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 will develop a Future Autonomous Fleet programme that could shape how it operates over the next 50 years.

This uncrewed vessel lurks underwater before launching aerial drones.

“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.”

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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David Steeper
David Steeper
1 day ago

‘Probably not’ Brave statement. 50 years ago what I’m doing right now would have been science fiction so why not !

Mark B
Mark B
1 day ago
Reply to  David Steeper

The birth of the internet was in the early eighties so possibly true however there was certainly a lot of activity in the sixties and seventies which was launching the tech in that general direction. That activity is probably similar to the activity now going on into drones etc.

That said for those that remember a programme called tomorrows world the lessons you learn are that the predictions rarely resemble the reality.

eclipse
eclipse
1 day ago
Reply to  Mark B

Nevertheless, I don’t see why this is impossible. UUV-launching submarines are already being considered so I think UAV-launching submarines are also reasonable.

Andy P
Andy P
1 day ago
Reply to  eclipse

I would guess control of underwater drones would be a problem unless they weren’t very deep but that would raise other issues.

Love the ‘sci fi’ aspect of it allthough.

eclipse
eclipse
1 day ago
Reply to  Andy P

Imagine telling someone 50 years ago. They would wirelessly be able to talk to someone thousands of miles away. I’m sure we will have no issues connecting drones far under the waves to our ships.

Andy P
Andy P
1 day ago
Reply to  eclipse

You’re about something that is tethered then as opposed to remote. Radio waves don’t travel well through water.

Steve
Steve
1 day ago
Reply to  Andy P

I guess it’s a cost question, but in theory you could network up a series of drones, starting from one on or near the surface and then daisy chain downwards into the depths. The pain problem in addition to cost, is likely to be power, since anything electronc needs it.

Andy P
Andy P
1 day ago
Reply to  Steve

To transmit radio waves into (or through) water takes a lot of power to send. The lower the radio frequency the better but the lower the frequency the more power is needed. Less power to receive but you’re very restricted in the depth that you can communicate with a subsurface unit over distance.

Steve
Steve
1 day ago
Reply to  Andy P

This was my assumption that power would be the main blocker, but with battery tech advancing and AI improving, it could be viable in the future. Subs aren’t super fast and so there wouldn’t need to be a constant stream of data sent, you could in theory send instructions every few hours or even every few days allowing for less power consumption. I guess it comes down to what the mission is and how real time it needs to be.

K O
K O
1 day ago
Reply to  Andy P

I doubt we’ll be using radio waves, more like quantum entanglement , world+dog is (probably – I have no actual knowledge) trying to get it working to combat the limitations you mentioned.

Ian
Ian
23 hours ago
Reply to  Andy P

and low frequency = low data rate, because the data is transmitted through frequency modulation.

Tommo
Tommo
23 hours ago
Reply to  Andy P

I know,that this may not be of concern for underwater frequency but as you stated the power required is lbig in July 82 we embarked an Argo n Laser and the power required meant in stalling 2 massive amplifiers to boost power

David Steeper
David Steeper
1 day ago
Reply to  Mark B

Remember growing up watching Star Trek original version with ‘communicators’ seemed bizarre and impossible but compared with modern mobile phones they were ridiculously primitive same with computers but I take your point about tomorrows world. Lesson for me is that anything is possible until it’s proved to be impossible.

will
will
1 day ago
Reply to  David Steeper

Your right about the capability but you can’t use a mobile phone on an alien planet with no sat or ground based towers so we’re not quite there yet.

David Steeper
David Steeper
1 day ago
Reply to  will

Yeah but we could do it with a million tonne starship in low orbit ! Probably.

Pete
Pete
1 day ago
Reply to  Mark B

Ahh TW. Don’t know why but I remember the episode where they speculated that collestral strings in the blood streams seen with an early intrusive mini camera stream was stringy bits from oranges !

Tommo
Tommo
1 day ago
Reply to  Pete

Fantastic voyage with Raquel Welch mini sub in the blood stream

spyintheskyuk
spyintheskyuk
20 hours ago
Reply to  Mark B

On the other hand you have Things to Come circa 1936 predicting flat screen TVs 70 odd years before we started to see them. Unfortunately they also suggested we would all be flying around in prop driven aircraft and autogyros. Mind you the way things are going with E-copter, drones and electric aircraft design they might even have the last laugh there too.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
1 day ago

Hardly new, this technology has been around since the sixties 😂

4474D01B-DD27-4702-92EB-F3F1CF04CECC-e1609141809663.jpeg
Farouk
Farouk
1 day ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

That’s a rather nice sea view…..

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
1 day ago
Reply to  Farouk

LOL, that’s what you can expect when you voyage to the bottom of the sea!

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
1 day ago
Reply to  Farouk

This is another interesting project.
The RM/SBS will be glad of this I’m sure.

“The first prototype of SubSea Craft’s innovative Victa-class diver delivery unit (DDU) entered the water for the first time on 9 September”

https://www.janes.com/defence-news/naval-weapons/latest/update-subsea-crafts-victa-diver-delivery-craft-enters-the-water

john melling
john melling
1 day ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

I can imagine a ship full of those, 2 crew, 6 divers and able to insert on onto beaches, harbours with their new raiding doctrine I think this is a good idea.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
1 day ago
Reply to  john melling

Sounds like a perfect fit for the role and worth spending the money on without question.

More information can be found via this link.

https://mikeshouts.com/subsea-craft-victa-class-diver-delivery-unit/

Subsea-Craft-VICTA-Class-Diver-Delivery-Unit-Featured-image-1568x882.jpg
Tommo
Tommo
22 hours ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

The yanks will undoubtedly say we’ve had those for our Seals for years ask Irwin Allen But we did have the X craft used against the Terpiz and against the Japs in Singapore ,but glad too see that Clandestine ops, are back with equipment to boot

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
23 seconds ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Love this. Great spot Nigel. Thanks for highlighting.

A short range underwater of 25 Nautical miles? So a ship must get close enough to be vulnerable before dropping.

Assume light enough that a Chinook could drop it so ship can remain further out if needed.

With the current SDV MKII / Chalfont combination, at least the approach is guaranteed to be covert.

Tommo
Tommo
22 hours ago
Reply to  john melling

SBS divers only or open to RN CDs as well?

Tommo
Tommo
22 hours ago
Reply to  Tommo

And Patrick Duffy

David Steeper
David Steeper
1 day ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Where’s Raquel Welch ? That’s the only reason i’m here.

Tommo
Tommo
1 day ago

Bang goes LOA Dave 50yrs ago I was hooked on Richard Basehart and Voyage to the bottom of the sea and Star trek with their, flip open communicators science fiction became science fact. Mind you there is provably people who still call it Witchcraft

David Steeper
David Steeper
23 hours ago
Reply to  Tommo

👍

Tommo
Tommo
1 day ago

I wonder if Irwin Allen has the copyright on these?

Tommo
Tommo
22 hours ago
Reply to  Tommo

Sorry Copyright on any under water filming ,and patent rights for any submersible that looks like Seaview

spyintheskyuk
spyintheskyuk
20 hours ago

I love that that thing looks like a Manta Ray which some seem to think is one of the most efficient underwater forms. You can even imagine it flying in and out of water but that is too fanciful outside of UFO videos.

Bringer of Facts
Bringer of Facts
19 hours ago

I think drone carriers are a realistic prospect, albeit surface ships. Right now, as with all remote vehicles the weak spot is the remote control signal over distance, which is also prone to ECM.

Last edited 19 hours ago by Bringer of Facts