Very Slender Vessel (VSV)
The Very Slender Vessel (VSV) is a program teamed with DARPA [Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency] and OSD's Technical Support Working Group (TSWG). FY2000 funding for Very Slender Vessel technologies demonstrated advanced technologies to minimize signature and wave-shock impact to personnel onboard SOF maritime craft. The VSV is a wave piercing craft. In contrast to a standard high speed boat, which produces an extremely uncomfortable ride over long, high-speed transits in higher sea states. The VSV is expected to deliver SEAL or other SOF operators to objective areas who are much more mission capable.
In 1999 the Special Boat Squadron, Britain's marine special forces unit, acquired a VSV (Very Slender Vessel). It can go faster than any other ocean-going fast pursuit vessel in the world. It is capable of speeds of more than 60 knots, is 53 feet long and cylindrical, with a 10 foot cross-section so it can punch straight through waves rather than go through the top of them.
VSVT hulls have lower overall power requirements than comparable Deep'V' planing hulls. This leads to reduced engine size and increased range. Traditional Deep'V' hulls have two modes of operation, low speed displacement mode and a high speed planing mode. The vessel may operate only at displacement speed or planing speed. The VSVT hull, by contrast, exhibits no discernible planing 'hump'. The vessel can maintain any speed within its performance envelope returning full command to the driver.
When traditional Deep 'V' boats travel at speed in rough conditions, they jump from wave to wave and land with high vertical acceleration or 'g' force. As the speed of the vessel increases or the sea gets rougher, the 'g' force on landing increases. Peak readings regularly exceed 20g which is sufficient to cause injury to the personnel and damage to the vessel and its equipment.
Deep'V' hulls are the traditional solution for traveling at high speeds in offshore waters. By their nature they are planing craft and spend their time on the surface of the water. They are therefore, on occasion, subject to extreme vertical accelerations created by waves. Wave piercers are not completely novel as designers have been developing slim sharp fronted boats for years that are encouraged to cut through the waves rather than bouncing over them. The VSVT applies these principles to high-speed patrol vessels. This has enabled crews to travel at high speeds in adverse sea conditions in relative comfort and safety.
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