Navy Takes Possession of Fastest Experimental Ship

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From The Navy Newsstand;

Story Number: NNS050708-02
Release Date: 7/8/2005 9:30:00 AM

From Commander, Naval Surface Forces and Office of Naval Research Public Affairs

ARLINGTON, Va. (NNS) -- The U.S. Navy took delivery of its newest experimental ship, Sea Fighter (FSF 1), at Naval Station Everett, Wash., in July. The Navy's fastest ship, Sea Fighter will operate at greater than 50 knots and has a range of approximately 4,000 nautical miles.

The ship will move to San Diego and continue experimentation while assigned to Commander, Naval Surface Forces and Commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet.
For the rest of the story, go HERE

Comment: With the emphesis on litoral warfare these days, vessels such as this may well be very useful platforms. However, am I the only one who get's the sense that a hull made out of aluminium may not be such a swift idea? Granted, it's still experimental, but I would hope an operational warship would be built of sterner stuff.
I'm reminded of the battle-cruiser; another type where there was a trade-off between armour and speed for a heavy gun platform.

The battle-cruiser relied on speed - and escorts - to keep her out of trouble. It didn't always work - HMS Hood was a battle-cruiser.

Another consideration is seakeeping capability. The passenger catamaran services around the British Isles are weathered out about 5% of the time. That doesn't seem to auger well for military applications.

I presume the USN know what they're about...

>>I presume the USN know what they're about...<<

I wouldn't make that assumption. I seem to recall at least two submarine rescue vessels, the USS Pidgeon and USS Ortalan, that were made of catamaran hulls so they could handle the DSRV. Word around the waterfront was that these ships tended to twist to a noticable and frightening degree from torsional stresses. Don't know whether or not it's true, but it wouldn't surprise me. Regardless of that, they weren't very good seaboats and spent quite a bit of time welded to the pier. (Much to the crew's relief!)
You didn't bore me. Especially since you may be right. The record with catamaran hulls has been a mixed one from what I've seen. Guess we'll see soon enough.
Hoverspeed (Dover-Calais) have taken to shutting down their service between Christmas and April. This is ostensibly because of low bookings but I would guess that the hassle of having to transfer their passengers to P&O/Seafrance every time the weather gets up is part of the equation.

There's a new catamaran outfit called Speedferries on the Dover Strait run by an enterprising Dutchman - or is he a Dane? Now whether he keeps running all through the winter remains to be seen. His relationship with the conventional ferry operators has been somewhat stormy!

As I know to my cost, the trouble with these new-fangled gizmos is, you can set out on one but you don't necessarily come back on one!

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