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WorldChina built a stealth amphibious assault drone for island warfare, and it could be headed to the South China Sea

11:46  18 april  2019
11:46  18 april  2019 Source:   businessinsider.com

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China has built the world's first stealth amphibious assault drone boat for island warfare , the developer revealed recently, and Chinese military experts believe it could eventually be headed to the disputed South China Sea . Built for island assault operations and capable of operating on land and

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China built a stealth amphibious assault drone for island warfare, and it could be headed to the South China Sea© REUTERS/Nir Elias

China has built the world's first stealth amphibious assault drone boat for island warfare, the developer revealed recently, and Chinese military experts believe it could eventually be headed to the disputed South China Sea.

Built for island assault operations and capable of operating on land and at sea, the "Marine Lizard" amphibious drone ship was developed by the Wuhan-based Wuchang Shipbuilding Industry Group, a subsidiary of the state-owned China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (CSIC).

The 40-foot drone ship operates as a trimaran hydrojet in the water but switches to tracked propulsion as it treads ashore. The company claims it can maintain stealth at speeds up to 50 knots in the maritime domain. On land, though, the assault vehicle is limited to a little over 12 mph. Modifications, specifically increasing the size of the tracks, could offer improved mobility on land.

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China ’s navy is one step closer to greatly boosting its capabilities with the launch of a Type 075 ship, China ’s first modern amphibious assault vessel, a 40 The capabilities of Type 075 are significantly improved compared to the Type 071, also known as the Yuzhao-class, which currently serves as the

Marine Lizards can reach a top speed of 50 knots in the water and 20km/h (12.4 miles/hour) on land. Developer delivers batch of what it claims is the first weapon of its kind in the world. Topic | China ’s military.

The vessel's capabilities have not been publicly demonstrated.

The Marine Lizard, which carries its own onboard radar system, is equipped with two machine guns and vertical launch system cells capable of firing anti-ship and anti-aircraft missiles.

It is capable of "rapid assault and beach landings in accordance with operational requirements," CSIC explained, adding that it is able to "complete missions such as special operations troop transport, border patrol, near-shore warning operations, and island/reef airport protection."

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Amphibious assault ships, sometimes called helicopter landing docks, can be described as small aircraft carriers designed for island or coastal assaults . China 's most recent military developments could have a decisive impact on their pursuit for power in the South China Sea .

The Chinese military has eyes fixed on island warfare, be it a future fight for Taiwan or the contested islands and reefs in the East and South China Seas.

China's Global Times, citing a Chinese military expert, wrote recently that "this amphibious drone boat is suitable for island assault operations as a swarm of such drone ships could lead an attack following a first wave of artillery and air strikes."

Observers suspect the Marine Lizard could play a key role in a regional conflict. "In the South China Sea, it can be used to either seize a reef or guard a reef, both offensive and defensive," Chinese military analyst Song Zhongping told the South China Morning Post.

He added that the craft could be used to launch a surprise attack on an enemy island outpost.

CSIC claims that its new stealth amphibious assault drone, which has an operational range of 745 miles, has the unique ability to lie dormant for up to eight months, activated remotely at ranges of up to 30 miles, and immediately called into action.

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WASHINGTON — China 's navy has started construction on its next generation amphibious assault ship, the 075 Landing Helicopter Dock, according to the Previous, smaller amphibious assault ships in the PLA Navy's fleet have been deployed to the South China Sea to Fiery Cross Reef and other

USS America headed to intercept a Chinese government survey ship and several of its Coast Guard ships in a contested stretch of the South China Sea . The USS America amphibious assault ship and the USS Bunker Hill, a guided missile cruiser, have been deployed and were operating in the

The Marine Lizard can also, according to the developers, integrate into Chinese networks for combined arms operations with other unmanned systems relying on China's Beidou satellite navigation system.

Much like the US, China is preparing for the possibility of high-end conflict. But while Chinese warfighting has traditionally been characterized by the sacrificing of waves of Chinese troops in hopes of overwhelming an enemy, the country is now investing heavily in long-range weapons and unmanned combat systems, challenges that the American armed forces are actively working to counter.

Recently, US and Philippines troops participating in the annual Balikatan exercises practiced repelling an attempt by a foreign military power to seize an airfield on a small island, a not unfathomable possibility given persistent tensions in the South China Sea.

Read More: US troops are training with a key ally to repel an island invasion as a possible South China Sea fight looms

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