Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Navy's new $185 million catamaran visiting St. Pete Sunday

TAMPA — The future of the U.S. Navy arrives Sunday in St. Petersburg. It's made of aluminium. And it's big.

The Spearhead, the Navy's first Joint High-Speed Vessel, is coming to Tampa Bay so officials at U.S. Central Command and Special Operations Command can get a closer look at a ship that may revolutionize the transport of troops and equipment.

The all-aluminium, $185 million vessel — 338 feet long with a 20,000-square-foot storage area — is a catamaran capable of carrying 600 tons of troops or material nearly 1,400 miles at an average speed of about 40 mph.

And with a draft of about 12.5 feet, the ship can maneuver in much shallower waters than typical Navy ships. A destroyer, for example, has a 33-foot draft.

"The Spearhead affords our nation's military leadership a new ability to quickly transport troops, equipment and supplies where they are most needed, anywhere in the world," said Rep. C.W. Bill Young, R-Indian Shores.

The Navy plans to build 10 of these ships, and the Pentagon said the ship's speed and shallow draft will provide benefits not just in combat. It will speed delivery of personnel and supplies for humanitarian missions around the world, the Navy says.

Officials at SOCom and CentCom, which direct the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, will be briefed on the ship's capabilities.

No public tours of the Spearhead will be available at the Port of St. Petersburg. It departs Tuesday.

Navy's new $185 million catamaran visiting St. Pete Sunday 02/07/13 [Last modified: Friday, February 8, 2013 10:26am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rubio: Critics distorting facts on Senate health care bill


    Sen. Marco Rubio this morning defended the Senate GOP health care proposal -- though still not saying definitively he's in support -- and accused critics of distorting facts about the number of people who could lose coverage.

  2. Florida issues school grades: F's down, A's and B's up


    Florida's school grades showed marked improvement in 2016-17, according to the results released Wednesday morning.

    Florida education commissioner Pam Stewart
  3. 'Big Bang Theory' star Johnny Galecki loses home to California wildfire


    Johnny Galecki, star of the Big Bang Theory, lost his ranch to a large California fire.


  4. Dali a father? He would need to have sex first


    One of the most influential artists of the 20th century, 28 years dead, is about to be pulled from the grave to settle a paternity claim. The case could be worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

    Horst P. Horst's portrait of Salvador Dali from the 1930s. [Image from the Dali Museum.]
  5. Aramis Ayala defends stance against death penalty: 'I did what I believe was proper'

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Aramis Ayala, the elected Orlando prosecutor who refuses to seek the death penalty, defended her actions Wednesday as she faced a flurry of hostile questions from Florida Supreme Court justices.

    Orlando prosecutor Aramis Ayala, far right, said she was "very well pleased" with her lawyer's case. "I violated no laws." [STEVE BOUSQUET | Tampa Bay Times]