Today's Royal Navy is one of the most technologically advanced forces in the world, and that's because we have always sought to think differently and come up with ideas that challenge traditional thinking.

Commander Peter Pipkin

This mothership would be capable of launching unmanned underwater vehicles shaped like eels, which carry pods packed with sensors for different missions. These pods can damage an enemy vessel, or dissolve on demand at the end of an operation to evade detection.

The project, named Nautilus 100, was set up to mark the 100th anniversary of the launch of the USS Nautilus, the world's first nuclear-powered submarine.

Rear Admiral Tim Hodgson, the Ministry of Defence's Director of Submarine Capability, said: "We want to encourage our engineers of the future to be bold, think radically and push boundaries. From Nelson's tactics at the Battle of Trafalgar to Fisher's revolutionary Dreadnought battleships, the Royal Navy's success has always rested on a combination of technology and human skill.

"The pace of global innovation is only going to increase, so for the UK to be a leader in this race it needs to maintain its leadership in skills and technology. Hopefully this project has inspired the next generation of British scientists to be bold in their ambitions and I congratulate them for their inspiring work."

Young British scientists and engineers from UKNEST, a not-for-profit organisation which promotes science, engineering and technology for UK naval design, answered the challenge. More than 20 of them took part in the project, 'visioneering' a new submarine fleet for the future Royal Navy.

Gemma Jefferies, 21, from Bristol, is an engineering assistant with L3 Marine Systems UK. Gemma, who took part in the project, said: "It was amazing to see a whole manner of disciplines coming together in this project. It was great to let our imaginations run with crazy ideas, some that may not actually be considered science fiction in the near future."

Unlike the submarines of today, which perform multiple roles in one hull, it is envisaged that the Royal Navy of the future would operate a family of submarines of various shapes and sizes, both manned and unmanned, to fulfill a variety of tasks.

The science and engineering graduates and apprentices, aged 16-34, took the complex systems required by an advanced submarine and applied the latest technological ideas to make them easier to construct, cheaper to run, and more deadly in battle.

Engineering Technician (Marine Engineering) (Submariner)

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