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China innovates with ‘drone’ mothership, USVs and semi-submersible transports

17th June 2022 - 04:38 GMT | by Gordon Arthur in Christchurch

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An artist’s rendering of the Zhu Hai Yun maritime research vessel, which has potential to steer naval utilisation or even to conduct military tasks itself. (Tsinghua University)

China continues to invest heavily in new capabilities, with a 'drone mothership', new stealth USVs, semi-submersible mobile platforms and landing craft all appearing in recent weeks.

China launched what is claimed to be the world’s first ‘drone’ mothership – one designed to carry multiple UAVs, UUVs and USVs – in Guangzhou on 18 May.

The futuristic-looking 88.5m-long ship is christened Zhu Hai Yun, and it is believed it can carry up to 50 autonomous vehicles. It has a vast stern deck that can accommodate all manner of UUVs, USVs and UAVs.

The 2,000t vessel was constructed by the Huangpu-Wenchong Shipyard, with work beginning in July 2021.

Huangpu is a subsidiary of the China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC), and this novel mothership was built alongside naval

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