Intelligent Water class AUV

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Intelligence (智水, Zhi Shui or Zhishui) class autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) is a class of little known ROUV developed by Shipbuilding Engineering Institute (船舶工程学院) of Harbin Engineering University (HEU) for the People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) of the People's Republic of China (PRC).

The name of this class AUV, Zhi-Shui, is an abbreviation of Intelligent underwater robotic (Zhi-Neng Shui-Xia Ji-Qi-Ren, 智能水下机器人, with Zhi-Neng = Intelligent, Shui-Xia = Underwater, and Ji-Qi-Ren = Robotic). This class of AUV is developed based on the experience gained from Explorer AUV developed earlier, and is currently consisted of three models (as the end of 2009):

  • Zhishui-I, the first model which is rumored (yet to be confirmed) used as a training and teaching aid instead of being deployed in the field.
  • Zhishui-II, which won the 1st place of China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (CSIC) Science and Technology Advancement Award
  • Zhishui-III, completed trials in July, 2000 and subsequently entered Chinese service.

Zhishui-III has a similar appearance to earlier Explorer AUV, with a cylindrical body resembling a miniature submarine without the conning tower. Contrary to most other AUVs that are often powered by a single propeller, Zhishui-III is powered by twin propellers. The two shrouded propellers are installed just below the horizontal control surfaces of the crucifix control surfaces at the stern. Zhishui class AUV is claimed to be capable of performing a variety of tasks by the designers, but no details are released because it is designed for military application from the start, as opposed to other Chinese AUVs that are also used for civilian applications. Zhishui-II/III are currently in service with PLAN.