The Chinese are developing and fine tuning robo-boats to overwhelm enemy vessels. A video surfaced on the Chinese news site DW News on May 29th. The video shows 56 unmanned robot boats performing highly coordinated maneuvers in the South China Sea. Robert Beckhusen of The National Interest talks about how China could use this low-cost method to overwhelm a much more advanced adversary.
A video from late May 2018 shows a swarm of 56 small, unmanned boats operating in the South China Sea. While a rudimentary demonstration, it mirrors similar exercises performed by U.S. Navy boats practicing — semi-autonomously — to defend harbors and intercept incoming vessels.
The Chinese robo-boats do not appear to be armed, but the company behind it — Yunzhou Tech Corporation — revealed an armed unmanned boat at a Beijing “Civil-Military Integration Expo” in July 2017.
The show focused on cutting-edge technologies that China believes could provide an “asymmetric” advantage in a conflict with the United States. Meaning, cheaper technologies and tactics that allow a weaker adversary to exploit unanticipated weaknesses in a more powerful opponent.
If the at-sea demonstration is any sign, those capabilities are developing.
Source: National Interest