The UXV Combatant was designed by BVT Surface Fleet and displayed at the Defence Security and Equipment International event in 2007, would it have been a good investment?
Designed to “launch, operate and recover large numbers of small unmanned vehicles for extended periods, the UXV plays the role of mother ship – a permanent base and control centre for the futuristic unmanned land, sea and air vehicles before, during and on completion of their missions“.
The UXV Combatant featured two flight decks for launching unmanned aerial vehicles, V/STOL aircraft, and helicopters; arrayed in a “V” shape.
The UXV would have packed enough heat to give all these assets cover. On the foredeck, missile batteries could house both surface-to-air and ship-to-ship missiles and cruise missiles. A large-calibre gun that fires six-inch munitions, 20 rounds at a time, provides incredible power for ship-to-ship fighting and for strafing a variety of targets onshore.
When plans for the UXV hit the web in 2007, some commentators sniped that the ship was destined to be the warship of a robot uprising. But that’s unlikely. As with today’s “drones” (remotely piloted air systems), most of the aircraft on the UXV would be controlled by remote human operators.
According to a press release at the time:
“Each flight deck is approximately 164 feet (50 m) in length. To launch aircraft, UXV Combatant could be expected to use the Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System or a ski-jump.
UXV Combatant is also reported to be capable of launching unmanned underwater vehicles via a “moon pool”, and in addition, able to embark a large number of troops plus their equipment.
For naval gunfire support, UXV Combatant is equipped with a 155 mm cannon, able to fire bursts of 20 rounds in rapid succession.”