Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Mixed Navy-Coast Guard Crew To Man Sea Fighter Catamaran

The new catamaran vessel once known as the X-Craft has been named Sea Fighter and will be manned by a mixed Navy-Coast Guard crew as a development platform for the Littoral Combat Ship and the Coast Guard’s Deepwater program. The Littoral Surface Craft-Experimental (X-Craft), developed by the Office of Naval Research, Titan Corp. and BMT Nigel Gee and Associates, Southampton, U.K., and built by Nicholas Brothers Boat Builders in Freeland, Wash., was christened Sea Fighter (FSF-1) on Feb. 5. (FSF stands for fast sea frame.) When the Sea Fighter is delivered to the Navy April 30, a crew of 26 — 16 Navy and 10 Coast Guard — will man the vessel. It will be based in San Diego. The 262-foot Sea Fighter is a high-speed catamaran intended to “evaluate the hydrodynamic performance, structural behavior, mission flexibility and propulsion of high-speed vessels” in littoral waters, Navy officials said in a release. Nigel Gee, designer of the 950-ton Sea Fighter, said that the vessel could travel 4,000 nautical miles without refueling, land helicopters in sea states of 4 or 5, recover watercraft in sea state 4 conditions over the stern ramp and provide crew comfort in sea states 4 or 5 for long periods. The Sea Fighter features a large mission bay which can hold up to a dozen 20-foot mission modules, enabling the vessel to participate in such missions as force protection, mine countermeasures, antisubmarine warfare, amphibious assault and humanitarian assistance. The vessel’s flight deck can accommodate two H-60 helicopters or unmanned aerial vehicles. The Sea Fighter is powered by an integrated propulsion system that includes two GE Transportation LM2500 gas turbine engines and two MTU 16V 595 TE90 diesel engines that drive four high-efficiency Rolls-Royce Kamewa 125 SII waterjets. The vessel can reach speeds of up to 50 knots. The waterjets also allow the vessel to move sideways, which simplifies docking and station keeping.
Sea Fighter (FSF-1) A.K.A: "The X-Craft"

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