Military Review

Unmanned surface ships: a threat from the East


Unmanned surface ships (BENK) are being actively developed by the armed forces of the leading countries of the world. The article Unmanned surface ships: the threat from the West we examined the BENK projects being developed in the USA, the EU countries and Israel.

No less attention is paid to the development of unmanned surface ships in the PRC. China is actively developing the direction of creating unmanned weapons. And he achieved significant success in this field. Like other countries in the world, China initially paid maximum attention to aviation complexes - unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

However, in parallel, work was carried out in the interests of fleet... Considering the pace of construction of the Chinese naval forces (Navy), there is no doubt that in the foreseeable future, the PRC will flood the ocean with BENK of various classes and purposes.


One of the implemented projects is the unmanned boat M75A (pictured at the beginning of the article). It is primarily designed to counter violations at sea by pirates and smugglers.

The M75A boat patrols the water area with a radius of 50 kilometers (the range is most likely limited by the range of the communication system that provides control of the unmanned boat). The M75A can detect and recognize vessels at any time of the day. Pursuit of the target can be carried out at speeds up to 35 knots.


The Beijing Sifang Automation Research and Production Company has developed the SeaFly-01 unmanned boat. The base model has a body length of 10,25 meters and a width of 3,7 meters. Dimensions can be adjusted at the request of the customer.

The maximum speed is 45 knots. The maximum cruising range is over 400 kilometers.

Unmanned boat SeaFly-01.

The SeaFly-01 multi-section body is made of composite materials. It provides increased internal volume for storing equipment and cargo. And also work at wave heights up to 2,5 meters.

The low height, "faceted" hull configuration and the use of radio-absorbing materials significantly reduce the visibility of the unmanned boat SeaFly-01.

The SeaFly-01 is propelled by two jet propellers.

Unmanned surface ships: a threat from the East
Unmanned boat SeaFly-01.

The unmanned boat SeaFly-01 is equipped with advanced control systems and automation equipment. It can not only be controlled by the operator, but also automatically follow a given route, independently choose a route, avoid collisions with obstacles and automatically return to the base.

Several unmanned boats SeaFly-01 can be linked into one network.

An attack by enemy surface ships (NK) by a coordinated group of dozens of small BENKs, carried out simultaneously from several directions, will distract the enemy, inflict damage on surface ships, even weak ones weapons such as multifunctional anti-tank guided missiles (ATGM) or automatic cannons of 30 mm caliber, due to the destruction of vulnerable points - radar canvases, short-range anti-aircraft missile systems (SAM), control room, deck helicopters.

Also, small BENK can clarify the coordinates of the enemy's NK for a subsequent attack with anti-ship missiles (ASM). Theoretically, BENK can carry out attacks of the "kamikaze" type, implementing self-detonation at the side of the enemy's NK.

The US Arleigh Burke-class destroyer Koul suffered significant damage after a terrorist attack on a small ship.

Destruction of small vessels can be difficult due to their small physical dimensions, high speed and low visibility. At the same time, the cost of weapons spent on the destruction of small unmanned surface ships may be higher than the BENK itself being hit.

Testing unmanned vessels operating in a group

The carrying capacity of BENK SeaFly-01 is 1,5 tons. Various reconnaissance means can be installed on the mast and / or in the sealed compartment - radar and optical-location stations (radar and OLS), as well as other equipment.

Control can be carried out directly at a distance of up to 50 kilometers. At longer ranges, control is carried out through satellite communications and the Chinese satellite navigation system BeiDou.

An interesting feature is that unlike the American global positioning system GPS and the Russian GLONASS, the Chinese BeiDou system itself can act in a limited format as a satellite communication system, allowing you to transmit and receive short data packets. This makes it possible in an emergency, for example, when communication satellites fail, to give the command to the unmanned boat to return to the base.

Operator's console of the unmanned boat SeaFly-01.

Some modifications of the SeaFly-01 can subsequently be armed with machine guns of 5,8 or 12,7 mm caliber, as well as ATGM.


One of the promising projects is the development of an unmanned surface ship JARI-USV with a length of 15 meters and a displacement of 20 tons. The speed of BANK JARI-USV reaches 42 knots (77 km / h), the cruising range is 500 nautical miles or 926 kilometers.

The BANK JARI-USV reconnaissance equipment includes a phased-array radar, sonar and OLS. Four radar canvases provide an overview of the airspace at a distance of up to 100 kilometers.

Unmanned surface ship JARI-USV.

BANK JARI-USV is created on a modular basis, which allows you to mount equipment and weapons on it based on the task at hand. It is planned that the JARI-USV can be armed with a vertical launch unit (UVP) for eight multipurpose ATGM HJ-10, a torpedo tube and / or a module with an automatic cannon of 30 mm caliber.

BANK JARI-USV model with weapons

BANK JARI-USV presentation


Yunzhou Intelligence Technology (Yunzhou-Tech) has developed a series of BENK type M80, designed to solve problems of exploration and hydrography.

The BENK M80A hull is implemented according to the “trimaran with hydrofoil” scheme and is made of several layers of the company's patented foamed carbon fiber.

Its length is 4,8 meters, width - 2,35 meters, height above water - about 1,35 meters.

The small profile of the vessel (in combination with inclined surfaces and the use of radio-absorbing materials) provides the M80A with low radar signature.

BENK М80А can operate at wave heights up to 2,5 meters.

It is driven by two electric motors, providing it with a cruising range of up to 200 nautical miles at speeds up to 10 knots.


BENK М80А is equipped with a universal compartment with dimensions of 1,5x1,2x0,5 meters and a carrying capacity of 150 kg, which can accommodate side-scan sonars and other equipment necessary for carrying out hydrological work - acoustic Doppler current profilers, multi-beam echo sounders, towed solid bottom profilers and multi-parameter probes.

The communication range with the BENK M80A is 5-15 kilometers, and there is also 4G communication equipment on board, which makes it possible to use commercial LTE cellular networks. And with the help of specialized equipment (directional antenna?) To transmit large amounts of data at a distance of up to 30 kilometers.


The China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) is developing a line of BENK, which should include models of various dimensions.

CASC's BENK lineup includes the B850, A1150, C1500 and D3000 models (other modifications may appear later).

The B850 is a high-speed unmanned boat designed for patrol and expeditionary operations. The length of its hull is 8,8 meters, the maximum speed is up to 40 knots, and the autonomy is about a day.

Unmanned boat B850

The next model - A1150 (with a hull length of 11,5 meters) is intended for use as a survey vessel. A modification of the C1500 with a hull length of 15 meters is used to combat submarines.

The reconnaissance equipment installed on the CASC BENK can include sonars, radar and OLS. The reconnaissance capabilities are complemented by an onboard UAV-quadrocopter.

The armament of the above-mentioned BENK includes remote-controlled modules with 7,62 mm or 12,7 mm machine guns. Additionally, ATGM units can be installed. Modifications A1150 and C1500 can be equipped with torpedo armament.

The most ambitious project is the D3000 vessel with a length of 30 meters, with a cruising range of up to 450 nautical miles and an autonomy of up to 90 days.

The project allows for the possibility of increasing the size of the vessel, with a corresponding increase in cruising range and autonomy.

BENK D3000 is planned to be equipped with a hybrid power plant, including propulsion electric motors, which will be powered by diesel generators. Gas turbines can be used instead of diesel engines.

A large capacity battery will keep running when the main power supply fails. Also, the battery BENK D3000 can carry out low-noise patrolling at low speed. It is assumed that additional photocells can be installed on the body to recharge the batteries.

Unmanned surface ship D3000

The D3000 is a trimaran. Its maximum speed is about 40 knots. It operates at wave heights up to 10 meters.

The payload of BENK D3000 is up to 10 tons. The modular implementation of the project allows you to flexibly assemble equipment and weapons in accordance with the customer's requirements.

The BANK D3000 is controlled via ChinaSat satellite communication (it is obvious that there is also a direct radio control channel).

In the front of the hull, a Ture 730 CIWS armament module is installed with a 30 mm multi-barreled automatic cannon, which includes a radar and an OLS for detection and guidance.

The D3000 is designed to operate autonomously, as part of a BENK group or as part of a combined flotilla, including BENK and NK of different classes, performing reconnaissance tasks, striking ground and surface targets, and anti-submarine warfare.

At this stage, the basic design of the D3000 includes two modifications - D3000A and D3000B.

The D3000A modification is optimized for reconnaissance and defense of the flotilla. For this, the D3000A is equipped with a multifunctional radar and sonar in the bow of the vessel. The D3000A's armament includes anti-aircraft missiles and torpedoes.

The D3000B modification is designed for reconnaissance and strike missions. To this end, the D3000B is equipped with two quad anti-ship missile launchers.


Unmanned surface ships are just beginning their journey to the navies of the leading countries of the world. Currently, there are many problems, primarily with the reliability of BENK equipment.

After all, if the UAVs, after patrolling for several days, return to the airfield for technical inspection, then at the BENK it is necessary to ensure the uninterrupted operation of equipment and mechanisms for several months without maintenance.

However, reliability issues will be addressed. This will indirectly lead to a decrease in the number of crew members of "manned" surface ships.

The scope of application of BENK will continuously expand.

Like UAVs in the sky, surface and underwater uninhabited vessels will significantly change the face of the battlefield on and under water.
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  1. Uncle lee
    Uncle lee 29 January 2021 05: 50
    UAVs appeared, now BANK, followed by BEPK ... And where now to serve as a sailor? belay
    1. Intruder
      Intruder 29 January 2021 06: 32
      And where now to serve as a sailor?
      on the shore, in the "BANK technical support and management center"! recourse
      1. bad
        bad 29 January 2021 06: 58
        Quote: Intruder
        onshore, at the "technical support and management center

        good Robots also need to be serviced
        1. Intruder
          Intruder 29 January 2021 07: 02
          right, that's why I wrote about: the technical support center, where sailors with repair ships serve laughing
          1. soul
            soul 29 January 2021 07: 07
            Quote: Intruder
            right, that's why I wrote about: the technical support center, where sailors with repair ships serve

            Forgotten troubles, stopped running.
            Robots work hard, happy man!
            1. Intruder
              Intruder 29 January 2021 07: 09
              Robots work hard, happy man!
              "... only robots go into battle - not humans .." wink
    2. cormorant
      cormorant 29 January 2021 14: 07
      All this is beautiful, in good weather, almost calm and in small inland water bodies. The engine of the boat and the large ship are too different in terms of service. There is nothing serious for large tonnage, in terms of autonomy and unlimited navigation, and is not expected in the future. Moreover, the next 50 years are not expected. Sailors, especially ship mechanics, will understand me.
      You can, of course, create a completely autonomous ship or vessel, with a cost of 5 times more, with duplication of all systems. In peacetime the fuel is far from always ideal, but in wartime it will be even worse .. Any filter in the fuel system in the middle of the ocean is clogged. For a mechanic, this is 15 minutes of business, for an autonomous ship, this is a stop of the engine and this is practically death. And there are also separators, fuel heating, fuel pumps and dozens of other pumps, a shitty bunch of sensors ...
  2. rocket757
    rocket757 29 January 2021 06: 14
    I remembered the old film "The Experiment of Doctor" Abst ", about the" unmanned "torpedo !!!
    Now it will be like this, this reality rolls over everyone, everyone !!!
    1. vladcub
      vladcub 29 January 2021 08: 17
      And I remembered filim: "The Secret of the Three Oceans" about our deep-sea submarine: "Pioneer" and there are also controlled boats with tail number 17. Somewhere in the ocean on a desert island there is an autonomous base with such actors. In the story, the CIA muddied this base. The film is of course for children, but you can watch it. If you get tired of all sorts of crap like: "Dog", "Sklifosovsky" _or some other. YouTube has some great old movies
      1. rocket757
        rocket757 29 January 2021 09: 18
        Well, yes, you can still remember ... "They were known only by sight."
        Good Soviet films.
      2. Paragraph Epitafievich Y.
        Paragraph Epitafievich Y. 29 January 2021 20: 49
        Quote: vladcub
        And I remembered the filim: "The Secret of the Three Oceans"

        + one ocean ???
  3. nsm1
    nsm1 29 January 2021 06: 47
    Unlike the American global positioning system GPS and the Russian GLONASS, the Chinese BeiDou system itself can act in a limited format as a satellite communication system, allowing you to transmit and receive short data packets
    Did not know.
    I wonder how much it costs, Iridium is fucking expensive ...
    1. Intruder
      Intruder 29 January 2021 07: 04
      Iridium is fucking expensive ...
      "... not by Iridium alone ..", wink rich - Chinese and other military :))) Most likely, there is a limited regime, only "for their" warriors ...
  4. Amin_vivec
    Amin_vivec 29 January 2021 07: 01
    I wonder if someone takes over control of such a toy with the help of new electronic warfare or hacker hacking.
    On a clear night, the drones will turn off the transponders, and everyone will leave in an unknown direction ... For example, from China to India)))) Or they will arrange a massacre in their home harbor ...
    1. vladcub
      vladcub 29 January 2021 08: 04
      In principle, this is not excluded.
      UAV, now BANK is certainly good on the one hand, but on the other hand, you can't do without a person for a long time. For example, this BANK D3000 or some other, will fall under the influence of electronic warfare and FIG knows what will become of his "brains". I wouldn't completely trust these BANK
    2. donavi49
      donavi49 29 January 2021 09: 33
      Well, there probably are special algorithms for autonomous action. And signal checks. Plus encryption. Plus, there are definitely stop commands. That is, the owner, seeing that drones are being stolen from him, submits a special code through the communication channels and the boat goes into the profile of an autonomous return to base or a stop, indicating the position and turning off the electronics. However, in theory this is possible. Moreover, in theory, you can hack which thread is a destroyer with 90 missiles. But they don't hack.
      1. vadimtt
        vadimtt 29 January 2021 11: 28
        Do not forget that China, to put it mildly, is far from the last role in quantum communication. bully
      2. FIR FIR
        FIR FIR 29 January 2021 12: 23
        Quote: donavi49
        .. in theory, you can also hack which thread is a destroyer with 90 missiles. But they don't hack.

        Who knows? Maybe they "hack", but not yet. It's hard to believe they don't try winked
      3. ProkletyiPirat
        ProkletyiPirat 29 January 2021 12: 35
        Quote: donavi49
        However, in theory this is possible. Moreover, in theory, you can hack what thread a destroyer with 90 missiles. But they don't hack.

        In theory, anything is possible, especially when software and hardware are developed according to the principles "blind from shit and sticks" и "it was necessary yesterday", and this is not counting the eternal "Pentagon Wars"... And then some people wonder "how was it intercepted / hacked?" laughing
    3. FIR FIR
      FIR FIR 29 January 2021 12: 19
      Quote: Amin_Vivec
      ..the drones will turn off the transponders, and everyone will leave in an unknown direction ... For example, from China to India)))) Or they will arrange a massacre in their home harbor ...

      Trusting BANK RPC and SNT, the Chinese certainly somehow solved the problems of fighting / hacking the system.
      Nothing can be ruled out.
      If even in the Celestial Empire the D3000 will be inexpensive (and therefore massive), then very bad prospects await all the navies of the world, especially in Southeast Asia.
    4. Nestor Vlakhovski
      Nestor Vlakhovski 29 January 2021 22: 16
      It is basically impossible to take over control of any military unmanned aerial / land / surface vehicle. Telecontrol channels are encrypted and it is simply impossible to decode and intercept the stream online. They are also not connected to the Internet; there are other uses for hackers in combat.
  5. Runway
    Runway 29 January 2021 08: 50
    Ukraine, the first country in the world to have a cruiser-class BANK ...
    Seriously, BANK is not serious. The tasks of the PMO, flat in the coastline are the maximum.
    Strike missions in BMZ are easier to link with BMD / UAV.
    1. ProkletyiPirat
      ProkletyiPirat 29 January 2021 12: 40
      On the one hand, you are right because the voiced BANK are ineffective.
      On the other hand, you are wrong, for example, a BENK can be transported by air by a tiltrotor over a distance of thousands of kilometers from the base point and left to work there for weeks, as well as implement thousands of spaced scan points, all of this increases the detection efficiency of submarines by orders of magnitude.
      1. Runway
        Runway 29 January 2021 12: 47
        A variant of the extended movable line is flat? If in combination with mine laying - maybe.
        But again, in the coverage area of ​​the shore.
        Not for the sake of argument.
        1. ProkletyiPirat
          ProkletyiPirat 29 January 2021 13: 18
          Quote: WFP
          A variant of the extended movable line is flat?

          no, these are different concepts, for example, a ship moving in a convoy (UDC \ DVKD \ AV \ supplier \ etc) and an offshore platform (oil \ gas \ specialized) can act as a "basing point", another important difference is the ability to transport not only BENK, but also DShL \ DShK \ SMPL \ LBBM (MRAP \ BTR) \ etc. if in short ...
          1. Runway
            Runway 29 January 2021 13: 35
            If you start circles on the water (the moving line is flat from AUG / KUG / DESO), knowing the parameters of the bank, you can zhahnat "mother", giving the control center to external means.
            Anything that will carry (or will be able to carry) the items listed by you must belong to the Navy.
            Accordingly - to the bottom. This concerns some "non-military" carrier ships.
      2. Cympak
        Cympak 29 January 2021 14: 15
        Everything is so, only for scanning energy is needed for active scanners (radar, GAS), but there is no energy on board the BENK, and there are also no high antennas and masts, so he will not be able to see far
        1. ProkletyiPirat
          ProkletyiPirat 29 January 2021 18: 11
          Well, firstly, in the 50s \ 60s \ 70s, a lot of energy was needed, today this is no longer the case, and secondly, the range there is less than that of the ship's SACs.
          secondly, the above-mentioned BENK does not have sounded power plants, no one bothers to install powerful enough generators in a BENK weighing 5-10 tons, well, or at least a reusable buoy weighing 3-5 tons, especially since in the sounded version of BENK, there is no need to go anywhere. then swim, maximum approximately hold the position.
          thirdly, in fact, all the BENKs, including those voiced in the article, communicate through UAV routers, and it is the aircraft that are looking for ships and directing the BENKs (they have radars for correction, not search)
  6. kig
    kig 29 January 2021 12: 56
    Now I would like to hear what is happening with this topic with us.
    1. prior
      prior 29 January 2021 13: 19
      While drones are being built in China, palaces and churches are being built in Russia.
      You can not only hear about it, but also see it.
      1. Nestor Vlakhovski
        Nestor Vlakhovski 29 January 2021 22: 04
        The Chinese were smart enough to be friends with technologically whiter advanced countries, learn from them, accumulate fat while they give.
        And Russia has its own way, unique and inimitable. A land of endless social experiment.
    2. Nestor Vlakhovski
      Nestor Vlakhovski 29 January 2021 22: 10
      What can happen to the topic of any unmanned vehicles in a country that does not produce competitive electronics and high-tech equipment at all ?!
      They will buy a string of components from the world, assemble them into one and get an unmanned Kamaz unmanned vehicle or a Fyodor robot, that is all "successes"
  7. Proctologist
    Proctologist 29 January 2021 14: 19
    Quote: vladcub
    ... filim: "The Secret of the Three Oceans" ...

    Two! Cuts like "4 Musketeers"))
    Everlasting classics, chic Soviet childhood fantasy.
  8. voyaka uh
    voyaka uh 29 January 2021 14: 52
    Great review!
    The Chinese have a scope and vision of the future.
  9. Alexey Zigalov
    Alexey Zigalov 29 January 2021 22: 42
    Andrey is super, super, super !!!!! Exactly !!!! In three to five years this will be the basis for the development of the Navy. Interestingly, the deputy defense minister reads V.O. ?????? Only this is APBK (Autonomous Floating Combat Complexes). It remains to clarify to China the tactics of using from Port Arthur.
  10. Petrol cutter
    Petrol cutter 30 January 2021 18: 30
    For unmanned ships ...
    I have already expressed my doubts. There were no answers.
    The seredyn of the Black Sea has stalled your diesel. The ship is a useless tin can. Darling, which is typical.
    Who will launch it and when?
    You have lost contact with the ship (they say Russia is ahead of the rest in terms of electronic warfare). The ship is a useless tin can. Darling, which is typical
    I can throw in a hundred more specific examples. It seems like little things, but the steamer is incapacitated ...
  11. ruivit1988
    ruivit1988 19 March 2021 06: 00
    Here's a video I watched about a cloud of cutters on the radio control, exaggerating of course. But the thought came to me this is what the cruiser will do against this cloud of boats that will float on it chaotically with a load of three hundred kilograms of hexogen. After all, while they are sailing the cruiser, after all, not at least one will fight off everyone, but it will break through ...