The Royal Navy is now investigating how technology will change its fleet. The answer, it seems, could be a generation of largely remote-controlled seafaring beasts with “speed of light weapons” and a hull that can make them invisible to the naked eye. With RAF jets already being replaced by drones with men sitting at computer screens many miles away while piloting them, this is what British warships could look like in as little as 35 years.
The Dreadnought 2050 is the glimpse of the future. Engineers have unveiled a series of images of the ground-breaking vessel
The ship is fitted with speed of light weapons, while the ultra-strong acrylic hull, coated in a form of carbon called graphene, could be made see-through. The design includes a new-style operations room, allowing commanders to focus on specific locations and threats thousands of miles away from the deep ocean to deep space, using 3D holographics.
Concept images of the ship have been released by a group of leading British electronic systems companies working with naval defense experts Startpoint. The Dreadnought 2050, seen here, is a concept ship that could be controlled by only five sailors sitting at screens, much like game consoles. The entire ship’s crew members could be as little as 50, compared to the 200 needed for current vessels of this size.
There would be an electro-magnetic gun at the bow, capable of firing projectiles the same distance as today’s long-range cruise missiles. At the stern would be a floatable dock area to deploy troops on amphibious raiding missions or release unmanned underwater vehicles to detect mines. The triple hull design would allow the Dreadnought to cut through the waves at high speed, while the sleek lines above the surface, where there are no obvious gun emplacements, also increase the speed.
Experts believe that it is very possible to incorporate elements of it into upcoming designs. The stunning vessel would absolutely push today’s science and engineering boundaries to the limit
In 1906, the original battleship HMS Dreadnought was put into service and it is where they got the name for the futuristic vessel
The designs will answer the demand for the defense ministry, to work at an operational edge, according to the Royal Navy’s fleet robotic officer
The outrigger hulls of the vessel would contain tubes to fire special torpedoes, which travel through water in a near friction-less air bubble that allows speeds of more than 345/mph. Along the ship’s sides would be missile tubes for defensive hypersonic missiles, which are directed energy weapons meant to stop small enemy craft loaded with explosives. Above that, would be a large, extendable flight deck and hanger for remotely piloted drones, many equipped with weapons, which could target the enemy without putting the crew in harm’s way.
“These concepts point the way to cutting-edge technology which can be acquired at less cost and operated with less manpower than anything at sea today in the world’s leading navies,” Muir Macdonald, from Startpoint, said.
Named for the original HMS Dreadnought which entered into service in 1906, Dreadnoughts were at sea in the English Channel in 1914
The vessel was relegated to coastal defense duties in the English Channel after Jutland, only rejoining the Grand Fleet in 1918. She was reduced to reserve in 1919 and sold for scrap in 1923. When the HMS Dreadnought was entered into service in 1906, she represented such an advance in naval engineering that her name came to be associated with an entire generation of battleships.
The previous generation of vessels became utterly obsolete and were given the unfortunate term, “the pre-dreadnoughts”. She was the first battleship to have a uniform main battery, rather than having a few large guns backed up by a heavy second batter of smaller guns. She was also the first to be powered by steam turbines, making her the fastest battleship in the world, at the time of her completion. With all of that, it’s no wonder why the royal navy’s warship of the future named it after the original one.