The HSV2 Swift is a non-commissioned, hybrid catamaran originally leased by the United States Navy as a mine countermeasures and sea basing test platform and will be spending a few days in Majorca. She is now privately owned and operated by Sealift Inc. and chartered to the United States Navy Military Sealift Command.
She is primarily used for fleet support and humanitarian partnership missions.
The HSV stands for High Speed Vessel, and its home port is Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek in Norfolk, Virginia.
The vessel has two CONMAR crews that typically rotate every three months to keep the ship deployed eleven months per year. The minimum crew size is 35; 18 are military with the balance civilian, provided through American Maritime Officers and Seafarers International Union.
On rare occasion that she is in a United States port, it is usually Naval Station Mayport, Florida, supporting the Fourth Fleet or Charleston, South Carolina, for major maintenance. Rota, here in Spain, is considered by the crew to be the Mediterranean home away from home.
It is a wave-piercing, aluminum-hulled, commercial catamaran with military enhancements, such as a helicopter flight deck, strengthened vehicle deck, small boat and unmanned vehicle launch and recovery capability, and an enhanced communications suite.
It features a new, modular design, which will allow the ship to be refitted to support any mission without requiring long shipyard periods.
While from the front the vessels appear to look like a trimaran, the centre hull does not rest in the water and is not used for buoyancy.
As a logistics vessel, it does not have water-tight compartments or weapons systems.
Its propulsion is provided by directional water jets, so it doesn't have propellers or a rudder for steering and can maneuver in twelve feet of water. The ship was constructed by the Australian shipbuilder Incat in Hobart, Tasmania, and was leased to the U.S. Navy through Bollinger/Incat of Lockport, Louisiana.
Seapower 21 She was the second catamaran the Navy leased to test new technologies and concepts associated with the Chief of Naval Operations's Seapower 21 plan. The contract value for the first year was $21.7 million.
Swift is the fourth Incat-built high-speed wave piercing catamaran to enter military service, following behind HMAS Jervis Bay, U.S. Army Vessel (USAV) Theater Support Vessel Spearhead (TSV-X1) and HSV-X1 Joint Venture.