Maersk Line Ltd. has submitted a bid to the Navy in hopes of winning a Defense Department contract to design and construct the Pentagon
's proposed Joint High Speed Vessel, or JHSV.
The Navy and Army plan to order at least eight of the ships for rapid transport of troops, supplies and equipment through shallow waters to small or damaged ports - for both military and humanitarian-relief missions.
Maersk has tapped New York-based Derecktor Shipyards, one of the largest U.S. builders of commercial vessels, as its shipbuilding partner. The JHSVs would be built at the shipbuilder's Bridgeport, Conn., yard.
Bowers said the team's bid design is a hybrid that marries the speed and fuel efficiency of a twin-hulled catamaran with the stability and comfort of a SWATH, or small waterplane area twin-hull vessel.
The design is known as a semi-SWATH, which Bowers said has been in commercial service for around 10 years. The Maersk team's design is a scaled-down version of the fast ferries operated by international transport company Stena Line in the rough waters of the North and Irish seas, he said.
The Pentagon's cost goal for the lead ship is $150m, with a target of $130m for additional ships. They would be around 450 feet, draw 15 feet or less of water and be capable of speeds of around 40 mph, according to Navy documents