Thursday, May 17, 2012

Pirates Beware!!!

There have been rumors about the U.S. Navy's speedy new triple hulled ships, but now they're for real. The U.S.S Independence was built by General Dynamics. It's called a "littoral combat ship" (LCS), and the tri-maran can move its weapons around faster than any other ship in the Navy. It's ironic that with all that high tech, the ship reminds people of the Merrimac ironclad from Civil War days. 'Littoral' means close-to-shore, and that's where these very ships will operate. They're tailor-made for launching helicopters and lightly-armored vehicles, sweeping mines and firing all manner of torpedoes, missiles and machine guns. These ships are also relatively inexpensive. This one is a bargain at $208 million, and the Navy plans to build 55 of them. This tri-maran is the first of a new fire breathing breed, ready to scoot out of dry dock at a rumored 60 knots top speed. It's like a speedy and heavily armed aircraft carrier for helicopters. The above photo shows sea trails where the ship is running just over half power, at 43 knots! Notice the absence of heeling over in the fast turn. The flight desk can land a CH-53/MH-53/MH-47 rotary wing aircraft (or helicopter for you non military speakers). There is a huge storage capacity under thet flight deck, which will no doubt hold a large contingent of MARSOC or NAVSPECWARCEN shooters. The picture below shows the U.S.S. Independence (LCS-2) under consturction with the tripled hull, wonder she is aerodynamic.

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