In a move that New Scientist calls "somewhat baffling," the Chinese Navy has publicly published a proposed plan to hunt down enemy submarines using drones.
New Scientist describes the research conceived by the naval academy's department of "underwater weaponry and chemical defense" for the most efficient "route planning" to search for a submarine:
The plan, developed by the naval academy in Dalian, China, is to choose the best hunting pattern for a drone using the power of the genetic algorithm -- a search engine that evolves an optimum solution by discarding feeble offspring and breeding the best to make ever stronger ones.
The route evolved would make the best use of fuel, cater for air and sea threats and work with dropped sonar buoys.
The research for this algorithm published in the journal Advanced Materials Research states:
[...] in the actual campaign and training, an optimal or satisfying route should be planned for the ship-based UAV from the original point to the target point to guarantee that the ship-based UAV can complete the mission satisfactorily and safely. Based on this demand, the math models are founded in this paper, and a deep study on the route planning of the ship-based UAV for searching submarine is made under the assumed battle condition.
New Scientist points out that one would assume "military hunts [of] submarines might be a secret" and questions why it would publish this information and risk an adversary developing counter measures. Interestingly enough, New Scientist notes, this is not the first time Chinese publication of what some would consider sensitive information has furrowed brows:
In 2010 Chinese researchers published a treatise on how to hack and trip large chunks of the US electricity grid. This led (after much initial disbelieving spluttering) to much angry rhetoric from aggrieved US commentators, not least the Department of Homeland Security.
That said though, New Scientist also speculates that perhaps the strong push for scientific publication in the country has limited the time allowed for stepping back and discerning information that should and should not be published.
Perhaps the drone the country will use is the "secret" one Wired reported about last year that was developed to be a scout ahead of its warships.