Swiftships displays newest project
MARIANNA, Fla. — Swiftships Shipbuilders LLC, located in Morgan City, displayed its newest project in April at one of the largest military training exercises in the world.
The new technology, also known as Project Anaconda, was operated by special operation forces from U.S. Special Operations Command, Air Force Special Operations Command, Naval Special Warfare and Canadian forces in Emerald Warrior Exercise 2013.
Visual Awareness Technologies and Consulting, the primary contractor in support of Emerald Warrior, along with Maritime Mobility, have aided in implementing the Anaconda into a real-world application. The Anaconda is a Special Operations Craft Riverine; its application as the only prototype vessel approved by the United States Special Operations Command to participate in this training exercise has served as the foundation for research and development for Swiftships’ program management team.
Emerald Warrior’s primary purpose is to exercise special operations components in urban and irregular warfare settings to support combatant commanders. Emerald Warrior leverages lessons from Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom and other historical lessons to provide better trained and ready forces to combatant commanders.
The Anaconda was implemented in Emerald Warrior as an insertion/exfiltration platform for brown water maritime missions.
This Special Operations Craft Riverine is a diesel-powered, hard chine, and modified V-hull form all-aluminum craft with twin water jet propulsions. This craft has an advanced design bow ramp for cargo or personnel and its seating is removable/collapsible to maximize deck space during full operation.
It is designed to operate in both salt and fresh water, and is fully operational in Sea State 2 and will survive in Sea State 3. Electronics on the Anaconda are provided by Delta Wave Communication and were used to provide navigation and communication at Emerald Warrior.
The Anaconda is capable of operating in tropical regions with air temperatures in excess of 100° Fahrenheit. It has an optional trailer, optional truck, and may be helo-lifted to ensure optimized extraction capabilities.
With five weapons stations (two forward, two mid-ships, one aft) and a foam filled structure, the Anaconda is capable of performing optimal riverine warfare and remain afloat even if holed. Its innovative design coupled with high speed performance makes the Anaconda a highly lethal watercraft even if against its top competitors.
The goal of Project Anaconda is to design a vessel to support the efforts of the U.S Navy’s operations on in-land waters by providing the combined advantages of power, speed, surprise, greater mobility, ease of deployment, and mission success.
Swiftships, along with various vendor partnerships, has developed a prototype vessel (the Anaconda) with capabilities of river patrol, interdiction, and tactical troop movements in shallow waters. Its application in Emerald Warrior has allowed for it to be tested by real world operators familiar with the needed capabilities of a SOCR.
The feedback provided from these experienced operators allows for Swiftships to procure an acquisition strategy to minimize the time and cost of satisfying an identified, validated need for military operations.
In 2001, U.S. Congress mandated that one-third of all ground vehicles in the U.S. Armed Forces be replaced with robotic vehicles by the year 2015. The program for the development of autonomous surface vehicles is being carried out by the University of Louisiana Lafayette, known as Project Cajun Bot.
Since 2012, Swiftships in collaboration with ULL have been working together to apply Cajun Bot technology and design a completely autonomous vessel. The basic concept is to create a “GPS bot” able to navigate pre-programmed GPS way points without any human interaction.
This advanced application will be the final “phase” for Project Anaconda. Swiftships’ team of experienced naval operators, engineers, and combat veterans are steady exploring innovative ideas to enhance its military programs as vigorously and enthusiastically as their predecessors.