New Multi-Role High Speed Military Vessel
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New Multi-Role High Speed Military Vessel


New Multi-Role High Speed Military Vessel

Austal Ships has released details of one of its advanced military platforms incorporating advanced hull and propulsion technology. The High Speed Vessel – Multipurpose (HSV–M) is an example of the potential effectiveness of high-speed vessels for future naval and other military roles. The surge in military interest in large high speed craft is evidenced by United States defence organizations contracting four such vessels in the last 20 months, and a number of major projects in the pipeline. This includes the US Navy’s Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) project, which may eventually require 60 ships, and the US Army’s upcoming Theater Support Vessel program.

The HSV–M design is based on the company’s proven 101 metre catamaran platform. The vessel incorporates a significant increase in structural strength in the bow and tunnel areas, enabling it to operate at higher speeds in more extreme sea conditions than a typical fast ferry. It can undertake a variety of roles with a high degree of interoperability, both with other vessels and port infrastructures. Possible roles include:

  • Support of amphibious assault operations using small boats and amphibious vehicles;
  • High speed deployment of troops and military hardware including tanks;
  • Deployment and support of helicopters for reconnaissance, combat search and rescue, vertical
  • Replenishment, special warfare support, airborne mine countermeasures and other military activities;
  • Co-ordination and command of other military vessels; and
  • Disaster and humanitarian relief operations including the provision of supplies and evacuation of personnel and equipment.
  • Propelled by four steerable waterjets that deliver good manoeuvrability, and powered by four medium speed diesel engines, the vessel can sustain speeds in excess of 38 knots in sea state 3 when loaded with 450 tonnes of troops and equipment and carrying sufficient fuel for a range of 1,100 nautical miles. It has a range of over 4,000 nautical miles at an average speed of 20 knots. The HSV–M’s layout features one vehicle deck (1,765 square metres of useable space) with stern and side ramps; main deck level with helicopter deck and hanger, accommodation and work spaces; and the bridge deck. Stern and side ramps allow for rapid loading and offloading of vehicles even in rudimentary ports and the amphibious vehicles can be launched and retrieved directly to and from the water via the stern ramp.


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