Newspaper article Fraser Coast Chronicle (Hervey Bay, Australia)

Speedster of Set to Battle the High Sea Pirate Peril; with Les Wilsonleswilson2@bigpond.Com

Newspaper article Fraser Coast Chronicle (Hervey Bay, Australia)

Speedster of Set to Battle the High Sea Pirate Peril; with Les Wilsonleswilson2@bigpond.Com

Article excerpt

OUR SUBMARINES only work spasmodically, our choppers ditto, we may get some new aircraft down the track, yet over in West Oz they're building state-of-the-art ships for the United States Armed Forces!

Latest to roll off Perth's Austal assembly line is a speedy attack boat that could spin around Australia at an amazing 65 knots an hour and frighten the AK7s out of pirates who are threatening shipping routes all over.

Speedsters like the USS Independence (LCS 2) built by Aussie and American workers at Austal's shipyard in Mobile, Alabama, shows most ships a clean set of trimarans at 34 knots, half speed in my pictures.

Independence, is number 2 in the Littora Combat Ships series which is based on the speed and maneuverability of the world's fastest catamarans.

Littora means close to shore and these craft are tailor-made for landing choppers, lightly armored vehicles, sweeping mines, cleaning up refugees, looking after oil spills and firing all manner of torpedoes, missiles and machine guns.

They're relatively inexpensive. This one costs $208 million and the United States Navy wants 55.

They can scoot out of dry dock at 60 knots; they can do tight turns, there's no bow wave or heeling over.

Austal USA's President Joe Rella said: "This is a proud day for Austal's shipbuilding team, the City of Mobile, and the Great State of Alabama. "We wish them afair winds and following seasa as they take one of the most technologically advanced vessels in US Naval history into harm's way.

"We are certain that our ship design, with its expansive flight deck, mission bay volume, platform stability, energy efficiency, and low operational costs will offer unparalleled versatility and savings to the Navy."

Austal USA has also begun construction of the first of ten 103-metre Joint High Speed Vessels (JHSV) that were awarded late in 2008 as part of a program potentially worth over US $1. …

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