The Royal Navy's next generation of warship has been revealed, showing exactly the sort of sleek, minimal design you'd expect from something set to enter service in the distant future year of 2021.
The Navy's new vessels, which will be referred to in their instruction manuals as the Type 26 Global Combat Ship, will replace the current Type 23 frigates. They're 148 metres long, packed with vertical missile silos and designed to carry Merlin or Wildcat helicopters.
The key upgrade is the inclusion of a Mission Bay. This spare universal hangar can house any future piece of specialist machinery, whether that's an unmanned aerial or sea drone, additional landing boats or a massive supply of raincoats to take to the next flood-struck victims of global warming.
The Type 26 will be built in the UK. And now the external design's done, the next step is to develop and approve the internal tech spec of the ship, deciding on such critical issues as where the Wi-Fi hotspots will be and how many plug sockets should go in each bedroom. [BBC]