As small boats go, Whiskey Alpha is about as tactical as you can get – a nine-metre watercraft with capacity for 12 crew and special forces operators armed with a EOS remote weapon station and minigun.
Unveiled on October 8 at the PACIFIC 2019 International Maritime Exposition, Whiskey Alpha is being pitched to special forces under Project Greyfin as well as those other operators such as state police.
Whiskey Alpha is the product of Sydney firm The Whiskey Project which is run by a two defence veterans, and is billed as the next generation of tactical watercraft.
“We have used our experience on the water to bring to life safety innovations, whilst looking at ways we can improve operational outcomes by increasing the versatility of these boats,” said Darren Schuback, company managing director and a former Navy clearance diver.
“Taking an operator-first approach to the design of Whiskey Alpha, we believe it will significantly improve the performance of personnel on the water and provide a real advantage in tactical situations, whilst supporting Australia’s sovereign capability with a new global benchmark for tactical watercraft.”
The Whiskey Project was officially launched by Defence Industry Minister Melissa Price who said this was a great day for small businesses in the Australian defence industry.
“Our $200 billion investment in the record build-up of our sovereign capability has opened the door to so many companies looking to get involved in Australia’s defence industry,” she said.
Under Project Greyfin, the government is boosting special forces capability with a $3 billion investment in new equipment over 20 years.
Mr Schuback said it is impossible to control every element of a tactical situation. “But we can significantly improve our key watercraft assets to ensure operators arrive on task in optimum physical condition,” he said.
“Our advanced tactical boats integrate world-leading technologies that provide operational advantages and improve human performance, reducing the risk of injury and fatigue for our maritime personnel whilst increasing their safety and comfort.”
NSW Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney Stuart Ayres said it was great to see a NSW company like The Whiskey Project developing smart, innovative technology for our highly trained professional soldiers.
“It’s vital our special forces have access to cutting edge technology like the Next Generation Tactical Watercraft. The NSW Government will always get behind small companies that seek to deliver smart, specialised equipment to meet that need,” Mr Ayres said.
“Defence NSW assists NSW SMEs to access federal and state government programs to participate in trade events like Pacific, and target global supply chain and capability development initiatives.”