China launched an unmanned combat ship yesterday with its developer claiming the vessel is combat-ready.
The ship has a length of about 15 meters and a displacement of 20 tons, is capable of conducting air defense, anti-ship and anti-submarine missions thanks to a phased array radar system, vertical-launched missiles and torpedoes.
State owned media which broke the news said the unmanned ship christened as “JARI” was jointly developed by No. 716 and No. 702 research institutes under the state-owned China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (CSIC).
The JARI multi-purpose unmanned combat vessel held its launch ceremony on Wednesday at an undisclosed location, according to a statement the No. 716 Research Institute of CSIC released on its WeChat account on Wednesday.
The launch indicates the world-leading combat drone ship has gained initial combat capability, the statement said. It will still need further tests to unlock its full potential of being a fully autonomous combat drone ship, according to the statement.
A Chinese State TV report of the IDEX display had said that the JARI can either be remotely controlled, or use its in-built artificial intelligence to autonomously navigate and undertake combat activities. It can also collaborate with other AI-equipped military assets to form an attacking swarm.