The China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC), which builds virtually all PLAN warships, has proposed an "Underwater Great Wall" of sensors, positioned on the seabed floor, to listen for enemy submarines. (The US had a similar system on the Atlantic Ocean floor to listen for Soviet submarines.) Such underwater listening posts may already have been installed near the giant PLAN base at Sanya, Hainan Island in the South China Sea. On a more optimistic note, CSSC suggested that an Underwater Great Wall would be useful for warning against natural disasters like tsunami, and could be used to collect research data on marine life and geology.
To fully unlock the potential of UUVs, Chinese scientists will have to master autonomous intelligence for these underwater robots, not just individually but also to teach them to 'swarm', in working together with one another with little or no human oversight, as well as with other naval platforms. Other technologies would include new forms of underwater communication and datalink
technologies, as well as precise navigation systems and multiple sensor payloads.
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