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Future concept RN warship, Deadnought 2050

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jollyjacktar

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A "concept" of what a RN ship of the line might look like in 35 years.  Interesting and reminds me of HMS TRIDENT from a John Birmingham alt/history sci/fi trilogy, the first book which is called "Weapons of Choice".

Shared under the fair dealings provisions of the copyright act.  Photos, video etc at story link below.

HMS Hi-tech, the warship of the future: Royal Navy's Dreadnought 2050 has space-age control room, 'see-through' hull and a crew of just 50
- Images have emerged of intimidating vessel, dubbed Dreadnought 2050, that could be the future of the Royal Navy
- The stunning vessel pushes today's engineering boundaries to the limits, with hulls that can make them invisible
- Engineers believe it could be crewed by 50 people, rather than the current 200, thanks to remote-control technology
- New-style operations room could allow commanders to focus on specific areas from up to thousands of miles away

BySean Poulter for the Daily Mail

Published: 23:00 GMT, 30 August 2015 | Updated: 07:09 GMT, 31 August 2015

Sleek and stealthy, it resembles something from Star Wars. In fact, this is what British warships could look like in as little as 35 years.

With RAF jets already being replaced by drones piloted by men sitting at computer screens many miles away, the Royal Navy is now investigating how technology will change the 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.

The Dreadnought 2050 seen here is a concept ship that could be controlled by only five sailors sitting at screens, much like games consoles.

And the entire ship’s company could be as little as 50, which compares to the 200 needed for current vessels of this size.

Concept images of the ship have been released by a group of leading British electronic systems companies working with naval defence experts Startpoint.

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.

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 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.

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 floodable dock area to deploy troops on amphibious raiding missions, or release unmanned underwater vehicles to detect mines.

Above that would be a large, extendable flight deck and hangar for remotely piloted drones, many equipped with weapons, which could target the enemy without putting the crew in harm’s way.

And along the ship’s sides would be missile tubes for defensive hypersonic missiles – directed energy weapons to stop small enemy craft loaded with explosives.

The outrigger hulls would contain tubes to fire special torpedoes which travel through water in a near frictionless air bubble that allows speeds of more than 345mph.

Muir Macdonald, from Startpoint, said: ‘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.’

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3216304/HMS-Hi-tech-Plans-future-fleet-reveal-Royal-Navy-soon-using-remote-controlled-warships-hulls.html#ixzz3kPuw4UEK
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daftandbarmy

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jollyjacktar said:
A "concept" of what a RN ship of the line might look like in 35 years.  Interesting and reminds me of HMS TRIDENT from a John Birmingham alt/history sci/fi trilogy, the first book which is called "Weapons of Choice".

Shared under the fair dealings provisions of the copyright act.  Photos, video etc at story link below.

It will never work. No one will know which end of the ship to salute when getting on/off  ;D
 

cupper

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daftandbarmy said:
It will never work. No one will know which end of the ship to salute when getting on/off  ;D

You're assuming that they know that now.  >:D
 

CougarKing

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jollyjacktar said:
A "concept" of what a RN ship of the line might look like in 35 years.  Interesting and reminds me of HMS TRIDENT from a John Birmingham alt/history sci/fi trilogy, the first book which is called "Weapons of Choice".

Did you finish all 3 books in the Weapons of Choice series? The fourth book in the series will be set in the altered post-war world with a different Cold War for the task force's survivors.

Too bad there were no RCN ships in the original multinational task force in those books. Though there were RAN ships such as that sub HMAS Havoc. hehe.
 
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jollyjacktar

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S.M.A. said:
Did you finish all 3 books in the Weapons of Choice series? The fourth book in the series will be set in the altered post-war world with a different Cold War for the task force's survivors.

Too bad there were no RCN ships in the original multinational task force in those books. Though there were RAN ships such as that sub HMAS Havoc. hehe.

Oh yes, I did.  Loved them.  I've read the fourth as well, it was released as an e-book only and was more or less a half book with a promise of the second half at a later date.  And that was a couple of years back now...
 

a_majoor

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Other people are thinking about this as well:

http://nationalinterest.org/feature/it-time-bring-back-the-battleships-13734

Is It Time to Bring Back the Battleships?

What if America had a true successor to the classic battleship, designed to both deal out and absorb punishment?
Robert Farley
August 29, 2015

For decades, naval architects have concentrated on building ships that, by the standards of the World Wars, are remarkably brittle. These ships can deal punishment at much greater ranges than their early 20th century counterparts, but they can’t take a hit. Is it time to reconsider this strategy, and once again build protected ships? This article examines how these trends came about, and what might change in the future.


Why We Build Big Ships

The label “battleship” emerges from the older “ship of the line” formulation, in the sense that a navy’s largest ships participated in the “line of battle” formation that allowed them to bring their broadsides to bear on an opposing line. After the development of ironclad warships, the “battle ship” diverged from the armored cruiser based on expectations of usage; “battleships” were expected to fight enemy “battleships.” The modern battleship form settled around 1890, with the British Royal Sovereign class. These ships displaced about 15,000 tons, with two heavy guns each in turrets fore and aft, and steel armor. The rest of the navies of the world adopted these basic design parameters, which provided a ship that could both deal out and absorb punishment. The process of ensuring survivability was simplified, in these early battleships, by the predictability of the threat. The most likely vector of attack in the late 1890s came from large naval artillery carried by other ships, and consequently protective schemes could concentrate on that threat.

The limitations of fire control meant that lethality didn’t increase much with size; HMS Lord Nelson, laid down 15 years later, displaced only 2000 tons more.  On roughly the same size hull, however, HMS Dreadnought took advantage of a number of innovations developed in the ensuing years, and with ten heavy guns became a far more lethal platform at roughly similar cost to previous ships. As a consequence, the survivability of smaller battleships dropped substantially, even against naval artillery.

From that point on, lethality and survivability increased dramatically with ship size, and the navies of the world responded accordingly. By 1915 the first line battleships of the Royal Navy would displace 27,000 tons; by 1920 the world’s largest battleship (HMS Hood) displaced 45,000 tons.  In 1921 international agreements would constrain warship size, although the Germans and Japanese in particularly imagined battleships of staggering proportions.

Why the Big Ships Went Out of Style

With the advent of the age of airpower (and missile power), size no longer dramatically increased lethality for surface warships. At the same time, a proliferation of threats made ensuring survivability more difficult. The huge battleships of the Second World War could not survive concerted air and submarine attack, and could not punch back at sufficient range to justify their main armament. Except for aircraft carriers, where lethality still increased with size, naval architecture took a turn for the petite. The chief surface ships of the U.S. Navy (USN) today displace less than a quarter that of the battleships of World War II.

Post-WWII ships also, broadly speaking, discarded the idea of armor as a means of ensuring survivability. There remains considerable debate as to how traditional battleship belt (side) armor could resist cruise missiles. Cruise missiles generally have less penetrating power than the largest naval artillery, although they have other advantages. Deck armor proved a more serious problem, and the demands of ensuring survivability from bombs, pop-up cruise missiles, and (more recently) ballistic missiles quickly outpaced the improved lethality of a large, heavily armored ship.  And perhaps most importantly, no one figured out how to eliminate (as opposed to ameliorate) the problem of underwater attack; torpedoes continued to pose a lethal threat to even the most heavily armored of warships.

Which isn’t to say that people haven’t tried. Several navies have played with the idea of large surface warships since the end of World War II. The Royal Navy considered redesigning and completing at least one member of the Lion class, abandoned in 1939. Studies eventually determined that the level of deck armor necessary to protect the ships from bombs would prove prohibitive. The Soviets maintained plans to build traditional gun-toting battleships into the 1950s, when the death of Stalin ended such a fantasy. France completed Jean Bart in 1952, and kept her in partial commission into the 1960s as a training and accommodation ship.

A new wave began in the 1970s, when the Soviet Union started construction on the Kirov class heavy missile cruisers, which quickly took on the name “battlecruisers.” The USN responded, in part, with the refurbishment of the four Iowa class battleships, which acquired long range missiles but remained in service for only a few years.

More recently, Russia, the United States, and China have all considered the construction of large surface warships.  The Russians periodically promise to build new Kirovs, a claim to take as seriously as the suggestion that Russia will build new Tu-160 strategic bombers.  One of the proposals for the CG(X) program involved a nuclear powered warship approaching 25,000 tons. The media has treated the Chinese Type 055 cruisers as a similar super-warship, but reports now indicate that the ship will displace around 12000-14000 tons, somewhat smaller than the US Zumwalt class destroyer.

What Has Changed?


Big ships still have some lethality advantages.  For example, bigger ships can carry larger magazines of missiles, which they can use for both offensive and defensive purposes.  Advances in gun technology (such as the 155mm Advanced Gun System to be mounted on the Zumwalt class destroyer) mean that large naval artillery can strike farther and more accurately than ever before.

But the most important advances may come in survivability.The biggest reason to build big ships may be the promise of electricity generation. The most interesting innovations in naval technology involve sensors, unmanned technology, lasers, and railguns, most of which are power intensive. Larger ships can generate more power, increasing not only their lethality (rail guns, sensors) but also their survivability (anti-missile lasers, defensive sensor technologies, close-defense systems). The missile magazines that large ships can carry although them to draw together these elements and lethality and survivability better than their smaller counterparts.

What about a true successor to the classic battleship, designed to both deal out and absorb punishment?  Advances in materials design have certainly increased the ability of other military systems (most notably the tank) to survive punishment, and a serious effort to create an armored ship would undoubtedly result in a well-protected vessel. The problem is that passive systems need to protect a ship from a wide range of different attacks, including cruise missiles, torpedoes, ballistic missiles, and long-range guns. Keeping a ship well-protected from these threats, all of which it could anticipate facing in an anti-access/area-denial (A2/AD) situation, would likely prove cost-prohibitive. It’s also worth noticing that while the battleships of yore could continue to sail and fight despite heavy damage to their various components, modern warship carry far more sensitive, deeply integrated technology, systems that might react poorly to otherwise-survivable ballistic missile strikes.

Parting Shots

Big ships with heavy armor are unlikely to solve the A2/AD dilemma.  However, big ships with effective systems of defense components, combined with a large number of extremely lethal offensive systems, can go a long way toward defeating a system of anti-access systems. In this sense, the “battleship” could return, although it will play a role more like a classic monitor (intended to fight against shore-based systems) than a line-of-battle-ship. And these new “battleships” will survive less because of their ability to absorb hits, than to avoid hits altogether.

Robert Farley is an assistant professor at the Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce at the University of Kentucky. His work includes military doctrine, national security, and maritime affairs. He blogs at Lawyers, Guns and Money and Information Dissemination and The Diplomat. Follow him on Twitter:mad:drfarls.
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tomahawk6

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Proposed 25,000t nuclear powered cruiser for the USN with 12 rail guns !! The link has some futuristic designs as well.

http://nextbigfuture.com/2015/08/proposed-armored-nuclear-powered.html
 

Colin Parkinson

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laser and railguns may help a lot with defense of large ships. The ability to generate enough power to provide for the new toys might be the driving factor. You might end up with a armoured citadel but certain parts unprotected. I suspect the cost of armour is significantly more than it was, but at the same time it's likely to be not just armour plate.
 

a_majoor

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The Royal Navy is looking to deploy laser weapons by 2020. The interesting thing here is the energy storage mechanism, a series of flywheels based on a Formula 1 energy recovery unit.

http://nextbigfuture.com/2015/09/uk-looks-to-put-combat-lasers-on-navy.html

UK funding combat lasers on Navy ships by 2020 and will use formula 1 flywheel technology to store energy for laser shots

The UK Ministry of Defence is looking to have a land-based cannon by 2017 and a ship-mounted one by 2020.

There were early experiments using lasers to try to blind enemy pilots or to disrupt the electronic systems of planes. But the new types of lasers being developed are intended to destroy, in particular enemy planes, and should be capable of dealing at high speed with multiple targets.

Admiral Sir George Zambellas said technological advances had the power to change how the navy operated. One of those advances, he said, was novel, high-energy weapons. “Energy weapons don’t require conventional ammunition. With a cost-per-shot potentially measured in pence rather than pounds, they offer a route to address the spiralling costs of missile development and production, as well as reducing supply chain demands,” he said.

This year the Ministry of Defence said it had instructed its development arm, the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL), to look at building a prototype. DSTL is exploring the role that electric flywheel technology, the kind used in Formula 1 racing, could play to generate and store the power required for high-energy weapons

Beacon Power opened a 5 MWh (20 MW over 15 mins) flywheel energy storage plant in Stephentown, New York in 2011

A 2 MW flywheel storage facility opened in Ontario, Canada in 2014. It uses a spinning steel flywheel on magnetic bearings.

In July 2014 GKN acquired Williams Hybrid Power (WHP) division and intended to supply 500 carbon fiber Gyrodrive electric flywheel systems to urban bus operators over the next two years.

William KERS flywheels weigh 40 kg and had about four times the energy density of ultracapacitors.

Advanced flywheels, such as the 133 kWh pack of the University of Texas at Austin, can take a train from a standing start up to cruising speed

Advanced FES systems have rotors made of high strength carbon-fiber composites, suspended by magnetic bearings, and spinning at speeds from 20,000 to over 50,000 rpm in a vacuum enclosure
 
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