Minemen at Work


U.S. Navy Minemen 2nd Class Matthew Rishovd, left, and Kody Egelhoff, both assigned to High Speed Vessel Two Swift, repair a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration buoy in the Atlantic Ocean Jan. 25, 2008. The Sailors are fixing the buoys to help NOAA collect weather data that could help predict hurricanes and other inclement weather. This mission is part of Africa Partnership Station, a multinational effort to bring the latest training and techniques to maritime professionals in nine West andCentral African countries. DoD photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Elizabeth Merriam, U.S. Navy.

I remain a fan of the High Speed Vessel concept. Anyone have any new on how it’s performing and if there are any plans to get more?


  1. I did some research on surface piercing super cavitating hydrofoils for a seaplane design I worked on once about ten years ago. I think it is remarkable how slowly that technology has caught on, although there does seem to be some interesting research going on with regard to super cavitating propeller designs. I was looking at this type of hydrofoil as a method to reduce the speed of hull contact with the water’s surface upon landing. The lift of the hydrofoil takes over for the wings as the speed decays. This approach would be great for a wing in ground effect vehicle too. High speed boats all seem bent on using the non-cavitating hydrofoils, which limit their speeds to around 70 kts. You know, in a time when the Ruskies have cavitating missiles that scoot around at 120 mph, it seems silly to waste much effort on non-cavitating hydrofoils, but hopefully maybe the more serious research is still classified.

  2. Here is an interesting paper on cavitating hydrofoils. The analytical aspects might not be too interesting to you, but the introduction and some of the diagrams are good for understanding what super cavitating hydrofoils are about. Typically a hydrofoil designed for cavitation has sharp rather than rounded edges, especially on the low pressure side, as they tend to create turbulence that can lead to surface erosion, unnecessary drag, and a loss of lift.

  3. Navy just awarded three contracts for further development of the Joint High Speed Vessel (JHSV) to Bath Iron Works, Bollinger (Incat), and Austal USA. This is a Navy acquistion program developed based on the success of the TSV/HSV leases and is part of the larger ‘Sea-Base’ initiative.