Sea Slice was an experimental ship used by the US Navy since 1996. With an evolved Small Waterplane Area Twin Hull (SWATH) design, the ship has four submerged hull ‘pods’ designed to provide stability in higher sea states. The four pod design was said to reduce drag and power used for a given speed.
Sea Slice could travel at up to 30 knots whilst maintaining a very stable platform up to Sea State 5. One of the experiments involved using it as a firing platform for a 35mm Millenium gun. They were also used in the Broad-area Unmanned Responsive Resupply Operations (BURRO) programme that investigated using unmanned helicopters like the Kaman K-MAX to provide logistic support for embarked forces.
SWATH designs have found a niche in applications that require very high stability in high sea states, pilot and crew transfer boats in the offshore wind industry for example.
Primarily used as an experimental platform for developing Littoral Combat Ship concepts she was placed on the market a few months ago.
The new owner is Advanced Offshore Solutions ApS and the vessel will be used in north European waters in support of the offshore energy industry.