China has developed the world’s fastest unmanned boat, the Tianxing-1, which has a maximum speed of more than 50 knots (92.6 km/h), according to Science and Technology Daily on Tuesday.
The vessel, jointly developed by China’s Harbin Engineering University and Shenzhen Hispeed Boats Technology Company Ltd. (HiSiBi), is 12.2 meters long and has a 7.5-ton load displacement, reports BSS.
“We have developed different models of speedboats and the Tianxing-1 is the fastest,” said Huang Zhuo, of HiSiBi.
The maximum speed of a manned speedboat can reach 70 knots (129.6 km/h), but that requires an experienced driver, as heavy waves and obstacles increase the risks, according to HiSiBi.
Ten boats like the Tianxing-1 have been completed, Huang said. These unmanned boats can be used for maritime enforcement and in dangerous environments. They can also help relieve navy shortages, Huang added.
Britain’s Royal Navy unleashed its unmanned drone-boat MAST last year. It can reach speeds up to 50 knots and is used to assess enemy craft when waters are congested during operations.