Chinese warship seizes US underwater drone in international waters

BASIC’s Project Leader, Sebastian Brixey-Williams, was referenced in The Guardian in an article which explored the impetus for China’s seizure of a US underwater drone.

“Sebastian Brixey-Williams of the British American Security Information Council said: ‘Nuclear states are increasing anxious about unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs, or underwater drones) autonomously tracking their nuclear ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs), making them vulnerable to antisubmarine warfare. This is an issue for China in particular, whose SSBN fleet is small and noisy. Though the USNS Bowditch is an oceanographic ship and may sound harmless, the kinds of data it is collecting will make Chinese submarines easier to find over time… China therefore accomplishes a number of things by seizing a US underwater drone,” Brixey-Williams said. “It allows Chinese scientists to better understand the US’s offensive technical capabilities in this area, and potentially allows them to reverse-engineer them, bringing gains in both the commercial and military spheres.’”

Read the full article here and Sebastian’s recent blog post on the issue.

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