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Watch: The Fastest Ship in the U.S. Navy – Pegasus-Class Hydrofoil

PortandTerminal.com, June 9, 2019

In its day, the fastest ship in the U.S. Navy was the Pegasus-Class Hydrofoil ship pictured above which had a top speed of over 48 knots.

In the late 1960s, NATO needed a small, fast warship that could take on Warsaw Pact boats like the Komar (Mosquito) and Osa (Wasp) class missile boats.

Osa class missile boats were fast with a top speed of 40 knots. Komar class boats were almost as fast with a top speed of 32 knots. NATO needed something faster that could beat them.

The concept for the Pegasus-Class Hydrofoil had already been around for over 75 years when the Navy ordered its first two prototypes of the Pegasus-Class Hydrofoil. After some delay, they were finally put into service from 1977 through 1993.

When foil-borne, the ships were powered by a General Electric LM2500 gas turbine and a very large water jet, giving them a speed of over 48 knots, faster than both the Osa and Komar Soviet ships.

Since the Pegasus-Class ships sailed above the waves on its hydrofoils it had unparalleled stability. Mostly free of the drag imposed by sitting in water, a hydrofoil ship could go much faster than an ordinary vessel. 

In the end, the Navy scrapped the Pegasus because they were not judged cost-effective for their mission in a Navy with who’s primary objective was offensive rather than coastal patrol.

Today, over forty years later, the fastest navy vessel available is reported to be the Special Forces Interceptor, WP – 18 which has a top speed of 65+ knots.

Here it is again with a gun mounted on it.

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