ST Engineering’s Eco-hull solutions offer significant reduction in drag, improved speed performance, reduced fuel consumption and enhanced seakeeping performance.
Air has a lower frictional resistance than water. By creating a layer of air cavity between the hull and the water surface, the hull resistance could be reduced. The Air Cavity Hull (ACH) applies this principle to an optimised deep-V hull design to further reduce frictional resistance and improve vessel performance. The layer of air between the hull and the water cushions the vessel and improves its hydrodynamic performance as validated by rigorous seakeeping tests.
Comprehensive model testing showed that ACH was able to reduce drag by more than 10% in the high-speed range. This directly translates into higher speed gain of 4 to 5 knots using the same engine and for the same displacement. Alternatively, cost savings with a smaller engine (for the same speed performance), and lower running cost for lower fuel consumption could be achieved with the ACH. The resulting weight saving also enables a reduction in the displacement to provide better fuel economy and further cost savings throughout the service life of the vessel. One of our studies showed that a 17m ACH craft installed with 2x735kW consistently outperformed the same craft without ACH installed with 2x882kW engines.
Air cavity hulls are currently incorporated into unmanned surface vessels and fast craft where speed commands a premium in their operations. Together with our well proven know-how in lightweight construction and onboard systems, this has greatly enhanced our solutions for our clients.
Using the ACH, we have developed a new series of Super Swift craft with speeds above 60 knots. Besides possessing superior speed and power performance, these craft have improved acceleration and better ride quality with reduced pitch and heave motions. Super Swift offers a high-performance and agile platform suited for coastal defence, patrol and maritime security. It is currently available in three designs: Super Swift 17 (ACH) for interception missions, Super Swift 26 (ACH) for special operations and Super Swift 35 (ACH) for patrol and maritime security.