NORFOLK, Va. (NNS) -- Dec. 20, HSV 2 Swift, a revolutionary catamaran leased by the Navy as a mine countermeasures and sea basing test platform, will be making a stop at Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek before moving on to the nation's capital and ultimately, its homeport of Naval Station Ingleside, Texas.
The ship, constructed by Australian shipbuilder Incat/Bollinger, is the second catamaran the Navy has leased to test new technologies and concepts associated with the Chief of Naval Operations' 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.
Swift is returning from the West African Training Cruise-04, an exercise designed to enhance security cooperation between the United States and participating West African nations. The 150 Sailors and Marines embarked on the ship participated in a number of littoral training exercises, including riverine operations and small boat raids.
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.
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