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Indo Pacific 2022: Navantia Australia unveils Smart 8000 future destroyer concept

A model of the Smart 8000 destroyer concept, unveiled by Navantia Australia at Indo Pacific 2022. (Janes/Ridzwan Rahmat)

Navantia Australia has unveiled an 8,000-tonne future guided-missile destroyer concept at the Indo Pacific 2022 exhibition in Sydney.

Known as Smart 8000, the highly automated concept has been described by the shipbuilder as a showcase of what it can offer naval services for future security requirements. It is derived from the Smart 4000 concept, which was unveiled by Navantia in 2021.

The Smart 8000 has an overall length of approximately 162 m, a draft of less than 6 m, and it can accommodate a baseline crew complement of about 120 personnel. It displaces between 8,000 and 10,000 tonnes, can attain a top speed of up to 30 kt, and can achieve a maximum range of 6,000 n miles at economic cruising speed.

In terms of weapons, the concept has been incorporated with a 36-cell vertical launching system (VLS) and a 76 mm naval gun in the forward section. The concept can be equipped for multidimensional warfare including anti-submarine, anti-surface, and anti-air operations.

Speaking to Janes at Indo Pacific 2022, a representative from Navantia Australia highlighted how the vessel has been incorporated with a flight deck, but without a helicopter hangar. This makes the concept more agile for higher-tempo operations where aircraft, including helicopters and rotor-wing unmanned aerial vehicles, can utilise the vessel for ‘lily pad' operations.

Furthermore, the Smart 8000's mission spaces have been designed for extensive deployment of artificial intelligence-driven components including remote diagnostic systems and automated launch and recovery systems (LARS) for unmanned surface and underwater vessels.

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