Sea fighter arrives at new San Diego homeport
On 1 August 2005 the US Navy’s (USN’s) experimental Littoral Surface Craft, Sea Fighter (FSF 1), designed by BMT Nigel Gee and Associates Ltd, arrived at its new homeport at Broadway Pier in San Diego, California.
At 1,500 tonnes displacement the Sea Fighter vessel is the largest catamaran ever to be built in the US, and with a top speed of 50 knots it is one of the fastest large naval craft in the world.
Designed as a ‘Fast Sea Frame’, the high-speed, aluminum catamaran is suitable for a wide range of littoral missions and will allow the USN to operate more effectively in littoral waters.
This test-platform is designed to assess a variety of new technologies which, according to Vice Admiral Terrace T Etnyre, commander, Naval Surface Forces, is just a beginning. "Sea Fighter will not only transform technology, it will be a major driver in the way we train our people, as well," he said.
Sea Fighter is manned with a joint Navy and Coast Guard crew of only 26 personnel, "but the ship will be just as capable as the Navy’s current warfighting platforms, which have crews of more than 200", said Rep Duncan Hunter, San Diego congressman and chairman of the House Armed Services Committee.
Sea Fighter is fitted out to carry undertake various potential missions, including battle force protection, mine countermeasures, anti-submarine warfare, amphibious assault support and humanitarian support. This means that the ship’s crew must be flexible and well-trained as they need to work across many different roles and mission modules.
"Sea Fighter has plenty to look forward to in the future", said Commanding Officer Lieutenant Commander Brandon Bryan.
Sea Fighter will be pier-side while some new installations are made, but will continue with training operations off the coast of San Diego.