The world’s first armed amphibious drone boat named “Marine Lizard”, which is guided by China’s BeiDou Navigation Satellite System has been successfully tested by China. With a capability of forming a combat triad with aerial drones and other drone ships, it could be used in land and sea assault operations.
The drone ship has been built by Wuchang Shipbuilding Industry Group under China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (CSIC).It has a maximum operation range of 1,200 kms and can be remotely controlled with the help of satellites.
Marine Lizard, 12-metres-long, is shaped in the form of a ship. It is a trimaran and is driven by a diesel-powered hydrojet that can reach a maximum speed of 50 knots while maintaining its furtiveness.While approaching land, it can release 4 continuous track units (hidden under its belly).
It can travel at 20 km per hour on land and the maximum land speed limit can be increased with the installation of larger track units.
For building this and the other machineries, the 2 million strong Chinese military (the largest in the world) has been equipped with about USD 178 billion defence budget.
The drone can autonomously sail, avoid obstacles, plan routes and its payloads include an electro-optical system and a radar system. It is also equipped with 2 machine guns and a vertical launching system for anti-ship and anti-aircraft missiles.
For coastal defence, Marine Lizard can remain dormant on an uninhabited island for 8 months, after which, on receiving orders, it would engage in combat.