The SeaCoaster hull is a modified "air-assisted" catamaran. The vessel is able to navigate in very shallow water, which is one reason why its hullform is being considered for use as a high-speed "beachable" connector for transit from logistics ship to shore, and the SeaCoaster's already shallow draft (just 6ft) is reduced by half when the blowers are operating and the ship is lifted.
The commercial applications the hullform enables SeaCoaster vessels to carry more cargo at faster speeds with less horsepower than other high speed catamarans or monohulls. The SeaCoaster also offers several other advantages as a naval vessel - among them the fact that it is beachable, has reduced signatures and is less susceptible to damage from underwater explosions than a conventional craft.
On the ONR vessel, air is blown into the cavities using two of the Caterpillar 3126 diesels. On board electrical power is provided by a pair of Perkins gensets, each of which provides 99k W of electrical power. The SeaCoaster demonstaror also has a rear cargo deck capable of carrying 90 tonnes of cargo. With a crew of three, there is also seating for up to twenty passengers. The ONR was due to begin testing the vessel at the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Panama City, Florida in November 2004.
On 19 June 2003 the Office of Naval Research awarded American Marine Holdings, Inc. an Other Transaction for Prototype Projects agreement [N00014-03-9-0002] for $3,741,000 for the design, construction and demonstration of the Sea Coaster Advanced Hull Form Technology. Technical objectives of this effort including the technology areas in which the project was conducted: The technical objective of this effort is to demonstrate the effectiveness of a proprietary surface effect craft hull form. The demonstration will be accomplished through the detailed design and construction of an approximately 100-foot test craft (Prototype) which will be made available to the Navy for testing and evaluation. The potential applications of this technology include high performance special operations craft, high-speed littoral warfare vessels, fast intra-theater transports and rapid deployment logistics ships.
This other transaction will broaden the Navy's options in advanced hull forms. The recipient (American Marine Holdings) and one of the subrecipients (Air Ride Craft) have entered into a patent and technology agreement which effectively assigns certain exclusive rights and certain non -exclusive licenses in the Air Ride SEACOASTER SECAT (Surface Effect CATamaran) Advanced Marine Vehicle invention to American Marine Holdings. An other transaction agreement allows greater flexibility in negotiating patent and intellectual property rights. The unique SeaCoaster hull configuration, which combines the features of a catamaran hull form with those of a surface effect ship, has already been employed in commercial applications (65-foot hull, which was subsequently converted to a passenger ferry). The lessons learned from the 65- foot hull will be incorporated into the 100-foot test craft prototype design (scale-up) model, since the objective of the project is to demonstrate the degree to which the SeaCoaster hull form can be expanded to larger, higher speed seagoing boats and ships.
The recipient and subrecipients have never entered into or performed on any procurement contract subject to full coverage under the cost accounting standards prescribed in the Federal Acquisition Regulation, or any other procurement contract in excess of $500,000 to carry out prototype projects or to perform basic, applied, or advanced research for a federal agency. The recipient and subrecipients are providing access to technology and committing private funds to foster a relationship with the Government. An other transaction made access to the technology possible by allowing for a special licensing agreement (Patent and Technology Agreement) between the recipient and the subrecipient. Successful results could provide a vessel design applicable for both military and commercial markets.
A 2004 modification to other transaction number N00014-03-9-0002 is to expand the research effort within the existing scope of the agreement by adding a statement of work and funding for the execution of the Phase III (Demonstration). The technical objective of this effort is to demonstrate the effectiveness of a proprietary surface effect craft hull form. The demonstration will be accomplished through the detailed design and construction of an approximately 100-foot test craft (Prototype) which will be made available to the Navy for testing and evaluation. The potential applications of this technology include high-performance special operations craft, high-speed littoral warfare vessels, fast intra-theater transports and rapid deployment logistics ships.
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|