Britain’s Future Warship: The Dreadnought 2050

Copyright 2015 Startpoint

A front view of the T2050. (Image copyright 2015 Startpoint)

 

The British defense firm Startpoint Group this week released conceptual images of a future warship dubbed The Dreadnought 2050.

The sleek-looking trimaran whose name honors the famed early 20th-century battleship was dreamed up by naval designers at the company at the request of the Ministry of Defence.

The craft, called the T2050, is envisioned with an acrylic hull that could be ballasted with water to turn the ship into a stealthy semi-submersible, an exterior electromagnetic rail gun, an interior operations room with “Google Glass” walls to display tactical information and a garage in the transom with a “moon pool” capable of launching underwater drones, among other innovative features.

Check out some of the graphics:

Copyright 2015 Startpoint

An aft view of the T2050. (Image copyright 2015 Startpoint)

 

Copyright 2015 Startpoint

A view of T2050’s transom garage. (Image copyright 2015 Startpoint)

 

Tactical system operators are seated around the circumference of the Ops room with banks of 2D multi-functional displays. Seats can be rotated round to face 'google-glass' like walls that enable operators to overlay additional information on a 360 degree hemispheric outside view. Copyright 2015 Startpoint

Tactical system operators are seated around the circumference of the Ops room with banks of 2D multi-functional displays. Seats can be rotated round to face Google Glass-like walls that enable operators to overlay additional information on a 360 degree hemispheric outside view. (Image copyright 2015 Startpoint)

 

The afv aviation facility onboard T2050 is primarily configured to operate and support remotely piloted air vehicles, and the flight deck itself is large enough to handle the simultaneous launch and/or recovery of two UAVs. However, the superstructure around the flight deck can be rotated so as to create space to enable helicopters to land side-on. Furthermore, the hangar space is big enough to take a medium-sized helicopter. Electrically-driven submerged waterjet propulsors are fitted in the outriggers or "amahs." (Image Copyright 2015 Startpoint)

The aft aviation facility on board T2050 is primarily configured to operate and support remotely piloted air vehicles, and the flight deck itself is large enough to handle the simultaneous launch and/or recovery of two UAVs. However, the superstructure around the flight deck can be rotated so as to create space to enable helicopters to land side-on. Furthermore, the hangar space is big enough to take a medium-sized helicopter. Electrically-driven submerged waterjet propulsors are fitted in the outriggers or “amahs.” (Image Copyright 2015 Startpoint)

 

An electromagnetic (EM) railgun is fitted forward. The EM railgun uses high-power electromagnetic energy, instead of explosive chemical propellants, to fire hypervelocity projectiles at ranges of up to 200 km. These projectiles will destroy targets using kinetic energy rather than conventional explosives. (Image copyright 2015 Startpoint)

An electromagnetic (EM) railgun is fitted forward. The EM railgun uses high-power electromagnetic energy, instead of explosive chemical propellants, to fire hyper-velocity projectiles at ranges of up to 200 km. These projectiles will destroy targets using kinetic energy rather than conventional explosives. (Image copyright 2015 Startpoint)

 

Shipwide automation will allow T2050 to operate with a minimal core crew. (Image copyright 2015 Startpoint)

Ship-wide automation will allow T2050 to operate with a minimal core crew. (Image copyright 2015 Startpoint)

 

Key facts of the T2050 include a length of 155 meters, beam of 37 meters, range of unlimited distance (depending on the type of powerplant), crew of between 50 and 100 persons, and speed of 50 knots. (Image copyright 2015 Startpoint)

Key facts of the T2050 include a length of 155 meters, beam of 37 meters, range of unlimited distance (depending on the type of powerplant), crew of between 50 and 100 persons, and speed of 50 knots. (Image copyright 2015 Startpoint)

 

A large 'garage' area in the ship's transom will provide an area for the launch, recovery, maintenance and storage of rigid inflatable boats, swimmer delivery vehicles (SDVs), unmanned surface vehicles (USVs) and unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs). A moon pool within the garage enables the deployment of SDVs and/or UUVs when the transom door is closed. (Image copyright 2015 Startpoint)

A large ‘garage’ area in the ship’s transom will provide an area for the launch, recovery, maintenance and storage of rigid inflatable boats, swimmer delivery vehicles (SDVs), unmanned surface vehicles (USVs) and unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs). A moon pool within the garage enables the deployment of SDVs and/or UUVs when the transom door is closed. (Image copyright 2015 Startpoint)

 

The low-observable wave-piercing trimaran 'sea-frame' combines speed, stability and efficiency, and also allows for a larger flight deck area. One option is that the hull could be ballasted down with water, allowing it to be transformed into an ultra-stealthy semi-submersible for missions where covertness is a priority. (Image copyright 2015 Startpoint)

The low-observable wave-piercing trimaran ‘sea-frame’ combines speed, stability and efficiency, and also allows for a larger flight deck area. One option is that the hull could be ballasted down with water, allowing it to be transformed into an ultra-stealthy semi-submersible for missions where covertness is a priority. (Image copyright 2015 Startpoint)

 

About the Author

Brendan McGarry
Brendan McGarry is the managing editor of Military.com. He can be reached at brendan.mcgarry@military.com. Follow him on Twitter at @Brendan_McGarry.
  • Robbie

    During the Falklands War, the Royal Navy experienced extensive problems with the lack of battle damage resiliency in its aluminum ship superstructures. As a result, the USN reverted to all steel vessels in its new construction programs. Seems the RN may have forgotten its own hard won lessons-learned by now considering a “plastic” warship….

    • steve

      I’m willing to bet the plastic is a better material. The main problem in the Falklands was the aluminum was it fragmented badly. Modern plastics are often superior to metals in many applications.

      • Robbie

        No, the aluminum not only spalled but, even worse, melted during fires. It wasn’t a question of strength, but of combat resiliency. The USN had similarly gone to aluminum in superstructures because it is strong enough and much lighter, but reverted to steel after seeing what happened during the Falklands fight.

        • Robbie

          I don’t know what the USN is using in its small combatants, though.

        • runswithscissors

          What makes you think they weren’t thinking about combat resiliency with an acrylic hull? Acrylic is what they make bullet proof glass out of and with the right admixture it can be very flame resistant. It is always amusing to me when a hobbyists thinks they know more than a professional ship designer because they read a couple of books and/or magazine articles.

        • DBM

          Robbie,
          The problems with aluminum are many especially when hardened aluminum is used such as with superstructures and combat vehicles. In the case of the ships the Exocet missile warheads ignited the aluminum magnesium alloy resulting in a self sustaining high temperature fire which was difficult to extinguish. The other problem is that vaporized aluminum is capable of killing a human with one inhalation. Oh and yes aluminum does spall.

      • Karl

        By 2020 this ship will be outdated and obsolete

    • shipfixr

      Actually, the 1975 USS Belknap collision with the John F. Kennedy was the turning point in the USN for aluminium superstructures on combatants.

    • Ralph

      Perhaps if the Royal Navy practiced fire fighting at the time as the US Navy always has, their ship would have been saved. As it was it burned for almost three days as they recovered whatever they deemed was needed prior to it sinking.

    • Alex Deighton

      The ‘plastic’ is actually stronger than steel, due to the fact that it will be made up of a hardened plastic weaved between graphene superfibres which are both strong and able to absorb damage without weakening other parts of the ship

    • Rob

      Speed and endurance are the name of the game with warships now. No amount of even steel armor is going to protect you from modern anti-ship missiles if they get through.

  • Guest

    And there me thinking the right combination of plastics are stronger than steel , nice looking and the way the Chinese are at the moment they will have this built before the UK can think,

    • Joe Sovereign

      Only if they can steal the design blueprints

    • GRDENG

      China appears to be broke….. then again……

  • blight_

    Hey, Littoral Combat Ship

  • IHTFP

    The Independence-class LCS is made of aluminum. Just don’t pour sodium hydroxide on it.

  • Dfens

    I don’t think much of the way they did the nose. It’s pretty much vertical by the time the two sides converge. That’s going to provide a direct return. If the sides are going to slope in, the nose should too. Catamarans are better. With every passing decade the Sea Shadow looks farther ahead of its time.

  • Big-D

    by the time the year 2050 rolls around, the Royal Navy will be down to single ship-perhaps this one and she won’t be allowed to leave port in fear of ‘offending’ someone

  • Joe Sovereign

    Pie in the Sky

    A 50kn stealthy plastic trimarian with a railgun, a fleet of unmanned airial, surface, and submergible craft. A Star Trek bridge and a crew of only 100. It submerges for stealth and the best part unlimited range (because of its anti-matter engines I am guessing).

    Which of any of this tech is the British Government planning on developing itself? Which British defense or tech companies are developing any of this tech? Is there a support fleet for this $20 billion dollar craft or does it operate independently?

    What threat is this ship going to counter? The Russian Blue Water Navy? The Chinese Atlantic Fleet? The ISIS Islamic Navy?

  • whoopie

    The term dreadnought implies that it can take a licking and still keep fighting. I doubt if a fiberglass hull has the same durability as the 14″ steel armor of a battleship. This appears to be a weak knock-off of a US Littoral class ship, only less survivable (such as that is).

    • Will

      No, dreadnought is just an archaic form of “fearless” and, in relatively recent years, implies a break with the past. While the Dreadnought built in 1906 was the 1st “all big gun” battleship built anywhere, the 1 built in 1963 was the Rayal Navy’s 1st nuclear powered submarine with no armor at all beyond the pressure hull.

    • Bronco46

      Many ships with 14 inches and more have been sunk in the past. The HMS Hood is a memorable example of this. Hulking beasts just aren’t nimble enough. And they eat huge amounts of resources. A plastic ship bothers me a little. I can imagine this thing melting. But depending upon what it costs. And the number they actually build. This could work out.

      • Dfens

        None of the armor or guns, but twice the price.

      • Mitch S.

        The Hood was a battlecruiser that sacrificed armour for speed.

        • Bronco46

          A distinction without a difference!

        • crackedlenses

          One word: Yamato.

    • runswithscissors

      It said it will be made out of acrylic….not fiberglass….big difference.

  • Michael Donnelly

    The criticism of this ship by you lot, the royal navy has made some of, if not the most advanced ships in the world including the type 45 which basically puts almost every other ship to shame just look at what happened when a type 45 went up against an arleigh Burke class it was a disaster for the Burke. Little faith

  • Beercamper

    You’re all missing the main point! There’s not enough deck space for a “steel beach party”!

  • Caracoid

    It’s big and submersible. That’s all I needed to hear. Put a full-length flight deck on it and you’ve got your submersible aircraft carrier. THAT is what they should be looking at. Okay, it’s still only about half the size of a Nimitz class, but why not have the lower above-water level be for take-offs, the top for landings?

    But I guess it’s going to take a carrier-killer missile to sink one before anybody gets the message.

    The day of the surface carrier is gone; and Billy Mitchell is rolling over in his grave.

  • guest

    This ship might be able to give our new LCSs’ a run for their money. Gone are the days of ships of oak and sailors of iron.

  • Will

    Yawn. A concept based on where technology might be in 35 years put out by a company that might not be around itself in 35 years.

    Why am I the 1st to mention that missiles appear to be limited to 24 silos on each of the outer hulls?

  • omegatalon

    Looks more like a command ship as it doesn’t appear to have very much room for weapons and with a top speed of 50 knots, this thing will suck gas like a thirsty drunk.

    • Mate

      Considering they stated the range as unlimited, it’s probable they intend to incorporate a nuclear or fusion reactor instead of gas turbines.

  • dme

    were are the unrep stations ?

  • Ron B

    The UK has no money to spare for even basic combat ships. So this is pie in the sky and really means nothing.

  • macman1138

    A splendid design. Well done!

  • bricko

    By 2050 UK and all of Europe will be Muslim. Turned into hell hole. Immigration policy by the Labourites designed to destroy the entire EU via multi-culti death cults.

  • RichM

    I’m sure we will see it soon in a James Bond movie.

  • XYZ

    Uhhh… okay. Has anyone mentioned this, yet?

    “The ship would not have a conventional mast but a tethered quad-copter which could be flown above the ship. This tether would be made of carbon nanotubes and cryogenically cooled in order to transmit significant power to the quad-copter for multi-spectral sensors and act as a high-power (i.e. laser) weapon to knock down enemy missiles or aircraft. (source: http://www.themanufacturer.com/articles/warship-o…

  • DBM

    Whats with the reverse angled Bow? That design went bye bye before WW1.

  • oblatt23

    Dreadnought is a good name for an operational concept that is set squarely in the past.

  • Fatman

    What? No mention of what appears to be a detachable blimp on the observation tower? My understanding from other articles is that it’s supposed to house equipment to protect the ship from ballistic anti-ship missiles. Lets get a rewrite of this artilce that more than just a regurgitation of a press release please.

  • Joe

    the royal navy still has combat capability?

  • 11CP5

    It does not hurt to dream. However; making that dream come true cost lots of money. Look at the F35. Hard to sale something that will cost twice of what they said in 50 years.

  • Guest

    there will be Britain in 2050? :D

  • George Gauthier

    A single railgun constitutes a single point of failure. It needs two.

  • Brian B. Mulholland

    XYZ beat me to it. A big, tethered UAV to extend the ship’s line of sight? Wow.

  • Derek skinner

    Looks like something out of aJames Bond movie,with all the defense cuts we keep getting this will be the only ship in the fleet,and it could be manned by all the admirals.

  • Grumpy Guy

    The new Islamist Caliphate of Londonistan will appreciate inheriting this cool new kit. Thank you, Dhimmis.

  • IsDemolitionman

    The only characteristic I see needs improving is the rail gun feature. The vessel will have to turn 90+ degrees to engage targets at its stern. This can take time especially if there are more than one enemy target. All a stealth submarine would need to do is have an additional sub approach from its rear.

  • justin

    I just wonder, who’s idea was it to clutter up the helo deck with those picnic tables?

  • Big-D

    Is a “Sea-frame” the equivelant of a “Land-frame” but for water, how about Air-frame, how about “Hybrid-frame” something that goes in water and land, or how about “Vertical-frame” some that hovers, or how about….. :-P