WATCH: Chinese AI-operated drone ship completes maiden sea voyage

Sub: The unmanned vessel can fight all types of enemies, local media says

Beijing’s unmanned stealth combat vessel has successfully completed its three-hour maiden sea voyage off Panzhi Island in the East China Sea, Chinese media reported on Saturday.

The state-run newspaper Global Times reported that the 200-ton ship can be sent into “dangerous combat zones” on reconnaissance missions and to fight aircraft, submarines and other surface vessels without the risk of casualties aboard.

The paper added that drone ships could be used for coastal defense, or operate alongside larger vessels.

The ship can travel at speeds of more than 20 knots (37kph) and sail safely in rough seas.

The South China Morning Post noted that the vessel’s design is similar to the US Navy’s stealth guided missile destroyer USS Zumwalt and the Sea Hunter naval drone.

Zou Long, the on-site project leader, told reporters that the drone will perform collision avoidance tests and undergo additional trials.

The ship was formally launched in 2019. It conducted test voyages on Poyang Lake in eastern China before sailing into the sea.

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