Author: Howard Altman [Tampa Bay Online]
TAMPA — With a slight twist of his right wrist, Adrian Bishop turns the throttle and three 1,800-horsepower diesel engines propel a camouflaged patrol boat at a speed of nearly 70 mph across Tampa Bay.
Bishop is taking the SeaStriker 22 from the Tampa Convention Center, where he showed it off Tuesday at a conference for foreign military commanders, back to the boat factory where it was built, RiverHawk Fast Sea Frames, off Rattlesnake Point south of the Gandy Bridge.
There will be no demonstration this day of the Gatling gun mounted at the rear, but otherwise Bishop puts the SeaStriker 22 through its motions. It’s a familiar task for a man who spent 20 years with the Special Warfare Combatant-craft Crewmen, special operations forces who deliver SEALs on their clandestine missions.
The new mission for Bishop and RiverHawk Fast Sea Frames is to tap a growing demand among militaries around the globe for small, fast vessels that can be quickly designed to meet changing needs, says Jake Shuford, the company’s director of fleet development and integration.
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