The first high speed fleet support vessel to be directly owned and operated by U.S. Military Sealift Command (MSC) was christened last Saturday in the traditional manner and named USNS Spearhead at the Austal builder’s yard in Mobile, Alabama, according to MSC news release.
USNS Spearhead: Official US Government photgraph
The Navy evaluated the usefulness of commercial high-speed ferries for logistical and personnel deployment for some ten years with the chartered fast catamarans Westpac Express and HSV-Swift according to an NDIA article online ‘Commercial Ferries Paving Way for Joint High Speed Vessel’ before deciding to place orders with Austal USA for five Joint High Speed Vessels (JHSV’s) of this type (with an option for five more); a choice enthusiastically endorsed by people who had served aboard them on military and humanitarian missions.
An Austal High-speed Catamaran Ferry: Courtesy of Austal Inc. USA
Capabilites of the USNS Spearhea... [More]
An unusual kind of ship is taking shape in the STX Finland shipyard in Turku, Finland. The Aura ll, due for delivery in spring 2012 for multipurpose operations in the Baltic Sea for Finnish owners Gaiamare (a subsidiary of the Meriaura Group) is designed to carry bulky lifts of Finland's lumber, containers, or even wind-farm modules on a spacious deck; while if occasion demands, even to operate as an oil-spill response vessel. That’s not all though: down below are three Wärtsilä 6L20 main generating sets that will power diesel-electric propulsion by means of either liquid bio-fuel (LBF) or MDO making this unique 4,350 dwt ship truly adaptable both above and below decks.
Multipurpose Bio-diesel Fueled Aura ll: Artist's impression courtesy of STX Finland
Liquid Bio-fuel Sourced From Fish Processing PlantsA departure from the normal vegetable-based product, the LBF is to be supplied by another Meriaura Group company, Sybimar, based in remote Uusikaupunki near t... [More]