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Re: Argos EPFs
Posted by Jim Davis on 12/17/2018, 11:09 am, in reply to "Re: Argos EPFs
Got it... "My bad." I had seen the EPFs on Chris' site and had just mis-remembered the manufacturer. And yes, I do know that the Omaha is an LCS - I wrote the blurb in a hurry this AM and neglected to differentiate between the two types.
Right now there are a total of three LCSs fitting out (in the water already) here at Austal, and two EPFs. Don't know the hull numbers of any of these other than those of the Puerto Rico and Omaha. The bow of another LCS is currently peeking out of one of the construction sheds as well, so at least four in the works. DOD announced this AM that two more contracts have been let to Austal for additional LCS. Seems like getting hulls in the water has taken on a certain urgency.... (I wonder why).
Just a note because otherwise someone will be asking me for Argos versions. It is Matti Bröcher who has done the Spearhead class EFP's, not Argos.
In addition to the lead ship in the class he did a batch of Spearheads that come with decals for hull numbers 2-9 but that doesn't get you a Puerto Rico as she is #11. I think he only wanted to cover the ones already in commission in case something changed in the design. All of those are currently in stock here at 1250Ships.com.
Argos does produce Swift HSV-2 which was the precursor to the Spearhead class.
Yesterday I had the pleasure of taking a DUKW-boat tour of the Mobile waterfront. We got excellent, really close-up looks at the USS Omaha and the USNS Puerto Rico, both of which are fitting out at Austal. The EPF is absolutely aluminum-foil, bare-metal shiny; they won't be painting her at all (although she has her hull number - 11 - on the bow in normal (not low-vis) USN black-shaded white). A single coat of paint would weigh 10,000 pounds, reducing her speed, cargo capacity, or both. If you've got one of the Argos EPFs - you might want to strip the paint and buff it to a high metallic gloss! The Omaha, on the other hand, is dull grey. But they haven;t painted her. She would have been exactly the same as the Puerto Rico originally, but they then sand the ship to a rough texture and let it oxidize to the grey to get a less-visible appearance w/o the paint weight. We were not told if the Puerto Rico would eventually been likewise sanded (I expect she will....).