July, 18

PHM3: The Revolutionary US Navy Ship That Ruled the Seas

Featured in:

PHM3 US Navy – these six letters and numbers may not mean much to the average person, but for those in the military or with an interest in maritime history, they represent a significant moment in naval technology. The PHM3 was a high-speed hydrofoil craft designed by the United States Navy during the Cold War era. It was one of several experimental vessels used to test new technologies and tactics.

The PHM3's unique design allowed it to "fly" above water at speeds of up to 45 knots (52 mph), making it an incredibly fast vessel that could quickly respond to potential threats. Its speed and agility made it ideal for operations such as drug interdiction, coastal surveillance, and escort missions. While only a handful were built before their retirement from service in 1993, their legacy lives on as an important chapter in naval history.

If you're interested in learning more about this innovative vessel or want to explore other fascinating stories from America's military past, read on for a closer look into the world of PHM3 US Navy ships.

PHM3 US Navy: The Ultimate Guide

If you are a fan of the US Navy, you may have heard about the PHM3. This high-speed patrol boat played an important role in naval operations during the 1980s and early 1990s. In this article, we will explore what makes the PHM3 so special.

What is a PHM3?

PHM stands for Patrol Hydrofoil Missile. The PHMs were fast attack boats designed to operate in coastal waters where traditional ships cannot go due to their deep draft. These hydrofoils could reach speeds of up to 50 knots (57 mph) using their wings to lift them out of the water and reduce drag.

The Navy built six classes of Patrol Hydrofoil Missile Boats (PHMs) between 1977 and 1992. The third class was designated as "PHM III". These vessels were designed for anti-submarine warfare, surface warfare, mine countermeasures, special operations support and maritime interdiction missions.

Features of a PHM3

The most notable feature that set apart all classes with its small size was its speed; it had three LM2500 gas turbines engines that produced approximately fifteen-thousand horsepower each powering three water jets which allowed it to travel at speeds up-to fifty-six knots on hydrofoils or forty-four knots off-foil depending on sea state conditions . It also had advanced weaponry systems including torpedoes tubes installed near bow section which allowed these vessels greater maneuverability when engaging enemy targets such as submarines or other craft attempting infiltration into restricted areas.


The biggest advantage that any fast patrol boat has over conventional ships is its speed.
When compared with other missile boats used by navies around the world such as Israel's Sa'ar class missile boats reaching max speed upto ~47knots , Sweden's Visby-class corvettes reaching ~35 knots , and Germany's Gepard-class fast attack craft reaching only ~40knots, PHM3 stood out with a max speed 56 knots.


The PHM3 possessed numerous benefits that made it an invaluable asset to the US Navy. First and foremost, its speed allowed it to quickly respond to threats in coastal waters. Additionally, its small size made it harder for enemies to detect on radar. Finally, its advanced weaponry systems gave it a significant advantage when engaging enemy targets.

Tips for enthusiasts

If you are interested in learning more about the PHM3 or other military vessels used by the US Navy we recommend visiting one of many naval museums located throughout America like The National Museum of Naval Aviation which is situated near Pensacola Beach or Intrepid Sea Air & Space Museum which is located at Pier 86 at West 46th Street along Manhattan’s Hudson River shoreline.
You can also follow websites such as where you can find up-to-date information on what's happening in various branches specifically related with navy.


The PHM3 was an impressive vessel that played an important role during its time of service with the US Navy. Its advanced technology and impressive speed set it apart from other missile boats around the world making them ideal for coastal operations during their time.
Though they have been retired since early 1990s but still hold significance among naval enthusiasts all over globe who admire this engineering marvel because of what they achieved during their era!


What is the PHM-3 US Navy?

The PHM-3 US Navy vessel was a High-Speed Missile Hydrofoil. The primary purpose of the ship was to provide the navy with high-speed capability, which made it perfect for patrolling littoral waters and monitoring enemy movement in shallow water. Its unique design allowed it to travel at speeds of up to 45 knots, making it one of the fastest boats in its class.

The hydrofoil technology used by this vessel lifts its hull above water level while traveling at high speeds, reducing drag and increasing fuel efficiency. The boat's small size allowed it to maneuver quickly and easily in tight spaces or shallow waters where larger vessels would struggle.

The ship was designed and built by Boeing Marine Systems during the Cold War era, specifically for use against Soviet missile boats that were deployed along European coastlines.

How many PHM-3 US Navy vessels were built?

A total of six PHM-3 ships were built between 1976 and 1977 as part of a joint venture between Boeing Marine Systems (formerly known as Hydrofoils Inc.) and Grumman Aerospace Corporation. These ships served actively until their retirement from service in 1992 due to their significant upkeep costs combined with budget restrictions.

Despite being relatively short-lived within active military service, these vessels played an important role during their time operating under various assignments such as reconnaissance missions or providing support for Special Forces operations.

What weapons did a typical PHM-3 carry?

PHMs could be configured with different types of weaponry depending on mission requirements; however most standard configurations included guns such as M60 machine guns or MK19 grenade launchers located on both sides near gun mounts just below deck level.

In addition to these weapons systems onboard each craft had two Harpoon anti-shipping missiles capable launched from rear-mounted rails behind crew cabins meaning they could be fired even when not moving forward – something other missile boats were not capable of doing.

What was the crew complement for a PHM-3 vessel?

The crew complement for a PHM-3 naval vessel consisted of 22 personnel, including officers and enlisted sailors. The ship's commanding officer had responsibility over the entire vessel, while other personnel included deckhands, engineers, and weapons specialists.

Given its small size and high-speed capability, each member of the crew had to be highly skilled in their respective areas to operate effectively together as a team under combat conditions.

What was the maximum range that a PHM-3 could cover?

The maximum range covered by this type of US Navy hydrofoil was approximately 1100 nautical miles or 2000 kilometers at normal cruising speed. This distance could be extended with additional fuel tanks or refueling from support vessels while underway if needed during longer missions.

However due to its intended use as an agile coastal patrol boat rather than blue-water operation craft designed purely for long-range deployment it would have been more commonly used in missions closer inland waters or nearshore locations where distances covered would be less.

Latest articles

Related articles

AR 15 Buffer Springs: Uncovering the Best Options for...

Welcome to this article about the Best AR 15 Buffer Spring. If you are a gun enthusiast,...

Wooden Stock AR-15: The Classic Look for Your Modern...

Wooden stock AR 15. These four words might not mean much to the uninitiated, but for anyone...

US Marine Corps Shirts: Show Your Support with the...

US Marine Corps shirts are a popular item among military enthusiasts and civilians alike. These shirts are...

US Army MSV: The Ultimate Military Support Vehicle

The US Army MSV - a term that might sound unfamiliar to many people outside the military...

AR-15 Detent Spring: A Guide to Installation and Functionality

If you're a seasoned AR-15 owner, you're no stranger to the importance of every component in this...

US Air Force: Aim High and Soar Above the...

US Air Force Aim High. These four words hold a significant meaning for both the men and...