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Battle Pass Vehicles: USS Flagstaff

Welcome to the naval reward for the upcoming Battle Pass season: USS Flagstaff. This is an amazing hydrofoil with a turret from the M551 Sheridan tank!

USS Flagstaff: A Premium US Motor Gun Boat at Rank III

Features:

  • Hydrofoil!
  • Very high top speed.
  • Good maneuverability.
  • 152 mm gun!
Vehicle History

USS Flagstaff was one of two experimental hydrofoils that the US Navy ordered to study the design’s feasibility in the late 60’s. These boats received the PGH name — Patrol Gunboat Hydrofoil. Both boats were designed by aeronautical engineering companies: the PGH-1 Flagstaff by Grumman and the PGH-2 Tucumcari by Boeing. Soon after they were put into service, both went to South Vietnam, however not for long as the repair and maintenance of them in the field turned out to be too difficult. After a period of service in the Pacific Fleet, USS Flagstaff was leased to the US Coast Guard as there was a request for a speedboat to combat maritime drug trafficking. Here the boat did not take root for similar reasons, as maintaining a hydrofoil boat turned out to be too expensive and technically difficult. In 1978, USS Flagstaff returned to the fleet and was soon dismantled for metal, and the idea of mass construction of hydrofoil boats was recognized as untenable.

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Meet USS Flagstaff!

Aircraft designers are joining the navy! That’s because USS Flagstaff was developed by engineers from the aircraft manufacturer Grumman... it too has wings: underwater wings! This one’s fast and agile, comes with premium bonuses and a turret from the M551 tank. It’s the naval reward for the upcoming Battle Pass season starting on April 24th, so let’s take a further look!

USS Flagstaff is both a competitor and close relative of the USS Tucumcari motor gun boat, which you may already be familiar with. Both of these boats were developed within the same program and served side by side during the Vietnam War. USS Flagstaff has the same blistering speed and excellent maneuverability, being able to quickly accelerate to 94 km/h in Realistic Battles, and more than 120 km/h in Arcade Battles. USS Flagstaff is heavier than USS Tucumcari, but is only slightly inferior to it in terms of maneuverability. It’ll still be easy to pass between trickier areas such as small islands and rocks, and at speed it can even jump small shoals. Perfect for getting to capture points in shallow water!

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The main feature of the USS Flagstaff is its interchangeable main gun. You’re able to pick between the M551 Sheridan tank’s turret with a 152 mm gun, or a 40 mm Bofors automatic cannon to be mounted at the front. Both guns are very well positioned and allow for targeted fire at full speed during maneuvers. The short 152 mm cannon fires high-explosive rounds, where the first hit will likely be fatal to a boat or cause serious damage to a destroyer. The 40 mm Bofors does less damage, but fires automatically and is good at aiming at ranges. It’s worth noting that USS Flagstaff is slightly larger than USS Tucumcari: it’s longer and higher above the water when maneuvering forward, making it more stable when firing. The main gun is complemented by 4 x 12.7 mm Browning machine guns in two twin mounts, and an 81 mm mortar at the stern. This can be useful in attacks on stationary or slow targets, however you’ll need to stop the boat to fire, otherwise it becomes almost impossible to hit anything.

In terms of protection, USS Flagstaff’s armor is slightly similar to that of the USS Tucumcari and in practice can be penetrated by any caliber, including rifle calibers. Because of this, definitely try to avoid enemy fire as the USS Flagstaff will only survive when maneuvering around.

That’s today’s blog done! Tomorrow, we’ll continue talking about another vehicle reward that’s coming to the new Battle Pass season in War Thunder, starting on April 24th. See you soon!

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