Rolls-Royce reveals autonomous patrol ship plans

Rolls-Royce has revealed plans for an autonomous naval vessel with a range of 3,500 nautical miles.

The vessel concept is capable of operating for over 100 days, will displace 700 tonnes, and reach speeds above 25 knots.

The 60m vessel is designed to perform a range of single-role missions, including patrol and surveillance, mine detection, or fleet screening.

An electric propulsion system, which features two Rolls-Royce MTU 4000 Series gensets providing around 4MW of power to a 1.5MW propulsion drive, will drive the vessel.

“Permanent Magnet Azipull” thrusters, together with a bow-mounted tunnel thruster, will make the vessel highly manoeuvrable, said the company.

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

“Rolls-Royce is seeing interest from major navies in autonomous, rather than remote controlled, ships,” it said.

“Such ships offer a way to deliver increased operational capability, reduce the risk to crew, and cut operating and build costs.”

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Rolls-Royce reveals autonomous patrol ship plans