All the USA’s fast catamaran transports, from the Bollinger/Incat ships Joint Venture, Spearhead & Swift to Austal’s Westpac Express, offer the ability to move whole battalions and their accompanying supplies much faster than normal sealift, and at much less effort and expense than airlift. HSV-X1 Joint Venture ended its US military charter in July 2005, and TSV-1X Spearhead now serves as the passenger ferry T&T Spirit for the government of Trinidad & Tobago. Austal’s Westpac Express has been chartered for another 1-5 year period.
The unfortunately named* HSV-2 Swift is also returning to US service, as the USA prepares to begin building JHSV ships, but this time Swift appears to be under new ownership. Sealift, Inc. in Oyster Bay, NY received a $21.9 million firm-fixed-price contract for the 12-month charter of the U.S.-flagged, contractor-operated HSV Swift. The contract contains 4 options, which include 3 12-month options and an 11-month option, which would bring the total contract value to $93.1 million. The ship will be operated worldwide in support of U.S. Fleet Forces Command and the war on terrorism. The charter will also see Swift used to test emerging operational concepts such as seabasing and the Global Fleet Station, which had also been true during previous charter periods.
Work will be performed worldwide, and is expected to be complete in September 2009 (August 2013 with options). Contract funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured with more than 80 proposals solicited and 1 offer received by the U.S. Navy’s Military Sealift Command in Washington, D.C. (N00033-08-C-3315). See also Incat release.
* = HSV-2 also stands for Herpes Simplex Virus 2…
2013 update: returned to its owners in Australia.