Special Report

The World’s Fastest Warships

Source: Courtesy of safehavenmarine.com

5. Barracuda XSV-17
> Top speed: 68.32 mph
> Sustained speed: 51.24 mph
> Range: 805 miles
> Status: In production
> Country: Ireland

Like the Interceptors, the Barracuda XSV-17 is a wave-piercing racer designed to handle many harsh weather conditions. The ship can be used for military and law enforcement non-engagement applications, like patrol and surveillance, but it’s also sold as a high-speed yacht.

Source: cne-cna-c6f / Flickr

4. Skjold class Corvette
> Top speed: 68.32 mph
> Sustained speed: 45.54 mph
> Range: 920 miles
> Status: In service
> Country: Norway

Skjold is a Norwegian word that means “shield,” and, as the name implies, these stealthy missile-launching shallow-draft ships are designed to patrol Norway’s thousands of miles of coastline populated by many bays, fjords, islands, and skerries.

3. HMCS Bras d’Or
> Top speed: 72 mph
> Sustained speed: 46 mph
> Range: 575.4 miles
> Status: Retired
> Country: Canada

The HMCS Bras d’Or was a fast hydrofoil escort craft based on a ship developed by Alexander Graham Bell and his Canadian partner F.W. Baldwin that shattered a speed record in 1919. The HMCS Bras D’Or hit the waves in 1968, but it never graduated from prototype status as cost overruns led to the project’s demise three years later, according to the Canada Science and Technology Museum.

Source: Courtesy of Privinvest

2. Special Forces Interceptor, WP-18
> Top speed: 74 mph
> Sustained speed: 53.51 mph
> Range: 460.31 miles
> Status: In production
> Country: Abu Dhabi

Designed in part to rapidly insert and extract Special Forces without the need for U.S. Navy submarine support, the Interceptor is also an effective high speed watercraft craft for counter-terrorism and anti-smuggling operations.

1. A-90 Orlyonok [Ekranoplan]
> Top speed: 248.45+ mph
> Sustained speed: 248.45+ mph
> Range: 1242 miles
> Status: Retired
> Country: USSR

The Soviet-era A-90 was the most plane-like of the ekranoplans that use a phenomenon known as ground effect to hit high speeds just a few feet above the water’s surface. This plane-boat crossbreed, which was in service until the 1990s and could reach altitudes of nearly 10,000 feet (helpful for avoiding collisions with other vessels) was designed to rapidly shuttle Russian troops and supplies across the Caspian and Black seas.

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