Rolls-Royce developing a fleet of autonomous naval ships

In what could be the most innovative naval vessels at sea, Rolls-Royce has revealed that it is developing a range of self-driving ships.

The crewless vessels will have a range of 3,500 nautical miles, and will be used to perform a range of missions, including patrol and surveillance, mine detection and fleet screening.

Rolls-Royce hopes that the fleet could take to sea 'over the next 10 years.'

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The crewless vessels will have a range of 3,500 nautical miles, and will be used to perform a range of missions, including patrol and surveillance, mine detection or fleet screening

The crewless vessels will have a range of 3,500 nautical miles, and will be used to perform a range of missions, including patrol and surveillance, mine detection or fleet screening

THE AUTONOMOUS VESSELS

The 60 metre-long vessel concept is capable of operating beyond the horizon for over 100 days, will displace 700 tonnes and reach speeds above 25 knots. 

At the heart of the vessel is a robust and reliable power dense propulsion system. 

The initial design suggests that the vessels will have a full electric propulsion system.

It features two Rolls-Royce MTU 4000 Series generators, providing around 4MW electrical power to a 1.5MW propulsion drive.

And to reduce fuel consumption and extend range, an additional 3,000 kWh of energy storage will be used for low speed operations.

The vessel will also be fitted with solar panels to generate power when the vessel is on standby.

The 60 metre-long vessel concept is capable of operating beyond the horizon for over 100 days, will displace 700 tonnes and reach speeds above 25 knots.

At the heart of the vessel is a robust and reliable power dense propulsion system.

Benjamin Thorp, General Manager of Naval Electrics, Automation

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