UXV Combatant Warship Made for Drone Battles Heralds Robot Apocalypse

Illustration for article titled UXV Combatant Warship Made for Drone Battles Heralds Robot Apocalypse

Here's the UXV Combatant, a new class of warship being developed by BAE Systems to fight in the drone wars. BAE believes that the future battlefield will be full of intelligent robots fighting against each other, probably until they realize they can join together to eliminate all humans from Earth. The ship looks and specs, expected to enter service past 2020, look terrifying:

The 8,000-tonne carrier is designed "to launch, operate and recover large numbers of small unmanned vehicles for extended periods" that will operate in land, sea and air. According to BAE, it will have:

Flexible and efficient twin flight decks

Variable ski jump

Rotary aviation facilities

Below-deck hangar

Smart munitions


For power, the UXV Combatant could be able to use "full integrated electrical propulsion with twin propeller shafts/motors supplied by gas turbine and diesel alternators. Alternatively, cruising power can be supplied by two shafts/motors and diesel alternators with boost power from one gas turbine driving two water jets."

Great. I don't have a clue about what they are talking about, but I'm ordering my nuclear shelter. Now. [BAE Systems]



I just got out of the Navy; worked in Engineering, maybe I can clear up some of the confusion here. The gobbledeygook about the power plant is talking about using either diesel generators or gas turbine generators (the Navy's power sources of choice these days for small vessels like this) to power electric motors to drive two shaft-mounted screws (i.e., propellers) as well as a jet-ski-like waterjet writ large. "Rotary aviation facilities" means "we can land helicopters here." "Variable ski jump" is just a hydraulically-adjustable ramp to make it easier for some short-take-off aircraft to, y'know, take off. The Brits and Russians and a few others have ski-jump type carriers. There will definitely be people on board; the windows in the artist's conception there are for the bridge (on the forward side of the superstructure) and the flight deck control people (on the aft side of the superstructure). As far as the scuba monkeys with bombs, you have burly men with guns — or tiny little women lugging around M-60s as big as they are, which I saw once on the Truman, hysterical — to keep those people away.