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Future French Naval Concept: the Swordship

Firefly 2

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Obviously, this concept by French company DCN is aimed to rival the Zumwaalt class of future destroyers that are being developped ( not without problems, so it seems) by the US Navy.



Trimaran design, a proposed armament of a single three gun turret ( 155mm).
One single launch module for 48 missiles with a mix of cruise missiles ( naval SCALP), ASM and SAM missiles ( probably ASTER 30 for long range and MICA for closer ranges).

It is proposed to have retrievable UUV's and UAV's.

I really like the shape of this design. It reminds me a bit of the a pic for a fictional Ironclad I once saw in an old novel.
 

flateric

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RK5WOXZknk0&feature=related
 

Remko

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Awesome design, the video is really amazing! No longer a warship CIC, but rather starship Enterprise like Bridge!

Any more drawings available of this beauty? Is it actually being considered, or just a demonstration of a future stealthship and it's capabilities?

EDIT: Like the Ancient saying goes: "Google is your friend!" ;) ;)

http://www.mindef.gov.sg/imindef/mindef_websites/atozlistings/navy/microsites/npts/npts_2007_papers.html

Various downloadable documents. Paper #2 is about the Sword Ship. B)
 

Just call me Ray

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I must say, it is pretty well thought out.


I wonder what kind of propulsion system it uses - I see a lack of smokestack so I guess one of those magic "green" ultra-long range motors navies keep wishing they have right now.
 

flateric

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Just call me Ray said:
I must say, it is pretty well thought out.


I wonder what kind of propulsion system it uses - I see a lack of smokestack so I guess one of those magic "green" ultra-long range motors navies keep wishing they have right now.
Electric driven stuff, you are right.
Good presentation on Swordwish http://www.mindef.gov.sg/imindef/mindef_websites/atozlistings/navy/microsites/npts/npts_2007_papers.-imindefPars-0002-DownloadFile.tmp/Day1Paper2%20SWORDSHIP,%20a%20Concept%20Ship%20by%20DCN.pdf
 

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Just call me Ray

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Triton said:
I wonder if Northrup Grumman, or another US-based contractor, will get a license to manufacture for the US Navy?
I highly doubt it, and especially NG, since they already have their own LCS proposal which already closely fits.

flateric said:
Electric driven stuff, you are right.
It's probably in the links you posted, but where do these electric motors get its electricity from?
 

red admiral

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It's probably in the links you posted, but where do these electric motors get its electricity from?
There's a bit more detail in the report but its a combination of gas turbine and fuel cell propulsion, with the fuel cell used for speeds below 14knts. There's a bit more detail on the exhaust arrangements with reagrds to reducing heat plume and noise.

I'm not sure on the shrouded props though. They don't seem to be pump jets so I'm wondering what advantage they'd have for this application, unless a lot of time is to be spent at low speeds.

There's an interesting visual stealth system that seems to use misting sprays to create it's own fog bank.
 

Just call me Ray

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I imagine that it's probably only a few years until the figure out how to install huge fossil fuel-free hydrogen cells onto ships.
 

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fossil fuel-free hydrogen cells
The problem is that, at the moment, this is a contradiction in terms - a substantial amount of hydrogen is obtained from fossil fuels by a massively polluting process. The first fuel cells on surface ships are likely to run hydrogen extracted from the ships diesel (which is a very effective way to transport hydrogen). These would be run in harbour to reduce pollution or when operational needs require lower signatures.

RP1
 

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How about a teeny, tiny nuclear reactor to run a small electrolysis plant and extract hydrogen from seawater 24/7? I'm only half kidding, by the way.
 

Just call me Ray

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RP1 said:
fossil fuel-free hydrogen cells
The problem is that, at the moment, this is a contradiction in terms - a substantial amount of hydrogen is obtained from fossil fuels by a massively polluting process. The first fuel cells on surface ships are likely to run hydrogen extracted from the ships diesel (which is a very effective way to transport hydrogen). These would be run in harbour to reduce pollution or when operational needs require lower signatures.

RP1
Not just electrolyze it straight from the very water they float on top of, therefore turning the world's oceans into a giant fuel tank?

Of course, the electrolytical process itself requires a ton of energy.
 

RP1

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Of course, the electrolytical process itself requires a ton of energy.
This, and the chlorine, being the problem. When you are using so much electrical power you have to refuel a reactor at sea, things have gotten a little out of hand.

RP1
 

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flateric said:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RK5WOXZknk0&feature=related
Oh my, I posted this thread two years ago... Thank you Flateric! Great vid.
 

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Would be nice if they design this with a multi-use platform capability like the Danish Absalon ships. With modular compartments and capability to carry equipment and troops.

It also reminds me a bit of the BGV HSC N130 S:
http://www.bgv.eu/spip.php?article66&lang=en

-----JT-----
 

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vajt said:
Would be nice if they design this with a multi-use platform capability like the Danish Absalon ships. With modular compartments and capability to carry equipment and troops.

It also reminds me a bit of the BGV HSC N130 S:
http://www.bgv.eu/spip.php?article66&lang=en

-----JT-----
Thanks for the tip, I hadn't heared anything about the Absalon class yet (although I do get the Naval-Technology.com newsletter every now and then), but these surely are beautiful and very capable ships!
 

Triton

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The DCN SWORDSHIP concept was unveiled at Euronaval 2006 as a conjectural surface ship of the year 2030. It is a cross between a guided-missile frigate (FFG) and the United States' littoral combat ship (LCS).

Length is 145 meters, beam is 33.6 meters, and displacement is over 5,300 metric tons (between 5,000 and 6,000 metric tons). Crew of 40.

The SWORDSHIP hullform was designed to offer higher seakeeping capabilities through the following features:

  • a significance distance between the center of flotation and the center of buoyancy, resulting in increased pitch moment of inertia

  • a “SWATH” type shape at the stern

  • a wave piercing bow shape

Trimaran hullform at the base

The main driver for RCS reduction, in terms of overall architecture is to adopt a general shape of hull and superstructure with adequate inward slopes (tumble home) in order to deflect rather than reflect the incoming radar waves.

Conventional, single hull forms cannot offer good enough stability if significant side slopes are adopted. Not only their stability reserve is dangerously reduced by such shaping of the sides, but this also limits greatly the deck area available on the top decks. The sloping often adopted on today’s stealth ships is sufficient to achieve a good level of reduction of the signature, consistent with the objective of reducing detection range and improving the decoys effectiveness. However, the levels required
to virtually eliminate their signature are much greater than can be safely achieved.


Images of DCNS SWORDSHIP model and CGI model.

Sources:
http://www.meretmarine.com/article.cfm?id=102721

SWORDSHIP - A Concept Ship by DCN by Philippe Goubault, Senior Naval Architect, DCN, France, Claudia Bardes Head Signature Reduction Group, DCN, France, and Arnaud Lacoin Head Military Mission Department, DCN, France
 

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Triton

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A Radical New Approach in Combat Management

The SWORDSHIP combat management relies on automated processing of the data
collected from the various sources. This will take away from the ship itself this heavy
workload and enable a drastic reduction in manning requirements at the Command
and Information Center (CIC).

In addition, powerful, safe and secure communications, able to transmit back and
forth a very large amount of data to and from a land based processing center are used
to further the processing capability. This processing center will receive all
information from all sensors covering the area, verify and correlate them along with
intelligence information and send back to the ship a complete tactical situation.

The result is a visionary CIC manned only by four persons and transported at the
bridge in order to enhance its communications with the ship operation. As a matter of
fact, this makes possible the full integration of combat management and ship control
operations, the ship’s commander being at the heart of the integrated CIC + bridge.

An Augmented Reality Bridge

Carrying the concept further, the integrated bridge is now put into an augmented
reality room where the view from the outside is reproduced through a panoramic
continuous screen on the virtual room’s walls. Redundant sets of (high definition)
web cams provide the 360° view from the outside with no interruption from structural
elements or any other obstacle of this sort. The four-man station is virtually projected
outside and can see the ship’s surroundings better than one could ever do from a
conventional bridge. Furthermore, the view can be completed with IR or night vision
and even by radar spotted objects with information as needed (bearing, distance,
speed, identification…) as well as with all relevant navigational information
correlated form the Electronic Charts.

As the virtual bridge is no longer physically tied to the traditional bridge location, it
may be put anywhere in the ship, or rather duplicated (one could not envision
duplicate an entire CIC but a 4-station room is affordable). The secondary station
may ten serve as a training center at sea. In addition, it is possible likewise to
reproduce the same virtual bridge at the headquarters and train officers in live
situations. This could be the last step before taking full control of the ship from the
shore.

From SWORDSHIP - A Concept Ship by DCN by Philippe Goubault, Senior Naval Architect, DCN, France, Claudia Bardes Head Signature Reduction Group, DCN, France, and Arnaud Lacoin Head Military Mission Department, DCN, France

Picture source:
http://www.meretmarine.com/article.cfm?id=102721
 

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Triton

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The complete white paper:

SWORDSHIP - A Concept Ship by DCN by Philippe Goubault, Senior Naval Architect, DCN, France, Claudia Bardes Head Signature Reduction Group, DCN, France, and Arnaud Lacoin Head Military Mission Department, DCN, France


Synopsis:
A new concept for an “Ultimate” Stealth surface combatant is being considered by DCN as part of its continuing effort in offering top level products to its clients worldwide. The SWORDSHIP design developed by DCN is a concept ship being proposed as a vision at the horizon 2030 of what could be proposed at such a long term pending a number of technological developments.

DCN has long been at the forefront of Stealth Ships technology. This effort started with the famous Lafayette class of frigates in the nineties and continues through state of the art projects such as the RSS Formidable as well as the new Horizon class frigates and the future European Multi-mission Frigate program. The SWORDSHIP design features the most accomplished design in this regard. This ship will be virtually invisible, which will enlarge its range of action in the littoral area and further enhance its survivability.

Featuring many technological developments all expected to be achievable by year 2030; the SWORDSHIP presents a higher firepower in a more efficient ship than today’s frigates. In addition,
the SWORDSHIP will benefit from the new achievements in data processing and communications to offer a radical new approach in the Combat Management System.

The various features of the SWORDSHIP are discussed in this paper, which offers a glimpse at what a
future surface combatant could be. As most often is the case with visions of the future, this dream ship
will certainly see many modifications before being built some day. It is anticipated however that many
of its key technologies will be found in ships to come.
 

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Triton

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Artist's impression of early version of DCN SWORDSHIP concept.

Source:
SWORDSHIP - A Concept Ship by DCN by Philippe Goubault, Senior Naval Architect, DCN, France, Claudia Bardes Head Signature Reduction Group, DCN, France, and Arnaud Lacoin Head Military Mission Department, DCN, France
 

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Triton

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A Powerful Combat Suite

Although some breakthroughs may be achieved within the next 30 years with regard to new types of weapons, such as laser guns, electric guns or even electromagnetic pulse power weapons, none of these accomplishments were assumed for the SWORDSHIP project as it is not clear yet what capabilities will be offered by such novel weapons. Instead, an extension of today’s undergoing developments was considered in building a combat suite. However, the general design background, in
particular the stealth capabilities enabled a significant increase in fire power.

The ships combat system comprises some powerful means for supporting operations on land, conduct anti-ship warfare as well as several layers of self-defense systems.

Shore operations:

The SWORDSHIP can launch and retrieve a high speed rigid-hulled inflatable boat (RHIB) for special operations. It can also host a significant number of Special Forces personnel with their equipment.

The ship's helicopter can also be used in such operations to land or recover Special Forces further inland.

The ship’s UAV’s provide both means of scouting the zone of operations and target designation for the ship’s weapons.

A triple 155 mm long range gun, capable of firing guided ammunition is an expected result of on-going developments. These guns will provide formidable fire power within the coastal zone, in support of special operations or landing operations. (Magazine contains 300 guided munitions.)

A set of cruise missiles launched from the ship vertical launch system (VLS) allow in depth strikes and complete the fire support suite of the SWORDSHIP.

Anti-ship warfare

A set of anti-ship missiles launched from the ship VLS are the most powerful weapons for anti-ship warfare.

The ship’s helicopter and UAV’s can be used to survey the operation area and detect the possible targets at sufficient range from the SWORDSHIP. They can either provide target designation or even fire themselves at identified targets when needed

The 155-mm guns can also be used, along with laser target designation from a UAV or helicopter to fire at lower-key targets such as small missile boats and prevent them form coming at firing range from the
SWORDSHIP. This use of the 155-mm guns, in addition to the obvious role in land warfare, fills a gap between the high value ant-iship missiles and conventional artillery which can only fire at shortrange, long after missile boats can effectively threaten a combatant like the SWORDSHIP. This is a major reason for promoting the use of 155 mm naval guns.

Anti-submarine warfare

Missiles carrying torpedoes can be fired from the SWORDSHIPn vertical launchers upon detection of submarines by its own towed array or by its USVs fitted with dipping sonar.

Torpedoes launched by Helicopter or even by USV will add to thesubmarine warfare capabilities of the SWORDSHIP.


Artist's impression of triple 155mm long-range gun.

Sources:
SWORDSHIP - A Concept Ship by DCN by Philippe Goubault, Senior Naval Architect, DCN, France, Claudia Bardes Head Signature Reduction Group, DCN, France, and Arnaud Lacoin Head Military Mission Department, DCN, France

http://www.meretmarine.com/article.cfm?id=102721
 

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Triton

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Self defense:

Long range anti-air warfare is carried out by extrapolated versions of today’s anti-missile missiles, which are expected to be able to operate beyond 45 NM by the 30 years timeframe.

Short range self defense is carried out by integrated stabilized platform encompassing the firing of various weapons (small caliber guns, missiles) as well as decoys. The system is autonomous and will follow the designated target up to impact if necessary, while adapting the weapons used as the incoming threat closes on the ship.

Artist's impression of short-range self-defense turret.

From
SWORDSHIP - A Concept Ship by DCN by Philippe Goubault, Senior Naval Architect, DCN, France, Claudia Bardes Head Signature Reduction Group, DCN, France, and Arnaud Lacoin Head Military Mission Department, DCN, France
 

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Triton

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These weapons are served by a set of sensors that encompass not only the ship itself, but the whole network comprising additional ships in the fleet and a large number of UxV-carried sensors. In particular, the following sensors are integrated into the SWORDSHIP's own capabilities:

  • An integrated mast with C-band and X-band flat panels arrays providing 360° coverage

  • A 100-m long HF radar antenna integrated to the ship sides and enabling very long-range detection, beyond the horizon and without shadow effect.

  • UAV or helicopter born radars

  • A towed array sonar system deployed from the ship

  • USV or helicopter fitted with dipping sonar, enabling submarine prosecution for much longer durations, the USV being able to stay on station for up to 36 hours for instance.

Source:
SWORDSHIP - A Concept Ship by DCN by Philippe Goubault, Senior Naval Architect, DCN, France, Claudia Bardes Head Signature Reduction Group, DCN, France, and Arnaud Lacoin Head Military Mission Department, DCN, France
 

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Triton

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The DCN SWORDSHIP will make use of water mist and spray systems to reduce drastically the IR signatures and the visual signature in order to suppress shore detection and reduce the range at which one can identify the presence of the ship over the horizon.

Artist's impression without water mist and spray system engaged.

Artist's impression with water mist and spray system engaged.

Source:
SWORDSHIP - A Concept Ship by DCN by Philippe Goubault, Senior Naval Architect, DCN, France, Claudia Bardes Head Signature Reduction Group, DCN, France, and Arnaud Lacoin Head Military Mission Department, DCN, France
 

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Triton

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Power and propulsion technology

The SWORDSHIP will be powered by a 2.5 MW Fuel Cell Plant providing power for most of the ship's needs and for speeds up to 16 knots. For speeds above 16 knots, the ship will be powered by a gas turbine making use of HTS (High Temperature Superconducting) technology.

As part of the IR signature reduction, the gas turbine and fuel cell exhaust are all directed between the trimaran’s hull and water cooled so as to dilute the heat within the wake of the ship rather than in the surrounding air. Special attention must be paid however to prevent acoustic resonance within the confined area between the hulls.

Specially designed pump-jets have been considered as an effective propulsion system on this ship. These will enable a relatively smaller propeller diameter, fitting into a shallow draft and enhancing the littoral capability of this ship. The specific hullform of the SWORDSHIP is particularly suited to incorporate the pump-jet with all its benefits.



Source:

SWORDSHIP - A Concept Ship by DCN by Philippe Goubault, Senior Naval Architect, DCN, France, Claudia Bardes Head Signature Reduction Group, DCN, France, and Arnaud Lacoin Head Military Mission Department, DCN, France
 

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Grey Havoc

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Thanks Triton! An interesting concept indeed. Any word on current interest/ progress on the part of the most likely initial customer, the French Navy?
 

Triton

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Grey Havoc said:
Thanks Triton! An interesting concept indeed. Any word on current interest/ progress on the part of the most likely initial customer, the French Navy?
I do not believe that there is any further interest/progress regarding the DCN SWORDSHIP concept on the part of the French Nay. Remember that the DCN SWORDSHIP is a concept of a conjectural warship of the year 2030. The authors are attempting to predict the future and they are making a forecast of technological advances for the next thirty years. 2.5 MW hydrogen-fueled Fuel Cell Plants do not currently exist nor do gas turbine engines making use of High Temperature Superconductor (HTS) technology. The authors decided to be more conservative in their choice of weapon systems and did not add laser guns, electric guns, or electromagnetic pulse power weapons, but instead chose what they believed to be likely advances to existing weapons technology. These technologies may or may not exist in the next thirty years or they may be replaced by other technologies. The authors are making an educated guess and so this white paper should be considered highly speculative.

I doubt that the DCN SWORDSHIP concept will be built as described in the white paper. Instead, I believe that it is possible that some of the ideas of the DCN SWORDSHIP concept may find their way into future warship designs by DCNS or warship designs by other shipyards.
 

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From some of the material, I thought they were angling for a near-term development contract at least. Oh well.
 

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Mole said:
How about a teeny, tiny nuclear reactor to run a small electrolysis plant and extract hydrogen from seawater 24/7? I'm only half kidding, by the way.
A ship this size needs about 10 MW for cruise propulsion. If you want an electrolysis plant to keep up with this demand, you need at least 15 MW of electrical power from a nuke plant (possibly more, I don't know how efficient electrolysis is). But then it'd be much more efficient just to run a steam turbine off the reactor output instead of reactor>turbine>generator>electrolysis>fuel cell>electric motor.

And if you go to the trouble of installing a nuclear plant with all that entails (shielding, qualified personnel), why not scale it up a bit to 100 MW and have nuclear propulsion at all speeds? Things like shielding won't scale linearly: the neutrons from a small plant are just as energetic as from a large plant so you need basically the same amount of shielding in both cases.
 

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I see no means of traversing the main gun turret. I also wonder about the CIWS, is it intended to be a mixed system, guns and missiles?
 

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See Reply #21 for a better picture of the main triple gun mount, which you could classify as a submersible turret, although they were more traditionally used in aircraft. See Reply #22 for a picture of the pop-up Self-Defence turret.

EDIT: I said twin instead of triple. Fixed.
 

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You're correct. Thank you for pointing that out. Seems excessively complex for a stealth system which there are simpler solutions. I'd hate to see the ammunition feed on the CIWS.
 

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Hi Triton,great images,thanks a lot for sharing.




regards


Pedro
 

Grey Havoc

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Awesome design, the video is really amazing! No longer a warship CIC, but rather starship Enterprise like Bridge!

Any more drawings available of this beauty? Is it actually being considered, or just a demonstration of a future stealthship and it's capabilities?

EDIT: Like the Ancient saying goes: "Google is your friend!" ;) ;)

http://www.mindef.gov.sg/imindef/mi...gs/navy/microsites/npts/npts_2007_papers.html

Various downloadable documents. Paper #2 is about the Sword Ship. B)
Link now defunct, unfortunately.
 
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