Beijing: China has successfully tested the world’s first armed amphibious drone boat which the Chinese military analysts claimed could be used in land assault operations and is capable of forming a combat triad with aerial drones and other drone ships, according to a media report. The drone ship, named Marine Lizard, has successfully passed delivery checks. Having a maximum operation range of 1,200 km, the Marine Lizard can be remotely controlled via satellites, an official said.
In ship form, the 12-meter-long Marine Lizard is a trimaran propelled by a diesel-powered hydrojet and can reach a maximum speed of 50 knots while maintaining stealth, it said. When approaching land, the amphibious drone ship can release four continuous track units hidden under its belly, and travel at 20 km an hour on land, an official said.
The Marine Lizard’s payloads include an electro-optical system and a radar system. In the weapon department, it is equipped with two machine guns and a vertical launching system for anti-ship and anti-aircraft missiles, the official said. It can autonomously sail, avoid obstacles and plan routes, he said. 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, an anonymous military expert told daily.
Approaching land from the sea is a dangerous task, and the Marine Lizard can take advantage of its unmanned nature to discover enemy positions and provide suppressive fire as troops follow, the expert said. The drone boat is also a great choice for coastal defence.