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U.S. LAUNCHES CATAMARANS FOR WAR

U.S. LAUNCHES CATAMARANS FOR WAR Catamarans usually bring to mind island vacations, not war zones. But the U.S. military is about to send a high-speed, experimental catamaran to the Middle East in preparation for a possible Iraqi conflict.The 370 foot Joint Venture HSV-X1 carries a helicopter, and can move 300 troops at a time. It can be used in a variety of roles, the Virginian-Pilot reports: "as a base and delivery vehicle for special operations forces, as a base for underwater vehicles for mine warfare, and as a medical treatment station that delivered patients to a hospital ship."Most importantly, the HSV-X1 can do this all in a hurry: fully loaded, it skips along the oceans at 40 knots (46 miles per hour) -- more than three times faster than the Army's current Logistics Support Vessel.THERE'S MORE: An observant Defense Tech reader points out that certain models of the catamaran will come with -- get this -- a 20' by 20' by 4' "mammal pool."

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