Is This the Warship of the Future?
If you thought the battleship era faded after World War II, just wait a few decades. A group of British designers with the Startpoint group have revealed concept art for a future warship called Dreadnought 2050, the product of an open-thought experiment at the informal request of the U.K. Ministry of Defense.
Named for the 1905 British man-of-war that rendered its predecessors obsolete, Dreadnought 2050 has all the futuristic accessories that a mid-21st-century warship shouldn’t be without. The ship is powered by hydrogen fusion — or if that proves unworkable, then at least by “highly efficient turbines driving silent electric motors to waterjets.” The hull is composed of “ultra-strong” composites of the finest acrylic. Out back, there’s a floodable dock for launching Royal Marines and swimming drones, a deck for launching armed aerial drones, and 3D printers to make more as needed. The designers don’t specify the size of their new dreadnought, but they imagine it would replace a ship with a crew of about 200 — perhaps making it comparable to the U.S. Navy’s 15,000-ton Zumwalt-class destroyer.