The U.S. Navy is in the process of developing a next-generation all-electric warship that could potentially "revolutionize the Navy's use of weaponry and manpower." The system architecture, designed by Cemal Basaran, director of the Electronic Packaging Laboratory at the University at Buffalo, will distribute electrical power generated by power plants and the mechanical propulsion system to all parts of the ship.
This will lead to increased computerisation of the warships operations—which means the crew can be significantly downsized from thousands to only 100 members. It will also lead to a reduction in the size of electrical components that will lay the foundation for more advanced weapon systems. The Navy hopes to have an operational ship kicking ass on the high seas by 2012. [UB via Dvorak]