Surface Forces: The Fastest Thing On Water With A Machine-Gun



September 11, 2009: A British firm has developed a high speed patrol boat, built to overtake the fastest things currently on water. The XSR is basically a aerodynamically shaped speed boat that can make over 150 kilometers an hour. There are two versions. One is 14.6 meters (45 feet) long, and has a top speed of 120 kilometers an hour. The 19 meter (59 foot) one can hit 150 kilometers an hour. The smaller version has a crew of four, and space for 14 passengers. The larger one has a crew of seven, four bunks and can carry 26 passengers. The larger boat can travel 1,800 kilometers (at a cruise speed of about 90 kilometers an hour), and carry sufficient water and fuel for 48 hours at sea per sortie. Both versions have a toilet, small galley and a .50 caliber (12.7mm) machine-gun that is normally inside the hull. But when deployed, this machine-gun is controlled remotely from within the cabin, using night vision and a laser range finder to assist firing the weapon). A rear deck enables crew to use other weapons as well. The topside structure contains Kevlar, to provide protection from small arms fire. In all, the XSR can carry about a ton of weapons and half a ton of other stores. The XSR 14 costs about $2.2 million. The XSR 19 costs about half a million dollars more.

The XSR 14 has a civilian counterpart, sold as a luxury power boat. A hot rod of the sea for someone who can afford to spend nearly three million dollars on a high seas hotrod. And if they could, the boat can't outrun 12.7mm bullets.

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