(Pictured is the Littoral Surface Craft – Experimental, "X-Craft," will be christened SEA FIGHTER (FSF-1) on 5 February 2005. The ceremony will take place at the Nichols Brothers Boatyard
on Whidbey Island, Washington.)
The Navy will christen the experimental X-Craft "Sea Fighter" and
designate it as the first Fast Sea Frame, Saturday, Feb. 5, during a noon PST
ceremony at Nichols Bros. Boat Builders, Whidbey Island, Wash.
Rep. Duncan Hunter, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee
will deliver the principal address. His wife, Lynne Hunter, is the ship's
sponsor. In the time-honored Navy tradition, she will break a bottle of champagne
across the bow to formally christen the ship "Sea Fighter."
The high-speed, experimental vessel will test a variety of technologies
that will allow the Navy to operate more effectively in littoral, or near-shore,
waters. Sea Fighter will be used to evaluate the hydrodynamic performance,
structural behavior, mission flexibility, and propulsion system efficiency of
high-speed vessels, and will also serve as a test bed for developmental mission
packages. It will serve as a "risk reduction," experimental vessel for the
Littoral Combat Ship and Coast Guard's Deepwater Program concept
development at sea.
The keel of the aluminum catamaran was laid in June 2003, is 262 feet
in length and displaces 950 tons. The ship has a beam of 72 feet and a
navigational draft of 11.5 feet. Two gas turbine engines, two propulsion diesels
and two waterjets will power Sea Fighter to speeds reaching 50 knots.
Fighter's crew will consist of 16 Navy sailors and 10 Coast Guardsmen.