Tuesday, July 18, 2006
Here is a fairly in-depth article on Norway's new Coast Guard Cutters.
Norway's Coast Guard has made some interesting decisions in recent years and their ships have proven to be very capable in the area that the Norwegian Coast Guard finds itself. These particular new ships are gaining attention mainly because of the fact that they will have a hybrid propulsion plant...fueled by natural gas.....
This strikes me as unwise. Natural gas is explosive and there are issues with its energy density, in certain LE operations and defense auxiliary tasks having big tanks full of boomgas is a bad idea, there is also the issue that even in a completely peaceful world a Coast Guard cutter is a rescue vessel and must go INTO the teeth of terrible weather and Norway has some of the WORST in its area of responsibility. Hulls bend, and flex and even robustly built ships will pop seams and break girders in the teeth of those gales.
The sheer force of a North Sea storm is not something I'd like to be dealing with in a ship with natural gas cylinders taking up its hull.
Nevertheless it's an interesting article and I'm curious as to how the project will turn out.
Anyway my stock disclaimer is likely warranted.