August 12, 2003
Guests were welcomed on board HSV 2 Swift by Sir Guy Green, the Governor of Tasmania.
With the Royal Australian Air Force band playing, flags flying and the usual pomp and ceremony associated with such events, the 80 or so U.S. officers and crew were joined by representatives of the Australian Defence Force, invited guests and the entire Incat workforce.
During the ceremony Commander Clark Price, the Captain of the craft, assumed command, delivering his orders before the Hoisting of Colors, signifying that the U.S. Navy had accepted U.S. Navy Vessel HSV 2 Swift.
Speaking of this latest High Speed Vessel to hoist the Stars and Stripes, Rear Admiral Paul Ryan, Commander Mine Warfare Command, U.S. Navy said "the name Swift is most appropriate, because of its high speed, it reached 47 knots on sea trials."
Admiral Ryan referred to the old Navy adage that "Speed is Life", saying that speed is a force multiplier, reducing the transit time to theatre, and therefore increasing the time on station."
Robert Clifford, Chairman of the Incat Group of Companies and Executive Vice President of Bollinger/Incat USA said, "Swift is the result of the efforts of hundreds of Incat contractual and production staff and hundreds of sub-contractors. I, and fellow directors, thank the entire dedicated workforce for their outstanding efforts, through the long cold winter days and nights in the shipyard--it has all been worthwhile to be able to celebrate with the U.S. Navy today."
"The US Navy is interested in many new ships, ships that will be know as Littoral Combat Ships (LCS)," noted Clifford. "Swift is not a Littoral Combat Ship, it is however a forerunner of that class, and any candidate considered for that class must first exceed the specifications of this ship. That will be no easy task. Bollinger/Incat USA and Incat will be presenting in due course our Tasmanian designed ship of the future to the United States Navy."
HSV 2 Swift will serve operationally as an interim Mine Warfare Command and Support Ship (MCS), and support transformational mine warfare modular mission payload initiatives. In support of Navy experimentation, the HSV will be used to explore concepts, capabilities and military utility associated with the advanced hull and propulsion technology integrated with advanced communications in support of the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) program.
HSV Swift has been built to Det Norske Veritas class DNV +1A1 R1 HSLC Cargo EO HELDK
Length overall:97.22 m
Length waterline: 92.00 m
Beam overall: 26.60 m
Beam of Hulls: 4.50 m
Draft: 3.43 m
Speed: approx. 38.0 knots @ 700 tonnes deadweight
approx. 42.0 knots @ 350 tonnes deadweight
For the Marine Corps, the HSV will conduct a series of limited-objective experiments, exercises, demonstrations and training events that develop interoperability potential of high-speed vessels with causeways, watercraft, amphibious ships and other shipping. Experimentation data will be used to access the military utility of HSVs and future joint and naval military operations or applications.
The HSV is capable of maintaining an average speed of 35 knots or greater, loaded with 500 short tons, consisting of 350 personnel and military equipment. A minimum operating range of 1100 nautical miles at 35 knots is required by the contract, as is a minimum transit range of 4000 nautical miles at an average speed of 20 knots. Furthermore, it must be capable of 24-hour operations at slow speeds (3-10 knots) for experimentation with unmanned autonomous vehicles, and to support dedicated and emerging organic mine warfare missions.
A stern ramp capable of on/off loading directly astern or to the starboard quarter is fitted. The ramp is capable of loading/unloading a multitude of military vehicles up to and including M1A1 main battle tanks of up to 141,000 lbs.
Swift is also fitted with a load compensating crane capable of launch and recovery of small boats and unmanned vehicles up to 26,000 lbs. whilst underway. The crane is capable of lifting up to 22,000 lbs. to and from the flight deck.
Perhaps one of the most impressive features of Swift is the NAVAIR certified helicopter flight deck for operation of MH-60S, CH-46, UH-1 and AH-1 helicopters. An area protected from the weather for storage and maintenance of two MH-60S helicopters has also been provided to enhance aviation operations in day, night and instrument meteorological conditions.
With sea trials, Navy acceptance, and crew certification complete Swift will now deploy and commence routine operations. The vessel will operate with crews stationed at Naval Station Ingleside, Texas, and Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek, Va.
HSV 2 Swift is the fourth Incat Wave Piercing Catamaran to enter military service.