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19th December 2009, 02:17
LCS Tops 44 Knots in Tests
The U.S Navy's need for speed is being answered by a pair of warships that have reached freeway speeds during testing at sea. Independence, a 418-foot warship built in Alabama, boasts a top speed in excess of 45 knots, or about 52 mph, and sustained 44 knots for four hours during builder trials that wrapped up this month off the Gulf Coast. The 378-foot Freedom, a ship built in Wisconsin by a competing defense contractor, has put up similar numbers.
19th December 2009, 14:25
Could be very useful on anti-piracy duties but would need to be in the right place at the right time.
19th December 2009, 15:02
When I was in Britain in 1997 they had a ferry crossing between Harwich and The Hook of Holland that was bigger than this and did over 60 knots. I can attest to it's speed because we tracked it on our radar as it blew by us during our passage from Felixstowe to Rotterdam. In 2005 I saw a similar ferry crossing between Spain and Mallorca. During 2003 I also saw a similar, though somewaht smaller U.S. Army warship (YES, U.S. ARMY!!!) at Bahrain called the "Joint Venture" that was built to a similar design and could reputedly do well over 40 knots, though I never actually saw it underway. All of those vessels were Swath-hulled catamarans based on an Australian design (the "Joint Venture" was actually built in Australia). There is also a Canadian one that runs between Maine and Halifax, and I understand that another company has been planning to operate one between the Hawaiian Islands as well.
Those high-speed swath catamarans have been around for a number of years now, and I believe they have completely replaced the old hydrofoil and hovercraft ferries in the Med, the North Sea, the English Channel and the Irish Sea. Sounds to me as though the U.S. Navy is simply catching up with the rest of the world.
19th December 2009, 15:35
The SWATH (Small Waterplane Area Twin Hull) concept was invented by a Canadian, Frederick G Creed in 1938, and was eventually granted a British Patent.
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