Thursday, 23 September 2010

QinetiQ T1 on trials

One of the smaller vessels embarked aboard ALBION is a new experimental landing craft, built by defence manufacturer QinetiQ and allocated pennant number T1 while on trial with the Ministry of Defence. The Partial Air Cushion Supported CATamaran (PACSCAT), to give it its full title, is a twin hulled vessel with air cushions forward and aft, similar to the surface effect craft employed by the Norwegian Navy. T1 is built of aluminium and is 30 metres long, with a beam of 7.7 metres. She has a payload of 55 tonnes and is intended - despite what this image might suggest - to operate at speeds of more than 30 knots, thanks to its waterjet propulsion. The novel craft has been operating with the Royal Marines since August.