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Navy's Experimental Ship, HSV Swift, Visits Old Town Alexandria

Navy Newsstand

Story Number: NNS040405-03

Release Date: 4/5/2004 9:54:00 AM

By Journalist 1st Class Hendrick L. Dickson, Navy News Service

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The future of naval combat was on display in the Washington D.C. area, when the U.S. Navy's contracted high-speed vessel (HSV) Swift, pulled pierside in Old Town Alexandria, Va., March 30-April 3.

During the visit, the aluminum-hulled catamaran hosted visits for Department of Defense employees, family members and contractors, complete with static displays and demonstrations to show some of the ship's capabilities.

Swift was delivered to the Navy Aug. 15 as the successor to HSV 1 Joint Venture. It is manned by two rotating 40-man crews, one based in Ingleside, Texas, and the other in Little Creek, Va.

Cmdr. Clark Price, commanding officer of the current crew (the Ingleside crew) said Swift has several missions, but one of its primary purposes is to be an experimental ship for the Navy's transformation.

Price thinks the Navy will benefit in the future from some of the Swift capabilities.

"One is to be the interim mine-warfare command and control ship. Another is to be the test platform for LCS [littoral combat ship] experimentation. The third is modular experimentation," said Price. "There are things on here I think the Navy could use to save manpower."

Swift also gives the Navy a strong blueprint, as the building blocks for the Chief of Naval Operations' Sea Power 21 plan falls into place.

Swift can reach speeds up to 50 knots, and its catamaran hull allows it to operate in coastal waters. The ship is also able to carry payloads of about 600 tons.

"If you read Sea Power 21, it describes this ship," said Price. "It asks for a ship that operates at high speeds, that will carry a large payload, has a shallow draft and is able to operate in a littoral environment. And that is what this ship does."

After its visit in Old Town, Va. Swift will return to Little Creek, Va.



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