China is working on killer robot ships of its own


ABU DHABI –The Chinese shipbuilder China Shipbuilding and Offshore International Company is developing a small unmanned surface vessel that China wants to function essentially like the uninhabited baby brother of a U.S. Arleigh Burke destroyer.

The JARI USV is a 20-ton, 15-meter boat that is orders of magnitude smaller than the People’s Liberation Army Navy’s manned Type -55 destroyer but has all the same mission areas: anti-submarine, anti-surface and anti-air warfare.

A model of the drone was on display at the International Defense Exhibition and Conference in Abu Dhabi.

‘The JARI comes equipped with electro-optical sensor atop a superstructure, a phased array radar, a dipping sonar, eight small vertical launch system cells, a torpedo launcher and a forward mounted machine gun and rocket launcher for counter-surface engagements, according to a model displayed at the International Defense Exhibition and Conference.

The U.S. Navy has been increasingly discussing its desire to pursue unmanned technologies to fight on the surface and subsurface, employing a network of sensor and shooter drones to penetrate anti-access environments such as the South China Sea. The JARI seems to be at least part of China’s response to that kind of warfare.