The Royal Navy has revealed concepts for future submarines.
The range of designs, which mimic real marine lifeforms, were created by young engineers and scientists from UKNEST, a not-for-profit organisation which promotes science, engineering and technology.
Among the designs are a crewed mothership shaped like a manta ray, unmanned eel-like vessels equipped with sensor pods which dissolve on demand to avoid enemy detection and fish-shaped torpedoes sent to swarm against enemy targets.
Some subs could be built from super-strong alloys and acrylics, with surfaces which can morph in shape. With hybrid algae-electric cruising power and propulsion technologies including tunnel drives which work similarly to a Dyson bladeless fan, the submarines could travel at unprecedented speeds of up to 150 knots (172mph).
Commander Peter Pipkin, the Royal Navy’s Fleet Robotics Officer, said: “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.
“If only 10 per cent of these ideas become reality, it will put us at the cutting edge of future warfare and defence operations.”