Concept imagery shows autonomous, hypersonic Royal Navy strike drones launching from a floating base in the stratosphere.

Is it feasible? Probably not, no but engineers have taken a look at how the Royal Navy could embrace autonomous technology.

Led by a design challenge for young engineers from UK Naval Engineering Science and Technology (UKNEST), the Royal Navy say it will develop a ‘Future Autonomous Fleet programme’ that could shape how it operates over the next 50 years.

The floating drone base station.

“Stemming from the design challenge, the future vision envisages drones based in the stratosphere to be launched at a moment’s notice; uncrewed fast attack crafts housing smaller autonomous boats; aircraft carriers propelled by both sea-based biofuels and wind power; and an underwater flagship at the centre of the fleet.

Other conceptual ideas include the increased use of artificial intelligence to assist with low-level planning and underwater transport units carrying anything from munitions to food.”

A ‘Fast Strike’ drone.

Second Sea Lord, Vice Admiral Nick Hine said:

“In a future scenario if we find ourselves unable to compete traditionally in terms of mass, we must think differently if we are to regain operational advantage. The young engineers who worked on this project are thinking radically and with real imagination and reflects how the Royal Navy is thinking too.”

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eclipse
eclipse
6 days ago

My only question is, whether this is realistic or not, why would this be under the control of the RN as opposed to the RAF or maybe even RSF (Royal Space Force 😂)?

Lusty
Lusty
6 days ago
Reply to  eclipse

HMS

His/Her Majesty’s Spaceship. 😉

eclipse
eclipse
6 days ago
Reply to  Lusty

or perhaps…

Her/His Majesty’s Superweapon…

Douglas Newell
Douglas Newell
6 days ago
Reply to  eclipse

Its launched from an airship! 😀

Frank62
Frank62
2 days ago
Reply to  Douglas Newell

For when “the baloon goes up”?

Bluemoonday
Bluemoonday
2 days ago
Reply to  Frank62

We would have an endless supply of MOD hot air and Westminster BS gas to fill it with.

Pete
Pete
6 days ago

Looks like an autonomous ultra high altitude version of Airlander50

Tommo
Tommo
5 days ago
Reply to  Pete

Could be launched from Thundrrbird 5

Pete
Pete
5 days ago
Reply to  Tommo

F.A.B.

Tommo
Tommo
5 days ago
Reply to  Pete

Should be cheaper No Strings attached

Reaper
Reaper
6 days ago

With stratosphere winds at 60 to 70 meteres a second they will need to have huge engines and fuel tanks to stay over target!! This will never happen.

eclipse
eclipse
6 days ago
Reply to  Reaper

To be fair, ICBMs do go up through the stratosphere and then come back through it and still hit targets.

Pete
Pete
6 days ago
Reply to  Reaper

Have a look at the UK HAV Airlander lighter than air heavy lift concepts with body shape itself generating lift once moving. Not saying that is anywhere near this concept but I can imagine a time when lighter than air models, coupled with solar power once airborne and body shape generating lift and propulsion into a headwind (similar to an albatros in nature) may provide a loitering presence (20 to 30 days at a time?) in places such as mid Atlantic..albeit at more modest altitudes. Intended amphibious capabilities would, in theory, allow for recovery of USV etc. USNavy and Marines… Read more »

spyintheskyuk
spyintheskyuk
6 days ago
Reply to  Reaper

Could be an interesting ride. Interestingly there are concepts of this nature being proposed for a permanent presence on Venus… well around Venus at extremely high levels anyway where apparently many think that the atmosphere might be reasonably un-killer like.

Tommo
Tommo
5 days ago
Reply to  Reaper

Thanks Reaper for putting the Dampener on this bit of Blue Sky thinking International Resues arch enemy The Hood would have found away round that little problem

Coll
Coll
6 days ago

Another project to throw money at that will never see the light of day.

Charles verrier
Charles verrier
6 days ago

New concept image released of possible future Royal Navy vessel….

EB9077EA-6357-44BF-9895-4032E254583B.jpeg
David Steeper
David Steeper
6 days ago

It needs more VLS cells and a bigger hanger and more guns and there should be 20 of them not one and ………..

russ
russ
6 days ago
Reply to  David Steeper

Ha! Good one. 🙂

spyintheskyuk
spyintheskyuk
6 days ago

No doubt built for and not with any credible armament though that big ass sensor on the front will at least be able to see the Klingon incoming…. unless the non cricket playing fiends attack from the rear.

David Steeper
David Steeper
6 days ago
Reply to  spyintheskyuk

Ooh er missus !

Tommo
Tommo
5 days ago

The LOA would be to much for a Five year deployment

Mark
Mark
6 days ago

As I said on FB yesterday this idea was thought of by a certain Glenn A Larson in the 70s . It’s a Cylon basestar. An Ai operated mothership with AI dones (cylon fighters). The destruction of the 13th colony is nigh…So say we all.🤣

Louis Wales
Louis Wales
6 days ago
Reply to  Mark

So say we all

Tommo
Tommo
11 hours ago
Reply to  Louis Wales

Galactica even had Cats and Traps

STEVE
STEVE
5 days ago

You never know what the future holds sounds interesting would if come under the space force under the RAF

JOHNT
JOHNT
5 days ago

Based in the stratosphere, are they building Cloudbase? If so those have to be called Angel Interceptors. This is the voice of the mysterons.

Tommo
Tommo
11 hours ago
Reply to  JOHNT

DID Ckoud base,have Cats and Traps Capt Black never told me ,

Nate M
Nate M
3 days ago

nice. next on the agenda solar power death rays.

Tommo
Tommo
10 minutes ago
Reply to  Nate M

Arcemedis supposedly built one and Mythbusters tried too replicate it

Tristan Adams
Tristan Adams
2 days ago

Maybe just work on getting those type 45 destroyers working again before we take to the stars …