Chinese underwater glider “Hai” found in Indonesian waters: Defense Analyst

Part of the Slayar Islands in South Sulawesi province, Indonesia. It was reported that a local fisherman found a “missile-like” glider off Slayar Island in December 2020.

Javed Hazara | iStock | Getty Images

SINGAPORE – An underwater reconnaissance drone was found deep in Indonesian sovereign waters last month of Chinese origin, according to defense analyst firm Guinness.

The “missile-like” object with wings has been identified as a Haiyi self-made underwater glider or “naval wing,” Kelvin Wong, the Janes’ lead unmanned systems analyst, said in a Sunday note.

A local fisherman reportedly found the paraglider off Slayar Island in Indonesia’s South Sulawesi province, before delivering it to the Indonesian Navy. Wong said this is the third identical underwater glider to be found in Indonesian waters in two years.

It is not known where and why the drone was originally deployed, the analyst said, but the site found was “separate from international waterways and very far from the maritime claims neighboring China.”

Wong noted that there are no known Chinese scientific surveys in or around Indonesian waters that used these gliders in 2020. He said that underwater drones used in the last known operation in December 2019 have been successfully recovered.

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