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Navy’s First Joint High Speed Vessel Completes Testing

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USNS Spearhead (JHSV-1) conducted high-speed trials, reaching speeds approximately 40 knots off the coast of Virginia in August. US Navy Photo

USNS Spearhead (JHSV-1) conducted high-speed trials, reaching speeds approximately 40 knots off the coast of Virginia in August. US Navy Photo

The Navy’s first Joint High Speed Vessel (JHSV) has completed its initial operational testing and evaluation builder Austal USA announced on Wednesday.

USNS Spearhead (JHSV-1) completed the tests ahead of an initial operational capability (IOC) later this year.

Spearhead and its crew demonstrated multiple capabilities over the course of testing, including maritime operations, replenishment, meal preparation and sustainment, SH-60S helicopter deck landing and night-flight operations and qualifications, communication systems certification, and simulated damage control and evacuation events,” according to a release from Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA).
The tests also included supply drops from MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor and deployment of 11 meter rigid hull inflatable boats.
Spearhead is one of ten JHSVs planned for MSC as part of a $2.5 billion program at about $255 million a ship.

The ships have a range of 1,200 nautical miles, can transport up to 600 tons of troops and material and can cruise at 35 kts. A crew of 22 MSC civilians operates the ship.

The second JHSV — Choctaw County — delivered to Military Sealift Command (MSC) in June.

The Navy has said it may use the ships for interdiction operations in 4th Fleet with an area of operations in the Caribbean and the Eastern Pacific.

Spearhead is a perfect match for 4th Fleet and we plan to use it across all of our lines of operations; security cooperation activities, maritime security operations and contingency operations,” U.S. 4th Fleet commander, Rear Adm. Sinclair M. Harris said in a March statement.

Categories: Budget Industry, News & Analysis, Surface Forces, U.S. Navy
Sam LaGrone

About Sam LaGrone

Sam LaGrone is the USNI Online Editor at the U.S. Naval Institute.
He was formerly the U.S. Maritime Correspondent for the Washington D.C. bureau of Jane’s Defence Weekly and Jane’s Navy International. In his role he covered legislation, acquisition and operations for the Sea Services and spent time underway with the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps and the Canadian Navy.
Sam is a 2003 graduate of Virginia Military Institute.

  • http://cgblog.org/ Chuck Hill

    Short legs, maybe sprint and drift will work for drug patrols.

    • Ctrot

      It’s a transport ship, not a patrol ship.

      • http://cgblog.org/ Chuck Hill

        True, but they intend to also use it as a replacement for the frigates that have been doing counter drug patrols.

        • Ctrot

          No that would be the LCS (Littoral Combat Ship), a real piece of junk.

          • http://cgblog.org/ Chuck Hill

            Quote from the article above, “The Navy has said it may use the ships for interdiction operations in 4th Fleet with an area of operations in the Caribbean and the Eastern Pacific.”

          • Matthew

            You are correct it may be used for counter drug patrols however the area of operation is small, The 1,200nm range is for when it is carrying 600 tons of cargo at a constant 35 knots, Lose all the cargo and bring the speed down to cruising levels and the range goes up massively.

  • Tango

    They should have left it to the Army for logistics and intra-theater maneuver.