Wednesday, July 30, 2008


Austal contract confirms military use of the Superferry is intended

by Larry Geller

In a BYM Marine & Maritime News report today on Austal’s final Joint High Speed Vessel proposal to the US Navy, we find this:

Austal was recently awarded a new contract to provide additional features and equipment on the second Hawaii Superferry to facilitate its use by the military. This follows on from the long term charter, since 2001, of the Austal built 101 metre vehicle-passenger catamaran “WestPac Express” by the III Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF) based on Okinawa, Japan. As an adapted commercial vessel “WestPac Express” has demonstrated the enormous flexibility, cost savings and efficiencies achievable by commercial fast ferry technology over conventional air or sea transport.

See also: Superferry lobbies for military upgrade:Company spends $210K on lobbyists to obtain funds for vehicle ramp, Advertiser, June 18, 2008.

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Sorry, I have not been able to get online for a couple days. Greg forwarded this news to me and I see Larry and Joan have posted about it.

I think HSF people would try to diminish this by saying this is old news, even though they have been trying to deny it for more than a year. The details, though, I think are more interesting than this recent press release, I mean of the $5 million improvements to the sister ship.

Will be interested to see details on the JHSV final submissions. Based on the comments of the two most recent commanding officers of the 'Swift,' I still think Incat makes the better ship. Wonder if the Navy is going to try to rush the award on the first JHSV before the next President can have a chance to say 'yes' or 'no' on it.

Did also notice the trouble reported recently of the senior Senator from Alaska.

Aloha, Brad

Yes, but Matson and Horizon don't apply for $5 million grants from DoD for improvements to their ships. And Young Brothers and Matson ships and Hawaiian planes would only be used in the event of actual war. Would imagine the second HSF vessel will be used regularly by the Army between Oahu and BI while the others won't. It is not the same thing. Aloha, Brad

Anonymous said, "The ramp qualifies the Superferry for the same VISA (Voluntary Intermodal Sealift) program that all the Matson and Horizon ships are in. This is similar to the Civil Reserve Airlift Fleet that Hawaiian and all the other airlines are in."

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