Rolls-Royce Unveils Autonomous Naval Vessel Concept

Rolls-Royce has released its concept of a naval vessel designed to operate autonomously and perform single-role missions such as patrol, surveillance, fleet screening and mine detection.

The company said Tuesday it envisions the ship displacing 771.6 tons and traveling at a speed of more than 25 knots beyond the horizon for more than 100 days.

Rolls-Royce aims to integrate a power dense propulsion system, two company-made MTU 4000 Series gensets, small gas turbines, permanent magnet Azipull thrusters, energy storage and photovoltaic solar panels into the vessel.

Benjamin Thorp, general manager of Rolls-Royce’s naval electrics, automation and control business, said the company has observed multiple navies showing interest in autonomous ships.

“Over the next 10 years or so, Rolls-Royce expects to see the introduction of medium sized unmanned platforms, particularly in leading navies, as the concept of mixed manned and unmanned fleets develops,” Thorp added.

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