Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Mini drone carriers

We may see a new class of warships come to prominence: drone carriers. These look like aircraft carriers, but are one quarter the size. At 107m  Damen Shipyard's Multi-Purpose Vessel for the Portuguese Navy is half the length of HMAS Canberra. The ship can launch surface and sub surface drones via a crane, as well as fixed wing drones via a ski-jump equipped through-deck. There are spots for vertical takeoff drones, as well as a rear deck wide enough for a conventional; crewed helicopter.

Compared to a similarly sized Anzac-class frigate, a drone carrier may not look a very effective warship. However, that would be similar to the mistake proponents of battleships made before WWII. The effectiveness of such a ship comes from the drones it carries.

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