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Royal Navy

Artist's concept of the Successor submarine (Image: Ministry of Defence)

As part of an update to Parliament on the progress of the Trident replacement program, Britain’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) has released a concept image of the Royal Navy’s next ballistic nuclear missile submarine. This coincides with the awarding of two contracts to BAE Systems Maritime-Submarines for £47 million (US$76 million) and £32 million (US$60 million) to begin preliminary design work on the nuclear-powered submarines, currently called the Successor class, which are intended to replace the Navy’s aging fleet of of Vanguard-class boats by 2028.  Read More

HMS Hermes may have been one of the ships equipped with a laser weapon (Photo: Royal Navy)

Despite recent demonstrations by the US Navy, we still think of laser weapons as being things of the future. However, previously-classified British documents prove that not only were the major powers working on laser weapons in the 1970s and 80s, but that they were already being deployed with combat units in war zones. A letter from the Ministry of Defence released under the 30-year rule reveals that laser weapons were deployed on Royal Navy ships during the Falklands War in 1982, and that the British government was concerned about similar weapons being developed behind the Iron Curtain.  Read More

BAE Systems' Artisan 3D Medium Range Radar Type 997

If you've ever worried about the threat from supersonic tennis balls, then BAE Systems’ Artisan medium-range Type 997 3D surveillance radar should put you at ease – it can detect one traveling at Mach 3 (1,980 mph, 3,186 km/h) at a distance of 25 kilometers (15.5 mi). The new radar, developed for the Royal Navy’s Type 23 Duke-class frigates, is designed to simultaneously detect 900 targets smaller than a bird, against background noise equivalent to 10,000 mobile phone signals at ranges from 200 meters (656 ft) to 200 kilometers (124 mi).  Read More

The Cox Powertrain may find use in Royal Navy vessels such as this one

Britain’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) has confirmed that it is continuing funding for a new diesel outboard engine for the Royal Navy’s rigid inflatable craft. Currently under development by Cox Powertrain, the prototype marine engine concept uses opposed pistons. It is part of a policy adopted by NATO countries for converting to heavy oil wherever possible, to simplify logistics and reduce the use of petrol at sea.  Read More

The replica bridge at Britannia Royal Naval College Dartmouth

On-the-job training is not something you want to do with the bridge team of a frigate costing over a billion pounds, so the Royal Navy uses simulators to bring officers up to speed. The latest is a Photo-realistic warship bridge simulator installed at the Britannia Royal Naval College (BRNC), Dartmouth, England. This simulator uses computers to generate images so realistic that students often sway as the “ship” rolls, even though it’s sitting still.  Read More

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