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AUSA 2021: Australian multi-mission reconnaissance watercraft unveiled at AUSA

Australian maritime design and manufacturing company The Whiskey Project unveiled a new 9.5 m multi-mission reconnaissance craft (MMRC) to US government and military attendees at the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) annual convention in Washington DC, which started 11 October. The Whiskey Project has also scheduled a series of capability demonstrations and trials with the US Marine Corps (USMC) and US Navy (USN) along the US eastern seaboard, company co-founder Ryan Carmichael told Janes on 4 October.

The new craft, airfreighted from Sydney, features a Sea Blade Ultra Deep V aluminium planing hull designed by Hawaiian company Navatek in response to a commission from the US Office of Naval Research (ONR). This cuts debilitating slamming by up to 40% from that experienced by a comparable rigid hull inflatable boat (RHIB), according to the company. Designed in collaboration with USMC veterans to provide manoeuvre from the sea, the MMRC displaces 6,490 kg with a payload of more than 2,000 kg. Typically, this could include eight fully-equipped troops and two crew, all in shock-mitigating seats as part of the modular deck system; advanced systems and sensors including Teledyne FLIR integrated by Virginia company Aries Defense; fully-integrated ballistic protection; and weapon systems mounted fore, aft and amidships. The launch configuration featured at AUSA comprised three Dillon Aero 7.62mm miniguns.

The MMRC is powered by two OXE 300 hp turbo-diesel outboards backed by a fuel capacity of 700 l and can reach speeds of up to 40 kt, depending on sea conditions.

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