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Sunday, October 12, 2008

US Military Charters Kite Powered Ship To Deliver Equipment

While I think the motivation here is strictly cost savings, I'll applaud the choice of the US Navy's Military Sealift Command (MSC) which has chartered the MV Beluga, a "kite-assisted" 400 foot cargo ship, to deliver Air Force and Army equipment from Europe to the US. MV Beluga uses a paraglider-shaped, SkySails-System, which supplements its conventional, internal combustion engines potentially reducing fuel costs by as much as 30 percent, or roughly $1,600 a day. The system utilizes a computer-controlled kite that flies from 100 to 300 yards into the air, using the wind to tow the ship. "MSC values innovation that leads to cost savings," said Captain Nick Holman, of Sealift Logistics Command Europe. CNet Story.