UXV Combatant is the future of warships. It is a concept warship designed by BVT Surface Fleet (now BAE Systems Surface Ships), which was put on show at the Defense Security and Equipment International (DSEi) in 2007. When built completely, it is expected to relocate approximately 8,000 tonnes. According to Charles Thompson of BAE Systems, It’s a violent thing to launch an aircraft off a carrier—you can only stress the human being so much. The UXV can launch, operate and recover large numbers of small unmanned vehicles for extended periods; the UXV plays the role of mother ship – an undeviating base and control centre for the ultramodern unmanned land, sea and air vehicles before, during and on achievement of their missions.
If approved, the UXV is expected to enter service with the Royal Navy sometime after 2020. It is said to share similarity of features with Type 45 destroyer. It is anticipated the UXV Combatant will feature two decks for launching unmanned aircraft, V/STOL (Vertical/Short Take-off and Landing) aircraft, and helicopters; arrayed in a “V” shape. Each deck as expected would be roughly 164 feet (50 m) in length. For launching drones/ V/STOL craft, the UXV could be estimated to use electromagnetic catapults, and ramps that are currently used on many aircraft carriers around the world. Reportedly, the UXV is also capable of launching unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs) from a port on its base and, in addition, will be able to deploy amphibious troops, just as many destroyers today. To provide covering fire for amphibious
missions, each UXV will probably be equipped with a 155 mm cannon as planned under an upgrade from the current 4.5 inch Mark 8 mod 1 gun. The cannon will be able to fire bursts of 20 rounds, in rapid sequence. The UXV will be likely to have the potential of striking longer range targets with vertical missile-launch platforms.
Though the UXV shares features with type 45, some of its features are going to be absolutely exclusive. Unlike most of its predecessors, the UXV could run lucratively with least crew. Battleships once carried hundreds of sailors; the UXV could run with a crew of only 60, enough for three shift changes, along with a handful of additional crew members to service the drones. When this ship comes to service, it is for sure going to earn merits for its versatility. It is said to be developed under a concept they call “modular mission bays,” a set of plug-and-play features that would enable commanders to quickly “re-role” the boat. The UXV could change from submarine hunter to mine sweeper to a platform for supplying ground troops to a launching pad for drone-based air strikes.
Type: Multirole ship
Displacement: approx. 8,000 long tons
Length: 500 ft (152.4 m)
Beam: 70 ft (21 m)
Speed: 27 knots (50 km/h; 31 mph)
Censors and processing systems: Radio Frequency Identification sensors, infrared, radar
Armaments: 20 × MK 57 VLS modules, comprising a total of 80 missiles; Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile (ESSM); Tactical Tomahawk, or, Vertical Launch Anti-Submarine Rocket (ASROC); 1 × 155 mm gun (920 × 155 mm); 2 × Mk 110 57 mm gun (dual-purpose); 1-4 × CIWS missile launchers (sea-ceptor, or, naval Starstreak).
Aircrafts: Taranis UCAV or other UCAVs; Merlin and Lynx wildcat or possible new helicopters; possibly VTOL or STOL aircraft; other Various aircraft ranging from anti-submarine helicopters, Helicopter gunships, Unmanned helicopters or others.