USNS Spearhead Completes Testing and Evaluation
Austal Limited (Austal) announced its first-in-class Joint High Speed Vessel (JHSV 1) delivered to the US Navy, USNS Spearhead, has successfully completed initial operational testing and evaluation.
With testing complete, JHSV 1 will soon be available to undertake missions for the US Navy.
The US Navy’s operational tests saw JHSV 1 undergo maritime missions, replenishment, helicopter deck landing and night-flight operations and qualifications, and communication systems certification. A total ship survivability trial was also carried out, which involved three simulated damage control events at-sea and in-port, concluding in a simulated ship evacuation.
Furthermore, in early August JHSV 1 performed a 96-hour endurance evaluation with a payload and 280 marines to assess key performance parameters in distance and speed.
Austal chief executive officer Andrew Bellamy said the successful performance of JHSV 1 during operational testing demonstrated Austal’s ability to deliver high-quality defence vessels to the US Navy.
“The operational tests were the last major milestone JHSV 1 had to complete prior to being added to the US Navy’s fleet and commencing missions,” Mr Bellamy said.
“As the first of ten Joint High Speed Vessels being delivered by Austal to the US Navy, it was very pleasing to see USNS Spearhead deliver on all its capabilities throughout the operational tests”.
“Importantly, through the construction of JHSV 1 we implemented a number of improvements at our shipyard in Mobile, Alabama, which has resulted in increased productivity on the remaining Joint High Speed Vessels being constructing by Austal for the US Navy under our 10-ship, US$1.6 billion contract.”
Austal delivered USNS Spearhead to the US Navy in December 2012. USNS Choctaw County
(JHSV 2) was delivered to the US Navy six months later, in June 2013, with JHSV 3 launched in the same month, demonstrating the speed at which the JHSV program has matured.
Austal, October 10, 2013