This Futuristic Battleship May Be a Reality Sooner Than You Think

These ultra-sophisticated Dreadnoughts are fast, fierce and not totally unrealistic.
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These ultra-sophisticated Dreadnoughts are fast, fierce and not totally unrealistic.
Concept image for Startpoint Dreadnought

Over 100 years ago the Royal Navy launched the first dreadnought battleship and turned the world of naval warfare on its head. Now the brains designing battleships at the UK's Startpoint naval defense group have released designs for a new class of 21st century Dreadnoughtand the future of warfare on the high seas looks sleek.

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DefenseOne writes that if these ever move from brilliantly rendered concepts to reality, then Startpoint's Dreadnought 2050 will have "all the futuristic accessories that a mid-21st-century warship shouldn’t be without."

These sci-fi creations could run on fusion engines and their hulls will be made of "acrylic composite." It gets a little crazier, reports DefenseOne, with "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."

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The concept for Dreadnought 2050's bridge operation is just as sophisticated. DefenseOne reports it may employ "elaborate holograms" and such "futuristic" tools will allow the ship to operate with a minimal crew — as few as 100 sailors. Other theoretical innovations would "an electromagnetic railgun" and a laser equipped "drone that launches from where the mast should be, connected to the hull via a cryogenically cooled, carbon-nanotube tether."

In asking whether or not Startpoint's slick, striking designs and concepts are realistic, DefenseOne details a few real, recent developments in naval warfare—including massive battlecruisers under development in Russia and China—and concludes "warships have a future because we will keep inventing things to put on them."Like laser cannons and portable weapon-bearing drones that could be unleashed in some unholy swarm.

War and aggression are terrible, but they unleash some truly stunning innovations.

Photos by © Startpoint 2015