U.S. Government Allocates $9.3 Million For SLICE Technology
Senator Daniel K. Inouye has secured $9.3 million in funding from the Office of Naval Research, Washington, D.C. for the design and construction of a 120-foot (36 m), 35-knot prototype "ship of the future" incorporating an advanced SWATH ship tech- March, 1994 nology called SLICE. A Hawaiian company, Pacific Marine, has been selected as subcontractor to build the high-tech vessel using a patent-pending design provided by prime contractor Lockheed Corp. of California.
The vessel will be constructed at Pacific Marine's subsidiary Honolulu Shipyard, Inc. (HSI), according to parent company president Steven C.H.
Loui. HSI has completed work on the 22-knot, 150-passenger SWATH tour vessel Navatek II, which began service in late January as the newest ship in the Royal Hawaiian Cruises fleet.
SLICE is a high-speed, 35-knot design variation of existing Small Waterplane Area Twin Hull (SWATH) technology found in the slower, 18- knot Hawaii SWATH tour boat Navatek I and the newer, faster 22- knot Navatek II. Both ships were designed by Pacific Marine's subsidiary Navatek Ships. "SWATH technology gives you an exceptionally stable ride, but if you try to make it go really fast, it requires more horsepower than a regular boat," explains Mr. Loui. "Based on computer simulations and model-testing, SLICE technology gives you a super-smooth SWATH ride, at high speed, without requiring additional horsepower. If the prototype performs as well as we expect, it could prove to be a breakthrough technology." The funding proposal for the SLICE Advanced Technology Demonstration vessel was developed jointly by Lockheed Corp. and Pacific Marine. "Our extensive SWATH ship design, construction and operating experience, combined with Lockheed's new SLICE technology and design capabilities, made the proposal attractive to the Office of Naval Research," Mr. Loui explained. "We hope this is just the beginning for high-tech ship construction in Hawaii." Pacific Marine has negotiated exclusive commercial rights to Lockheed's SLICE technology, with Lockheed retaining the military market. "The prototype funded by the Office of Naval Research allows us to quickly advance the technology through the 'proof-of-concept' state," said Mr. Loui. "Ship buyers are conservative. They want to see a real operating ship before they buy. And this program will provide the proof. If the technology is proven succesful, we think we can build vessels in Hawaii for export around the world." For more information,