BEIJING - China is reportedly on the cusp of deploying submarines operated by robots and powered by artificial intelligence for reconnaissance operations as well as for suicide attacks.
According to a report published in South China Morning Post, the country is currently testing the robot submarines and may put these to use by early 2020. If the tests are successful and if these submarines are indeed put to use, China could exponentially increase its influence in the contested South China Sea and become a massive power in international waters where its current fleet of submarines undertake regular patrols.
Such submarines are reportedly also being tested by the US but what gives the Chinese an edge is that its technology would enable submarines to attack and explode autonomously. The submarines may not require human intervention and could differentiate between friendly and enemy targets. The project - known only as ' 912' currently - is on the lines of Japan's kamakazi style of attacks in which pilots crashed their planes into enemy ships in suicide operations.
The Chinese Navy is also expected to soon get its first indigenously built aircraft carrier and has rapidly expanded and modernised its current fleet of destroyers, submarines and cruiser ships.