Sean Poulter — Daily Mail August 31, 2015
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.’