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Monday, March 19, 2012

For sale: 100m Fast Catamaran. As new

source: The Australian

DEFENCE Minister Stephen Smith's push to buy a giant high-speed navy catamaran capable of carrying more than 300 troops to a disaster zone or regional conflict has been quietly shelved.

Mr Smith ordered Defence to investigate the potential purchase of a fast catamaran last year to ensure there was no repeat of the Cyclone Yasi debacle, when navy did not have any amphibious ships available to assist in the clean-up from the February 2011 disaster.

The 100m fast catamaran would have given the navy the ability to move troops and vehicles at a speed of about 35 knots to a range of up to 1500km.

It would also have been a major boost to local shipbuilders, Incat in Hobart or Austal in Mr Smith's home town of Perth, which both produce large high-speed catamarans for the US navy.

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