Another Suspected-Chinese device found in Indonesia
The tales of "missile like" objects washing up in Indonesia continue. Just a couple of weeks after the forth Chinese-made Sea Wing underwater glider turned up in Indonesian territorial waters, another China-linked device has turned up on a beach in the country. This object isn't a Sea Wing however.
The cylindrical object was shared online by @Jatosint (Twitter). It is unclear what it is. However it has a small four-bladed screw on one end. This is not in a streamlined position, and is arranged as a 'puller', so it does not appear to be for propulsion in the conventional sense. The cap on the other end of the cylinder is missing, but it appears that sensors and/or aerials were attached.
It is reportedly 1.5m (5 ft) long and weighs around 25kg (55 lb)
The best guess is that this is some form of floating sensor device, conceptually similar to the Argo Float. It is not an Argo type however, despite those being used in the region (and by China). For context Argo is an international program using 'profiling floats' to observe temperature, salinity, currents, and bio-optical properties in the Earth's oceans. China does participate, but Argo floats look a bit different and are typically painted Yellow or, in China, Red.
Argo floats do not have the propeller. Possibly this helps it move up and down the water column. The blue paint is also unusual.
The device has a metal plate on it with labels in Chinese. There are no ownership markings however. At first glance the labels may relate to communications monitoring, but acoustic sensors may be more plausible.
It was found on January 19 on a beach in the East Siantan District of the Anambas Islands Regency, Riau Islands. The object's paint has been rubbed off in patches, but there is not very much fouling. This suggests that it hasn't been in the water that long. This is close to the path of several Chinese ships, not least the Xiang Yang Hong 03 which has been accused of 'running dark' in Indonesian waters.
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