BOSTON (CBS) — The U.S. underwater drone that was seized by the Chinese Navy earlier this month in the South China Sea was manufactured in Massachusetts.
Officials at the Teledyne Webb Research Company tell WBZ the device is called the G2 Slocum Glider autonomous underwater vehicle.
Tom Altshuler, Teledyne Webb vice-president and group general manager, confirmed that they manufacture this device at their facility in Falmouth on Cape Cod. It is the same one captured and returned by China to the U.S. Navy.
Altshuler says they generally sell the G2 Slocum Glider mostly to universities and research organizations for oceanographic scientific research.
Teledyne Webb could not comment on what the U.S. Navy was using it for.
According to the company, the device can be controlled by RF link or satellite when it is on the surface, but it is programmed to operate autonomously once underwater and is buoyancy-driven.
It is deployed for year-long missions, with a primary use of gathering data on oceanographic properties.
WBZ profiled one use of the device during hurricane season this past October.