of a mini-unmanned undersea vehicle (UUV) that can operate in swarms "Not only...to discover new species of marine life and track climate change, but in time...to optimise search and rescue operations, locate wreckages and black boxes, and much more."
This invention could carry small sonars. This invention and others like it, being developed in China, Japan, the US, UK and Europe could operate in swarms to detect submarines - making submarines an obsolete, increasingly vulnerable technology.
Think of a flotilla 20 low cost Chinese "trawlers" all peacefully "catching fish", but actually acting as a "mother-ship" each for 200 Chinese low-cost mass produced mini-UUVs. So that equals 4,000 UUVs per flotilla.
These flotillas can be assisted by the fixed seabed and tethered anti-submarine sonar sensors China is already stringing across East Asian seas.
Such a flotilla can operate in entirely flexible reconfigurable ways, particularly to track very slow moving (when fully submerged) Australian conventional submarines (SSKs) eg. by being strung in front of, behind and even around an Australian SSK in a tightening sonar net.
Or consider several 4,000 UUV flotillas all mothered by plausibly fishing low cost Chinese trawlers being strung in-line across the East China Sea or South China Sea for months to track and ensnare Japanese, Singaporean or South Korean SSKs.
The possibilities are endless, cheap and can occur in peacetime - no need for expensive naval assets.
They can "cue" naval assets to easily destroy our submarines, if and when conflict breaks out.