The first ship in the Navy’s new Joint High Speed Vessel class, the future USNS Spearhead (JHSV 1), completed Builder’s Sea Trials, April 19, in Mobile, Ala.
JHSV 1 is a versatile, non-combatant, transport ship that will be used for fast intra-theater transportation of troops, military vehicles, and equipment. The ship is being built by Austal USA, and is the first of a planned ten-ship program.
“Getting Spearhead underway is a significant step in the ship’s steady progress toward entering the Fleet,” said Strategic and Theater Sealift Program Manager Capt. Henry Stevens. “The ship performed well and pending delivery later this year, JHSV 1 will provide tremendous capability and operational flexibility for the Navy.”
Trials included operating the ship’s propulsion plant at different power levels up to full power; testing and calibrating communication and navigational systems; ride control systems testing; and pollution control systems tests. First-of-class maneuverability trials tested the ship’s four steerable water jets, and a series of high-speed turns demonstrated the stability and agility of JHSV’s catamaran hull form. The ship reached speeds of more than 35 knots.
In the coming weeks, Austal will complete any remaining corrective actions required in preparation for acceptance trials that will be conducted by the U.S. Navy’s Board of Inspection and Survey.
JHSV is designed to commercial standards, with limited modifications for military use. The vessel is capable of transporting 600 short tons 1,200 nautical miles at an average speed of 35 knots, and can operate in shallow-draft ports and waterways, interfacing with roll-on/roll-off discharge facilities, and on/off-loading a combat-loaded Abrams Main Battle Tank (M1A2). Other joint requirements include an aviation flight deck to support day and night aircraft launch and recovery operations. JHSV 1 will have airline style seating for 312 embarked forces, with fixed berthing for 104.
JHSV 1 is expected to deliver to the Navy later this year.
As one of the Defense Department’s largest acquisition organizations, PEO Ships is responsible for executing the development and procurement of all destroyers, amphibious ships, special mission and support ships, and special warfare craft. Delivering high-quality war fighting assets – while balancing affordability and capability – is key to supporting the Navy’s Maritime Strategy.
Source: NAVSEA, April 26, 2012; Image: Austal