As unmanned systems are paving the way for better and riskless conditions for today’s personnel, China has now developed and tested the first ever amphibious drone boat. This drone boat called the ‘Marine Lizard’ can operate in water as well as on land. With the addition of reconnaissance drones to this amphibious unmanned system, the marine lizard can be seen as worthy equipment to be used in combat along with the Sea, Land, and Air (SEAL) forces. The movement from sea to land is not an easily achievable feat. But the Chinese company Wuchang Shipbuilding Industry Group might have just accomplished a break-through solution for operating drones on both land and sea.
Specifications of the Marine Lizard
This amphibious drone boat, developed by Wuchang Shipbuilding Industry Group under China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (CSIC), has a maximum range of 1200 kilometres and it can be controlled remotely. In the sea, the Marine Lizard is a 12-meter-long trimaran that is propelled by a diesel-powered hydro jet. It can propel at a maximum speed of about 50 knots. Officials said that it can also operate in stealth mode while on the sea. As the drone boat approaches land, it releases four track units beneath its main body. It can travel at a speed of 20 kmph on land. The company is currently working on increasing drone speed by installing larger track units.
Why is the amphibious drone boat an important invention?
The drone boat can autonomously sail, avoid obstacles and plan routes on its own. The developers of the Marine Lizard claim that the Marine Lizard can also be sent on important missions in islands. The attack could be led by these unmanned autonomous systems, and they can send reconnaissance information to the troops that will then follow these systems into combat. The Marine Lizard can stay dormant for about eight weeks in a remote island before it enters into an operational mode after receiving orders from its control team. The addition of armed aerial drones makes the Marine Lizard a perfect combat autonomous system. This is because it can operate on any terrain reducing the fatality risks of soldiers, who may not have to directly enter the battlefield in the future.