The JHSV program is procuring high-speed transport vessels for the Army and Navy. These vessels will be used for fast intra-theater transportation of troops, military vehicles and equipment.
MOBILE, Ala. (April 19, 2012) USNS Spearhead (JHSV 1) underway during builder's sea trials. (U.S. Navy photo Courtesy Austal USA/Released)
This commercially designed, non-combatant vessel leverages commercial technology and does not require the development of any new technology. The JHSV program merges the previous Army Theater Support Vessel (TSV) and the Navy High Speed Connector (HSC) to decrease costs by taking advantage of the inherent commonality between the existing programs. Significant production and financial risks have been avoided by implementing proven technology, ensuring stable requirements, minimizing change, and pursuing cost reduction and efficiency. JHSV is being built to American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) High Speed Naval Craft Guide.
JHSV will be capable of transporting 600 short tons 1,200 nautical miles at an average speed of 35 knots. The ships will be capable of operating 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). The JHSV will include a flight deck for helicopter operations and an off-load ramp that will allow vehicles to quickly drive off the ship. The ramp will be suitable for the types of austere piers and quay walls common in developing countries. JHSV’s shallow draft (under 15 feet) will further enhance littoral operations and port access. This makes the JHSV an extremely flexible asset for support of a wide range of operations including maneuver and sustainment, relief operations in small or damaged ports, flexible logistics support, or as the key enabler for rapid transport.
JHSV also benefits from a newly constructed Modular Manufacturing Facility at Austal USA, the prime contractor, in Mobile, Ala. The facility will aid in production of high quality ship modules improving efficiency, capacity, production planning, and process control. Modular manufacturing will reduce duration of construction, lower production costs, and mitigate risk. With over 740,000 square feet of manufacturing space, the facility is capable of constructing six large aluminum vessels per year.
JHSVs will have a crew of 22; with airline style seating for more than 312 embarked forces and fixed berthing for 104. Military Sealift Command (MSC) will operate and sustain the JHSVs. JHSV will be allocated via Global Force Management (GFM) for Theater Security Cooperation (TSC), service unique missions, intra-theater sealift, and special missions.
A ten-ship program, the Navy awarded a contract for the construction of JSHV 1 to Austal USA in 2008, with options to purchase up to nine additional ships. Nine JHSV are currently under contract with options for the construction of JHSV 8 and 9 awarded to Austal USA on February 27, 2012.