A part of the Selayar Islands in Indonesia’s South Sulawesi province. An area fisherman reportedly discovered a “missile-like” glider off Selayar Island in December 2020.
Javed Hazara | iStock | Getty Photos
SINGAPORE — An underwater surveillance drone recovered deep inside Indonesian sovereign waters final month has been discovered to be of Chinese language origins, in line with protection analytics agency Janes.
The “missile-like” object with wings has been recognized because the Chinese language-built autonomous underwater glider Haiyi or “sea wing,” mentioned Kelvin Wong, Janes’ principal unmanned methods analyst, in a Sunday notice.
An area fisherman reportedly discovered the glider off Selayar Island in Indonesia’s South Sulawesi province, earlier than handing it over to the Indonesian navy. That is the third similar underwater glider present in Indonesian waters inside two years, mentioned Wong.
It isn’t identified the place and why the drone was initially deployed, however the location the place it was discovered is “disconnected from worldwide waterways and very distant from China’s adjoining maritime claims,” mentioned the analyst.
There hasn’t been any identified Chinese language scientific surveys in or round Indonesian waters that used these gliders in 2020, famous Wong. Underwater drones used within the final identified operation in December 2019 had been mentioned to have all been efficiently recovered, he mentioned.
Underwater gliders are sometimes used to conduct scientific analysis on the underwater setting, resembling gathering knowledge on chlorophyll and oxygen ranges, in addition to water temperature, mentioned the analyst.
Such knowledge are additionally helpful for naval operations, particularly in submarine and anti-submarine warfare, he added.
“Superior information of a area’s waters can allow submarines to function extra quietly and cut back the probability of discovery,” mentioned Wong.
“Conversely, intimate information of those underwater traits can support (anti-submarine warfare) personnel in looking probably hostile submarines.”
China has a “clearly mandated Army-Civil Fusion coverage” to make use of accessible information and applied sciences within the civilian and industrial area for navy benefits, defined Wong. Consequently, the “dual-use nature” of the data gathered by underwater gliders “will doubtless be exploited by the Chinese language navy, he mentioned.
Wong identified that the most recent underwater gliders discovered by Indonesian had been close to strategic waterways and chokepoints. It implies that knowledge gathered could also be utilized by China to boost the flexibility of its submarines and floor combatants to function in these waters, mentioned the analyst.