CHINA has been developed secret “Sea Hunter” warships capable of firing torpedoes at a top secret naval base, satellite pictures suggest.
The damning images appear to show a new model of Uncrewed Surface Vessels (USVs) docked at a sleepy seaside pier on China’s north coast.
China built their JARI USV fleet in 2018 and is believed to be storing them at a secluded pier at Dalian, according to UNSI News.
Dubbed a “mini-destroyer”, JARI is a small 50 foot-long craft with a remote weapons that can fire surface-to-air missiles and lightweight torpedo, the outlet reports.
It operates on state-of-the-art phased-array radars, electro-optical devices and sonar and was developed by the China State Shipbuilding Corporation.
The latest model is much larger – some 20 feet bigger – and has a more substantial “superstructure” engineered to provide sharper configuration.
Experts say China is storing another secret warship at the newly-bauilt site, which was constructed in 2017.
They say the pier is used “intermittently” by the People’s Liberation Army Navy and once housed submarines, including the Type-035 Ming Class boat, which was seen performing pier-side ballast tests, according to USNI News.
Xiaopingdao naval base – which home to some of China’s submarine fleet – is less than nine miles away.
Another USV of the same length was detected in the images captured by Maxar.
Also around the 70ft mark, this USV is more like a large catamaran and shares many of the same killer features of a JARI.
Pundits have likened China’s USVs to the US Navy’s Sea Hunter vessels.
At £147million a ship, the Sea Hunter fleet is the US Navy’s latest generation of unmanned warships.
With a potential to travel “from San Diego to Guam and back to Pearl Harbor on a tank of gas”, these surreptitious boats are designed for ultimate stealth and can ran on their own using optical and radar guidance.
China’s maritime build-up comes as it ploughs billions of dollars into stealth bombers, hypersonic missiles and even terminator troops in what experts say is a push to prepare for high-tech war with the US.
Its “Carrier Killer” missile comprises of a rocket that flies to around 25 miles above the earth and then launches a Hypersonic Glide Vehicle (HGV).
Armed with warheads, it travels at 10 times the speed of sound and can be steered onto a target with such accuracy analysts believe only artificial intelligence and computer systems can stop them.
China is also developing a new advanced stealth bomber capable of hitting major US bases in the Pacific with nuclear weapons.
Drones also play a key role in China’s high-tech strategy to take on America, and include ones that can fly at hypersonic speeds and use artificial intelligence.
The WZ-8 drone is able to fly at up to five times the speed of sound and is able to spy on US forces at large distances, while the CH-6 is designed to sink American ships.
This comes as tension in east Asia continues to rise.
In October, a US nuclear-powered submarine struck an underwater object in the South China Sea, its Navy has revealed.
The incident comes amid mounting tensions over Taiwan after China flew 129 warplanes close to the disputed island over three days – a record number of incursions – and recently launched its new stealth subs.
It has emerged that US troops had been reportedly working secretly with the Taiwan’s military as fears mount Beijing could soon attempt an invasion.
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