JB Press (Japan): a new strategic threat in the East China and South China seas – unmanned submarines China Navy

June 18 this year, the Ministry of defense of Japan published a report about the discovery in the waters of the island Amamioshima of a group of Islands of Amami in the Ryukyu archipelago in the East China sea Chinese submarine. It was moving in the immersed state to the West.

Movement of submarines of any state is a military secret and under no circumstances these countries were not disclosed. Usually not disclosed and received information about the movements of enemy submarines. However, Japan it is well known that Chinese submarines are active in the surrounding southern seas.

In recent years, America, Russia and China are paying close attention to the development of a new type of underwater vehicles — unmanned submarines. Before Japan suddenly loomed a new strategic military threat.

The Japanese military authorities became aware that the main type being developed by China unmanned submarines have now become the devices of HSU-001. In this regard, the Japanese defense Ministry is studying a new strategy against them.

China is actively promoting the creation of new unmanned submarines

At the military parade held in October 2019 and is dedicated to the celebration of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the PRC, were presented the newest samples of Chinese military equipment. Particular attention was paid to solid Intercontinental ballistic missile “Dongfeng-41”, a two-stage ballistic missile “Cuilan-2” for submarines of project 094 “Jin” and the supersonic air-launched missiles, the DF-17.

Unmanned underwater vehicles HSU-001 this public attention is not attracted, but was immediately noticed by specialists.

Until now, China has been actively working on aerial drones. Famous military enterprise in China MIC DJF produces up to 70% of the world production of military drones, and in June of 2017 the Chinese “Scientific and technical enterprise of electronic industry” successfully massively experienced advanced drone type “119”.

Chinese drones are designed to use both ground and surface and underwater objects and military infrastructure. They are low profile and can be successfully used in reconnaissance and strike operations.

Chinese military-industrial complex actively uses the technology of flying drones when you create such underwater vehicles. Their technical level is high.

Chinese unmanned underwater vehicles are starting to pose a serious threat to Japanese naval forces. It should be recognized that in Japan measures and strategies to counter them while are developed poorly.

Trends in the development of unmanned submarines and their tasks

Modern combat unmanned submarine can be semi-Autonomous and fully Autonomous. In any case no people. So this weapon is cheap, resistant to enemy attacks and can work in an environment unbearable for the human body. They often denote the three English D — “dull” (resistant), “dirty” (capable of working in hazardous environments), and “dangerous” (dangerous).

The functionality of unmanned submarines is largely determined by their size. Small underwater vehicles of this type usually carry onboard sensors and various electronic equipment and are mainly used for reconnaissance purposes. Large underwater drones in addition to the sensors can be on combat torpedoes and mines and to participate in various military operations.

Below the current classification of underwater drones.

The size of the device

Case diameter

The way you start

Small (small)

8 — 26 cm

From a submarine or surface ship

Medium (medium)

26 — 53 cm

From a submarine or surface ship

Large (large)

53 — 213 cm

From a submarine or surface ship

Extra large (extra large)

Over 213 cm

From the shore

Reliable unmanned submarines is a new and challenging direction, in front of which stands a number of urgent problems that require solutions.

— The problem of energy resource. Modern underwater drones run on electricity, therefore on the foreground puts forward the problem of maximizing the capacity and life of batteries and energy saving. Now for underwater drones are created hidden bottom points of the contactless charging, which are designed to ensure the completion of their batteries.

— Reliable system composizionibagni. Designed as underwater and surface positioning system. Important place here is stealth, i.e., minimum number of exits of the device outward to define his position. Therefore, a special role is played by the accuracy and compatibility of conventional means of positioning on the sea with drones.

The transmission system of collected intelligence data. While the main method here is “fired” information from the extended to the surface of the antenna to the satellite. However, such technology is vulnerable from the security point of view. In this regard, developed an underwater acoustic means of information transfer. However, significant progress is yet to be achieved.

— System of self-defense. Long stay underwater drones into the sea increases the likelihood of obtaining various damages from large marine animals from collisions with unknown obstacles from getting in the fishing nets, etc. To avoid such situations extremely important, a reliable system locations, as well as an effective system of identification “friend or foe”.

Tactical and technical data of Chinese underwater drones

Underwater drone HSU-001 has a diameter of about 1.5 meters and a length of 5 meters. This is about 1/15 of ordinary Chinese submarine.

The device has two push screws and in normal mode moves at a relatively low velocity at shallow depth. In the hull of the submarine installed the steering propeller, which allows it to move in a vertical direction. In case two hidden retractable antenna. The front is an optical sensor, and the rear antenna for communication.

On the nose of the drone installed sonar sensor, and also a circular sonar to avoid collisions with obstacles. At the rear of the vertical steering is the steering sensor.

HSU-001 do not have a high autonomy, which have American counterparts. It is controlled by commands that come through the rear antenna.

In the case of the Chinese drone show multiple suspension points, which is probably mounted torpedoes or mines. Experts believe that the submarines HSU-001 may act as a “flock” or “swarm” as the Chinese drones.

The most likely application scenario HSU-001

According to reports, super-large American underwater drone Sea Voyager is capable of charge and without cover for a few months about 10 000 kilometers. That is, at speeds of 5 knots per hour, he is able to travel a distance of 2500 kilometers from the waters of GUAM to Shanghai in about 2 weeks. Then, 1 month after staying in this area, he had two weeks to return to base.

During this RAID device can act completely autonomously, collecting intelligence information, making mine-laying or carrying out attacks on enemy ships.

HSU-001 are much more modest than Sea Voyager and for its size, and its capabilities. In addition, Chinese drone is not Autonomous and continuously receive commands for their actions. It does not increase his proficiency.

Main intelligence tool HSU-001 is its optical surveillance system that he uses on the surface. Only the danger signals from the sonar sensors and the camera dives into the depths. In this regard, it is characterized by a large consumption of electricity. A lot of energy is required to transmit the command posts surround a visual reconnaissance information. Therefore, long-term operations HSU-001 needs to be located on the seabed charging stations.

Of course, as Sea Voyager, HSU-001 may under certain conditions be used for attacks on submarines and surface ships of the enemy, as well as for setting min.

Legal aspects of the use of underwater drones

After the 1996 Chinese nuclear submarine of project 091 “Han” intruded into the territorial waters of Japan, and the country was immediately introduced, the international legal system, forcing violators to emerge and leave the area of the invasion.

Unfortunately, this system was not accompanied by any measures of coercion.

This applies even more to foreign underwater drones. In practice we have no choice but to pursue such a device and silently wait for the end of his mission.

In December 2016, the Chinese Navy seized the American underwater drone, has been collecting Oceanographic information in the South China sea. In response to the stringent demands of the United States, China eventually returned to the Americans their military unmanned submarine, but required to stop any research in this area.

Now in connection with a wide spread in the world of underwater drones it is time and urgent to define the international legal parameters for their use. This is all the more necessary that after the rapid development of such technologies in the U.S., this race has also entered China. His achievements in drone technology suggests that in the field of underwater drones make progress.

Japan Institute of military information and strategic studies, a non — governmental research organization which studies a wide spectrum of issues in military, economic, informational and other types of security in Japan. Established in March 2012. Closely connected with the Japanese government and the Ministry of defence. Sponsored by the Corporation of Mitsubishi. Composed of researchers — many prominent scientists, retired military and diplomats of high rank. Director of the Institute of Kinyeti Nishimura — served in high positions in the self-defense forces of Japan, led a government “Center for strategic research”.