: Until the USV’s level of confidence in such time increases, it may be just an “additional asset” and not a major asset. “

“Using UCAV in real-time situations may be possible within a few years, but it is virtually impossible to replace a manned aircraft. Computers can’t think of it.”

There are also reports that India is considering developing a third aircraft carrier that can accommodate both fighter and unmanned aerial vehicles.

“There is controversy about the third aircraft carrier, and funding will be a big factor. These are within 10 years and making predictions is only speculation,” the Admiral asked about these reports. I said when I was asked.

Turkish Navy becomes the world’s first to deploy drone carriers

Meanwhile, Turkey is also pursuing the concept of a drone carrier, and its TCG Anadolu LHD is currently conducting a series of sea trials.

Built by the Turkish Sedef Shipyard in collaboration with Navantia of Spain, the TCG Anadolu is based on the Spanish Navy’s multipurpose amphibious assault ship and aircraft carrier SPS Juan Carlos I of Spain.

The ship was initially expected to operate a short-range takeoff vertical landing (STOVL) version of the F-35, but Turkey purchased the Russian S-400 surface-to-air missile system in 2019, so Turkey will have the F-35 program. It was deleted from. Missile system.

TCG Anadolu (Turkish Media)

As a result, TCG Anadolu is now reported to be equipped with an indigenous Hürjet light trainer attack aircraft and the Navy version of the Bayraktar combat drone, the TB-3. This drone is still under development and is designed for takeoff and landing. An LHD type ship using a simple roller system and rescue net.

Haluk Bayraktar, CEO of Turkish drone maker Baykar, announced a new launch system for TCG Anadolu at an online event last year. The artwork Bayraktar posted during his presentation painted the Baikal TB-2 / 3 drone on Anadolu’s deck.

The drone is said to have a takeoff weight of 1,450 kilograms, a 24-hour flight durability, and foldable wings for storage on board.

In addition, TCG Anadolu will also be equipped with Bayraktar Kyzyl Madron, a jet-powered, single-engine, low-observation, supersonic, carrier-based unmanned combat aircraft under development by Baikal.

Bayraktar TB3 and MIUS together at TCG ANADOLU (Baikal Defense)

With a maximum takeoff weight of 6000 kg and a flight durability of 5 hours, the new drone is reported to have aggressive maneuvers, advanced artificial intelligence, and the ability to perform air-to-air combat like a manned fighter. ..

TCG Anadolu is planned to have a capacity of 30 to 50 drones. She will start her port acceptance test on March 7, and she will be in service of the Turkish Navy by the end of 2022. She is also planned for TCG Anadolu’s sister ship, TCG Trakya.

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