RiverHawk Launches First-of-Class Advanced Multimission Platform (AMP) at Tampa Yard.
RiverHawk Fast Sea Frames (RHFSF) has launched its signature Advanced Multimission Platform (AMP) at its shipyard in Tampa, Florida. Fully designed and built in the United States, the 145-foot coastal security craft was contracted 12 months ago by the U S Department of the Navy’s Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) to Maritime Security Strategies (MSS) of Tampa, Florida. RiverHawk designed, produced and is outfitting the ship, scheduled for final delivery to NAVSEA in May. Subsequent transfer is expected this summer to the Lebanese Armed Forces under the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program. The launching ceremony was attended by NAVSEA program officials, representatives from the U S Central Command (USCENTCOM) and a delegation from Lebanon led by the Chief of the Lebanese Navy, Rear Admiral Nazih Baroudi.
This ship represents an important step in improving Lebanon’s ability to monitor and patrol its territorial waters and to contribute to international maritime security efforts in the Eastern Mediterranean. The sale supports broader U. S. security assistance objectives to secure Lebanon’s borders and to foster a stable and independent Lebanon. The launching and subsequent delivery of the AMP represents a major step forward in the U.S. patrol boat industry by demonstrating the rapid construction and delivery of vessels of this type. With less than 15 months of total construction time for the AMP, the MSS/RiverHawk team has demonstrated the agility and professional performance of America’s small business market.
The MSS/RiverHawk team is currently completing rigging and outfitting of the ship at RiverHawk’s shipyard in Tampa. The hull was constructed at VectorWorks Marine facilities in Titusville, concurrently with the construction of the aluminum deck and superstructure in the Tampa yard, where the deck was later mated to the hull. Several South Florida sub-contractors played significant roles. The shipbuilding project created over 100 new jobs in the region. Donald L Blount Associates of Chesapeake, VA, one of the world’s leading Naval Architects for High Speed Naval Craft has played a critical role in the design and engineering effort for the AMP.
“We are very proud of the expert work force we have brought together here in Tampa. The quality of workmanship is evident in every weld and lamination. A lot of very skilled and committed professionals are behind this success, from concept, to design, to today’s historic launch,” stated Mark Hornsby, RiverHawk’s CEO..”
During the 19 January ceremony aboard the ship, Rear Admiral (US Navy, ret) Robert Cox, MSS’s General Managing Partner remarked that the MSS/RiverHawk Team was honored by the opportunity to play a role to support US, Lebanese, and international security objectives in the Eastern Med and the CENTCOM AOR. “This particular design and the engineering and electronic systems we are incorporating should be ideal for the missions and tasks that Lebanon and its international partners have to rely on the Lebanese Navy to execute in that region,” Cox also remarked.
RiverHawk is also under contract to NAVSEA to deliver two 60-meter command and Offshore Support Vessels (OSVs) on a design and production schedule nearly concurrent to the schedule for the AMP. “As anyone associated with shipbuilding will tell you, building two first-of-class ships -- in different locations at the same time -- is truly an extraordinary management challenge,” Hornsby commented. The first of RiverHawk’s two OSVs was launched in Houma, LA, in November. Both OSVs are on track for scheduled delivery to NAVSEA by this summer.
With regard to the AMP launched Thursday, Admiral Cox stated that MSS teamed with RiverHawk Fast Sea Frames because of the advanced design and construction processes and materials it offered in its basic design. “MSS and RiverHawk teamed up to provide a high quality, cost-effective patrol boats. The primary product line – the ‘AMP’ – incorporates new designs and features that deliver significant cost and performance improvements over the current industry offerings. A key attribute for any Navy or Coast Guard is that the AMP is designed from the keel up to be rapidly and affordably configured depending on diverse customer mission requirements.”
The basic hull design for the AMP series has been improved to take advantage of performance and cost benefits created by advances in technologies, materials and processes. The composite construction makes the RiverHawk AMP extremely rugged, but also very light, and its strength eliminates much of the standard stiffeners and supporting structures that add so much weight to conventional ships. Weight reduction translates directly into greater speed, increased maneuverability and lower fuel consumption (lower cost and better performance). The epoxy resin hull is also easy and inexpensive to repair and maintain.
The Lebanese Navy’s AMP incorporates ITAR compliant state-of-the-shelf controls and crew-aiding automation using onboard sensing of watercraft systems such as engines, tanks, environmental sensors, navigational, and weapon's status. It incorporates a non-militarized, passive Integrated Bridge System (IBS) designed according to the ABS-NIBS Guide for Bridge Design and Navigational Equipment/Systems as well as ABS HSNC and SOLAS classification. The IBS , which includes four wide-screen multifunction workstations for navigation and surveillance, conning and other operational, command and control functions, was provided by Raytheon Anschutz GmbH, a subsidiary of the Raytheon Company (USA).
In addition to the navigation systems, the Integrated Bridge System incorporates the ship’s automation system, the CCTV and a FLIR thermal imaging camera. Surface search X and S-band ARPA radars, a full package of navigation sensors, data management software, GMDSS A3 and all other electronic and safety equipment complete the IBS and Command and Surveillance package on the AMP. Main propulsion is provided by two MTU 20V 4000m93L diesel engines coupled to HamiltonJet HT-1000 waterjet propulsers, a proven drive train that maximizes power to weight.