Suspected Chinese submarine drone found by Indonesian fishermen in crucial maritime passage to Australia

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Indonesian fishermen have discovered a suspected Chinese submarine drone in waters considered strategically important to Australia.

Images published in local media show Indonesian military officers posing with the unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV), which was found just before Christmas near Selayar Island in South Sulawesi.

The UUV was recovered from the water by a local fisherman on December 20, but was only reported to authorities six days later.

Security experts say the high-tech unpowered surveillance drone is known as a glider and relies on variable-buoyancy propulsion.

One official told the ABC the discovery is noteworthy because the UUV was seized in the middle of a crucial maritime route linking the South China Sea to Australia's northernmost city of Darwin.

According to Indonesian media, the captured drone is 225cm in length, with a 50cm wingspan and a 93cm-long trailing antenna.

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