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Fast Sea Frame - FSF

 
Description
The Littoral Surface Craft-Experimental LSC(X) was developed by the Office of Naval Research and christened Sea Fighter (FSF 1) on 5 February 2005. This high speed aluminum catamaran will test a variety of technologies that will allow the Navy to operate in littoral waters. Following approximately two months of trials, Sea Fighter will be delivered at the end of April 2005. Operational control will then be assumed by the Navy's Third Fleet with the ship operating out of its homeport of San Diego, CA.
 
Background
Sea Fighter will be used to evaluate the hydrodynamic performance, structural behavior, mission flexibility, and propulsion system efficiency of high speed vessels.

Sea Fighter's mission flexibility will be demonstrated through interchangeable "mission modules" (standard twenty foot containers) housed in Sea Fighter’s large Mission Bay. The Mission Bay is capable of housing twelve containers, permitting the vessel to be quickly reconfigured to support a variety of potential missions, including battle force protection, mine counter-measures, anti-submarine warfare, amphibious assault support and humanitarian support. A multi-purpose Stern Ramp allows Sea Fighter to launch and recover manned and unmanned surface and sub-surface vehicles up to the size of an 11 meter Rigid-Hull Inflatable Boat (RHIB). Sea Fighter will be able to simultaneously operate two MH-60S helicopters from its flight deck.

Sea Fighter will also provide a platform for the evaluation of minimum manning concepts on future naval surface ships. A base crew of 26 (Navy and U.S. Coast Guard) personnel will be responsible for all operations and basic maintenance, requiring a significant shift in the normal levels of manning currently used to accomplish various missions and tasks. Sea Fighter also will be among the first U.S. Navy ships to employ "paperless" navigation through the use of the Sperry Marine Electronic Charting and Display Information System (ECDIS) and Voyage Management System (VMS). Typically, the ship will operate with just three watchstanders and one roving patrol to monitor and configure engineering systems. This reduced manning will be supported by a level of automation and sophisticated monitoring of systems and equipment previously absent on U.S. Navy ships.

After completion of the contract design, shipyard competition, and design review in March 2003, the keel for the 262 foot-long Sea Fighter was laid in June 2003 and the 950 ton (light ship displacement) ship was launched in launched in February of 2005. After a brief period of operational evaluation and crew certification, Sea Fighter will conduct exercises in support of risk reduction for the Navy’s Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) as an "LCS surrogate." Following the exercises, Sea Fighter may be upgraded with weapons and additional electronic equipment. Ultimately, Sea Fighter may be commissioned as an operational Navy ship.
 
Point Of Contact
Public Affairs Office
Office of Naval Research, BCT1
800 North Quincy Street
Arlington, VA 22217-5660
 
General Characteristics, Sea Fighter (FSF 1)
Builder: Titan Corporation, San Diego, CA at building yard of Nichols Brothers Boat Builders, Freeland, WA.
Ship Type: Aluminum-hulled, wave-piercing catamaran.
Date Deployed: scheduled for April 2005.
Propulsion: Two GE LM2500 Gas Turbine Engines; two MTU 16V 595 TE 90 Propulsion Diesels; four Rolls-Royce 125SII Waterjets.
Length: 262 feet (79.9 meters) overall
240 feet (73 meters) at waterline.
Beam: 72 feet (22 meters).
Displacement: 950 tons.
Draft: 11.5 feet (3.5 meters).
Speed: 50+ knots.
Range: in excess of 4,000 nm @ 20+ knots.
Crew: 26 (Navy and Coast Guard).
Homeport: San Diego, CA.
 
Last Update: 23 February 2009