Japanese destroyer Harusame sails off Yokosuka, southwest of Tokyo, leaving for Somalia Monday, July 6, 2009. Two Japanese navy destroyers, Harusame and Amagiri, left Japan to join an international anti-piracy mission off the Somali coast to provide a greater role under a new law taking effect in time for arrival in the waters to replace their fellow crewmembers. They are expected to reach Somali waters in late July. (AP Photo/Kyodo News) ** JAPAN OUT MANDATORY CREDIT FOR COMMERCIAL USE ONLY IN NORTH AMERICA **
MOBILE, Ala. (AP) - The second of the Navy's new generation of speedy warships designed to operate close to shore topped 50 mph in builder trials completed this month.
Officials say the Independence, a 418-foot ship built in
Alabama, traveled in excess of 45 knots, which equates to nearly 52
mph, and sustained 44 knots during a four-hour, full-speed sprint.
The so-called littoral combat ship is the second of two competing designs. The one built by Austal in Mobile, Ala., features a tri-hull design. The lead contractor is Maine's Bath Iron Works, a General Dynamics subsidiary.
The competing ship, Freedom, features a more traditional hull and was built by a team led by Lockheed Martin. It will go into
service next year. Eventually, the Navy wants to build up to 55 of