On January 7th, the YouTube channel “Weapons of the World” published a video summing up the UK’s upcoming “super weapons.” They will allegedly put Great Britain on top of the military food chain, following the US.
The video begins by showing future submarine concepts and showing what they could look like, with sleek designs, some of them resembling the forms of various fish.
An operator is shown working on a holographic, touch-screen panel, presumably controlling the underwater vessel.
The designs were made by “a team of engineers,” and are simply an imagining of the “future fleet of the Royal Navy.”
One submarine looks like a manta ray, while another one resembles an eel. The eel-submarine would have “individual sensor pods that use lasers.”
Taking it one step further into the future, “scientists also came up with flying fish drones,” which would be powered by plasma batteries.
One would presume that with such designs they would try to mingle with the underwater inhabitants or possibly “fool” enemy vessels that they’re simply a fish or other part of the underwater flora or fauna.
Another concept is the Tempest Fighter Jet. It was revealed in July 2018 and the plan is for it to be a 6th-generation fighter, to even surpass the F-35. One would imagine it wouldn’t be too hard, since the F-35 is plagued by constant issues.
“One of Tempest’s most important technologies is optional manning, meaning it will be able to fly with a human pilot or without one. Tempest also would be able to direct a group swarming drones, complicating the enemy’s defense and enhancing the plane’s survivability.
Another piece of tech being designed into Tempest (and likely to become standard in future fighters) is so-called “cooperative engagement capability.” That is, the ability to cooperate on the battlefield, sharing sensor data and messages to coordinate attack or defense.
Tempest will have hypersonic weapons that travel Mach 5 or faster at its disposal, presumably in both air-to-air and air-to-ground configurations. The British fighter will also have directed energy weapons with “non-kinetic effects.””
Next up is the “UK Dragon Fire Laser,” components for which arrived in early 2018 and will presumably be assembled and tested soon.
Dragonfire will demonstrate a fiber laser with a 50 kW output in 2019 tests. Laser will put a focused beam the size of an English penny 5 km away and will possibly be equipped onto future combat aircraft.
Following that, it shows the UK’s next-generation stealth hypersonic missile. The video shows a UAV locating some enemy warships. Then an operator launches a guided missile that is to strike the enemy. The missile however is conventional and fails, it is destroyed.
The operator then has to employ the CVS401 Perseus. The very-fashionable red missile is developed in a joint UK-France project. The missile is described as a “Unique multi-role, multi-Platform weapon system to be integrated on all major weapon platforms such as; warships, submarines, aircraft and land-based platforms.”
The stealthy Perseus missile is planned to have capabilities similar to Brahmos, with a range of 300 km reaching speeds of Mach 3. It is powered by a ramjet motor. The missile is 5 metres in length and weighs around 800 kg, with a 200 kg “main” warhead. In addition to the main warhead, Perseus is equipped with 2x 40–50 kg inertially guided effectors.
Naturally in the video, such a conceptually sound weapon devastates the enemy vessels.
Following is the “Royal Navy type 31e super frigate.” Despite being called “super” in the video, the type 31e is to be a scaled-down frigate that the UK wants to be able to both export and buy in numbers to eventually grow the size of the fleet.
The U.K. plans to initially build five of the frigates, with a top-line budget of £1.25 billion for the whole program.
In December 2018, the shortlist of three candidates for the Type 31e frigate was released. It includes:
- The Arrowhead is expected to sit at 5,700 tonnes and 138.7 metres in length, the ships company is around 100 with space for an embarked military force of 60. Babcock’s Team 31 has selected the proven in-service Iver Huitfeldt frigate design as the baseline for their T31e product;
- Leander is expected to be around 4,000 tonnes and 120 metres in length with a ship’s company of about 120 with space for an embarked military force of 30. The Leander design has evolved from the Khareef class corvettes built by BAE Systems.
- The third bid is from the Atlas Elektronik UK / Thyssenkrup Marine Systems, it is supposed to be based on the MEKO A-200 which is already in service with the South African and Algerian navies.
The first of the “super frigates” is expected to be commissioned in 2023.
Another upcoming warship is the “Royal Navy Type 26 Super Frigate.” The Type 26 is “a 21st Century warship that will replace the Type 23 frigate as the workhorse of the Fleet, undertaking the Royal Navy’s three core roles – warfighting, maritime security and international engagement – on the world stage.”
Its program is called the “Global Combat Ship,” and it is aimed at creating a City-class frigate. Its main capabilities, according to the manufacturer BAE Systems will be:
“Versatility of roles is enabled by the Integrated Mission Bay and Hanger, capable of supporting multiple helicopters, UUVs, boats, mission loads and disaster relief stores. A launcher can be provided for fixed wing UAV operation and the Flight Deck is capable of landing a Chinook helicopter for transport of embarked forces.”
It has a top speed of more than 26 knots, a crew of 157 and has a range in excess of 7,000 nautical miles. The first one is named HMS Glasgow and it is to enter into service in the mid-2020s.
Finally, it ends with the “UK’s F-35 Super Fighter Jets.” It is questionable if it is really “super,” there’s really no need to go into too much detail about the most expensive military project of all time, which also appears to be becoming more and more expensive overtime, mostly due to its endless issues.