Swiftships, a longtime builder of fast vessels for defense and commercial uses, teamed with the University of Louisiana-Lafayette in February to demonstrate a remotely controlled prototype fast craft, called Anaconda, for a wide range of riverine missions.
Swiftships competes in global markets for smaller naval ships. The company has delivered 13 120-foot coastal patrol boats to the Iraqi navy under a 15-ship contract and has a long-term agreement with the Egyptian navy to co-produce 25-foot patrol boats in Egypt. It also has built ships to support offshore drilling operations for U.S. and international oil and natural-gas companies.
Eric Geibel, Swiftships director of special programs, said the company (formerly Sewart Seacraft) traces its experience in fast boats to its work on the U.S. Navy swift boats that were used in Vietnam War brown-water riverine campaigns. Swiftships is working with the mechanical-engineering faculty and a team of engineering graduate students at UL-Lafayette to integrate new sensor and control technologies into the Swiftships’ Anaconda hullform, which was built initially for special-operations missions.