Sea Transportation: September 17, 2003


Rolls Royce has offered a new  high speed cargo ship design. Rolls Royce has produced ferrys and special transports for decades. Their new  Fast Naval Sea-Lift Vessel will be 584 feet long and 79 feet wide. At 4,000 deadweight tons, it will use three gas turbine engines to carry 2,500 tons of cargo (including vehicle) 5,400 kilometers, and do it while traveling at 70 kilometers an hour (77 hours, a little over three days.) Traveling at a more efficient speed (65 kilometers an hour), it can go 6,500 kilometers. Or it can haul 3,700 tons of cargo, at 70 kilometers an hour, for 900 kilometers. This is a single hull design, but an extension of the hull under the bow (sort of like a ram) allows for more stability and speed. What Rolls Royce is really selling here is its maritime jet engines (gas turbines), for these engines are the heart of this design. While the U.S. Navy has been buying designs of this type, Rolls Royce is probably expecting more interest from European customers. It is thought that fast sealift ships will be increasingly popular for peacekeeping missions. 


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