Chartered by the U.S. Navy along with her crew and attached to Special Boat Squadron Two at Little Creek, Virginia, until September, the 260-ton Royal Norwegian Navy rigid-sidewall surface-effect guided missile patrol craft Skjold ("Shield") averaged 49 knots while under way en route to U.S. waters last fall. Currently unarmed, the craft and five sisters authorized last year to be built by Umoe Mandal A/S will be fitted with a low-reflectivity 76-mm OTOBreda gun mount forward and eight NSM antiship missiles launched though ports near the stern in the sides of the catamaran hull. The Skjold reached 57.1 knots on trials on the 16,320 shaft horsepower provided by two Rolls Royce-Allison 571-KF9 gas turbines, which drive two waterjets. Two 985brake-horsepower MTU diesels are mounted forward to power the lift fans, and two 500-brake-horsepower MTU diesels provide auxiliary power for low-speed operations.
By A. D. Baker III