A New Design for a New Mission
The Sea Fighter is an aluminum catamaran designed to operate effectively in littoral, or coastal, waters. It can maneuver in as little as 11 feet (3.35 m) of water. The hull number FSF-1 stands for "fast sea frame" and is the first U.S. Naval vessel to have a catamaran design. The experimental vessel will be used to test the hydrodynamic performance, structural performance, structural behavior, mission flexibility and propulsion-system efficiency of high-speed vessels.
The ship's design is flexible to meet the needs of multiple missions. More than 12 20-foot mission modules can be housed in the ship's mission bay, which allows the vessel to be quickly reconfigured to support a variety of potential tasks including battle force protection, mine countermeasures, anti-submarine warfare, amphibious assault support and humanitarian support.
A multi-purpose stern ramp allows the ship to launch and recover manned and unmanned surface and sub-surface vehicles up to the size of an 11-meter Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat (RHIB). From its flight deck, the Sea Fighter can operate while supporting two H-60 helicopters or vertical takeoff and landing tactical unmanned aerial vehicles (VTUAV) at a time.
To reduce vibration and noise, many of the ship's internal surfaces are covered with a coating of QuietShip, a viscoelastic polymer that can be applied to aluminum, steel and composite-hull vessels. The coating offers naval ship builders a way to reduce noise by up to 70 percent, according to developer Quiet Solution. On the Sea Fighter, QuietShip reduces noise by 15 decibels.