US Navy Receives First of 10 Joint High Speed Vessels USNS Spearhead

“USNS Spearhead”, the first of 10 US Navy Joint High Speed Vessels (JHSV) designed for rapid intra-theater transport of troops and military equipment, was christened on Saturday September 17, 2011 during a ceremony at Austal’s USA shipyard in Mobile, Alabama.

The Military Sealift Command (MSC) will own and operate “Spearhead” and the six other JHSVs that are under contract to be built for the US Navy. “Spearhead” will be crewed by 22 civil service mariners working for MSC who will operate, navigate and maintain the ship.

Spearhead” will change the game – transforming the normally behind-the-scenes exercise of supporting the military’s logistical requirements into something far more exciting,” said Austal USA President and Chief Operating Officer, Joe Rella, during his address to over a thousand attendees, including leaders from the military services, Congress and Austal employees. Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions was the ceremony’s principal speaker.

Retired Army Chief Warrant Officer, Kenneth Wahlman, is the ship’s sponsor. His daughter Catherine, a staff sergeant in the Army Reserve Officer Training Corps at Virginia Tech University, broke the traditional bottle of champagne across the bow to formally christen the ship.

The 103 metre aluminum catamarans are designed to be fast, flexible and maneuverable even in shallow waters, making them ideal for transporting troops and equipment quickly within a theater of operations.

The ship has the ability to support operations of all sorts, supporting the warfighter through traditional logistics missions, humanitarian support projects, disaster response or by supporting maritime law enforcement activities. “We can only imagine the missions that “Spearhead” will be uniquely suited for and called upon to support,” said Mr Rella. “Realising this ship’s potential is now the task of Captain Douglas Casavant and his crew. We envy their opportunity and everyone here at Austal wishes the Captain and crew of “Spearhead” all the very best.”

The JHSVs are capable of transporting 600 short tons of military troops, vehicles, supplies and equipment 1,200 nautical miles at an average speed of 35 knots and can operate in shallow-draft, austere ports and waterways, providing U.S. forces added mobility and flexibility. The JHSV aviation flight decks can support day and night flight operations. Each JHSV also has sleeping accommodations for up to 146 personnel and airline-style seating for up to 312.

After the ceremony, Mr Rella remarked, “We may be celebrating now, but we are not resting,” gesturing to the assembly bay recently vacated by the “USNS Spearhead”. In the bay, underneath a ceremonial U.S. flag, the first modules of JHSV 2, the future “Vigilant”, are already being pieced together to form the second JHSV.

Austal is preparing to launch the second Independence-variant Littoral Combat Ship Class, “Coronado” (LCS 4). Austal is also under contract to build 7 JHSVs, with “Vigilant” (JHSV 2) construction underway.

For the LCS and JHSV programs, Austal is teamed with General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems, a business unit of General Dynamics. As the ship systems integrator, General Dymanics is responsible for the design, integration and testing of the ship’s electronic systems including the combat system, networks, and seaframe control. General Dynamics’ proven open architecture approach provides affordable capabilities to the fleet quickly and efficiently.

These two contracts will require Austal to more than double its Mobile, Alabama workforce to approximately 3,800 employees in order to fulfil contract requirements. “With almost ten percent of these workers expected to reside in the neighbouring states of Florida and Mississippi, we are proud that Austal is an engine of regional growth for the Gulf,” concluded Mr Rella.

Source: austal, September 20, 2011;

Share this article

Follow World Maritime News

Posted on September 20, 2011

In Depth>


<< Nov 2015 >>
26 27 28 29 30 31 1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 1 2 3 4 5 6

Salvage Law & Practice Seminar

Salvage Law & Practice at a glance:
Lloyd’s Open Form – contract design, administration and recent cases
special compensation awards…

read more >

CWC Sixteenth World LNG Summit & Awards Gala Dinner

The summit will provide a perfect opportunity to understand how key players are responding to the price fluctuations and what the outlook…

read more >

International WorkBoat Show

The event offers considerable opportunities to participating business houses to strengthen their business networks, and get familiar with…

read more >

Marintec China 2015, Shanghai, China


Facts & Figures of Marintec China:
• The exhibition spread over 70,000 square metres in Shanghai New International Expo Centre
• Over 1,700 exhibiting companies were participating in the event
• 57,888 quality trade visitors from 88 countries/regions
• 16 national & regional pavilions from Austria, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong SAR, Japan, Korea, the Netherlands, Norway, Singapore, Sweden, Taiwan region, the United States and the United Kingdom were organised

About Marintec China

Marintec China 2015 will be held on 1-4 December 2015 in Shanghai. With increasing worldwide recognition and reputation throughout the past three decades, the exhibition is attracting an increasing number of high-profile exhibitors and visitors from around the world.

Regarded as the only gateway to the Asian maritime market, Marinetech China has become larger than ever! Being the most recognized maritime trade show in Asia, Marintec China is definitely an international marketplace for buyers to source from international sellers showcasing their latest marine, ship design, offshore engineering and port technology.

Over the years, Marintec China has grown to reflect the size and importance of the Asian maritime market. Marintec China 2013 has broken all the previous records attracting more than 1,700 exhibiting companies from 32 countries /regions and 16 group pavilions, making it the most international and authorised industry event in Asia. Taking place once every two years, Marintec China 2015 edition is a unique opportunity for suppliers to connect with new customers and re-connect with existing contacts from the region, and final one to present new products and services to the trade visitors and experts from all parts of the world.

Visit Marintec China 2015 website for more details

read more >