An Overview of Submersible Research and Development in China

  • Weicheng CuiEmail author
Research Article


Given the recent success in the development of several submersibles in China, people’s interest in the history of submersible development is increasing. This paper presents the history of submersible development in China, which can be briefly divided into three periods. The first one is the early period of hardship (1971–2000). Many prototype submersibles of HOVs, ROVs, and AUVs were developed at this time, but the main achievement was the establishment of special research organizations and the training of research and development personnel. The second period can be regarded as the quick development period (2001–2015). All currently used submersibles were developed during this period. The most remarkable achievement was the successful development of 7000 m-deep manned submersible “Jiaolong.” The third period aims to develop 11 000 m submersibles for challenging the full ocean depth (2016–2020). In this period, two unmanned submersibles and two manned submersibles will be the significant indicators of achievement. If this 5-year plan can be successfully completed, China can play a significant role in the investigation of the deepest part of the oceans, namely, the hadal trenches (6500–11 000 m).


Hadal trenches Submersibles Deep tow system Lander Glider Autonomous and remotely operated vehicle (ARV) Human-occupied vehicle (HOV) Full ocean depth (FOD) 


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© Harbin Engineering University and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Shanghai Engineering Research Center of Hadal Science and TechnologyShanghai Ocean UniversityShanghaiChina

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