Thursday, May 8, 2008

Navy launches U.S.S. Independence, first of new class of weapons-bristling speedster trimarans

We’ve been hearing rumblings about the U.S. Navy’s triple-hulled ships, but here’s one that was launched last month, the U.S.S Independence. Built by General Dynamics, it’s called a “littoral combat ship” (LCS), and the trimaran can move huge weapons around faster than any ship in the Navy. Ironic that with all that high tech built in, the ship reminds us of the Merrimac ironclad from Civil War days.

Littoral means close to shore, and that’s where these fleet-hulled babies will operate, tailor-made for launching helicopters and armored vehicles, sweeping mines and firing all manner of torpedoes, missiles and machine guns.

These ships were designed to be relatively inexpensive — this one’s a bargain at $208 million — and the navy plans to build 55 of them. This trimaran is the first of the new fire-breathing breed, ready to scoot out of dry dock at a rumored 60 knots. It's like a speedy and heavily-armed aircraft carrier for helicopters.

1 comment:

swissmiss said...

This is such a cool ship. The company my husband works for is building cranes for the small craft launchers (to place things like Seal Team boats in the water). He got pulled off the robot to build rockets, then put back on it. ETA for the project is 2025...nothing moves fast with the military, I guess!