|Photographer:||Chris Hunsicker [View profile]||Title:||USS Swift HSV2||Added:||Aug 29, 2006|
|Arriving in Portsmouth harbour(UK) 29/3/06
HSV-2 Swift is a non-commissioned catamaran leased by the United States Navy as a mine countermeasures and sea basing test platform, homeported at Naval Station Ingleside, Texas. The HSV stands for "High Speed Vessel."
The ship, constructed by Australian shipbuilder Incat using their Incat/Bollinger alliance, is the second catamaran the Navy has leased to test new technologies and concepts associated with the Chief of Naval Operations's "Seapower 21" plan.
It is a wave-piercing, aluminum-hulled, commercial catamaran with military enhancements, such as a helicopter flight deck, small boat and unmanned vehicle launch and recovery capability, and an enhanced communications suite. It features a new, modular design, which will allow the ship to be refitted to support any mission without requiring long shipyard periods. Its control system, "Combatss," was first used aboard the Sea Shadow experimental ship, and allowed the Navy to remotely control a ship more than 3,000 miles (5,600 km) from shore. Users interface with Combatss using a Mozilla browser.
In the autumn of 2003, while operating with the Fifth Fleet, Swift completed the fastest-ever transit of the northern Great Barrier Reef from Cairns to Booby Island, Australia, averaging slightly over 39 knots (72 km/h). During flight deck certifications, Swift's crew conducted aircraft recovery while making 43 knots (80 km/h) during one recovery and had 66 knots (122 km/h) apparent winds during another recovery.
In early 2004 Swift returned from the West African Training Cruise-04, an exercise designed to enhance security cooperation between the United States and participating West African nations.
The first ship of this class to be used by the Navy, HSV-1 Joint Venture, proved its military mettle during Operation Iraqi Freedom as a forward staging platform for Marine Fleet Anti-Terrorism and SEAL (SEa, Air, Land) teams in the shallow waters of Umm Qasr, Iraq. The Navy hopes to build upon lessons learned from Swift and its predecessor, and eventually use the information to create a new class of Littoral Combat Ships.