Zhu Hai Yun, or Zhuhai Cloud, was launched in Guangzhou after a year of construction. The ship is about 88 meters long and can reach a maximum speed of 18 knots (about 32 km/h) and carry 50 flying, surface and underwater drones, which are automatically launched into the water and returned to the ship.
According to the shipbuilding company, which was engaged in the construction of an unmanned vessel, Zhuhai Cloud will be equipped with a variety of additional surveillance tools. These tools can be deployed in whole batches in the desired marine area and are capable of providing a three-dimensional overview for specific purposes. Most of the ship is an open deck where drones are stored and landed. The vessel is also equipped with equipment for launching and repairing water vehicles.
Dake Chen, director of the Southern Guangdong Marine Science and Technology Laboratory, which owns Zhuhai Cloud, told the state-run China Daily newspaper that the ship would be capable of more than just research.
“Zhuhai Cloud is not only an incredibly accurate tool for studying the seas, but also a platform for preventing and mitigating the consequences of marine disasters, accurately mapping the seabed and monitoring the marine environment,” Chen explained.