Austal launches USNS Trenton, its second JHSV of the year


The following is the text of a news release from Austal USA:

(MOBILE, Ala.) — On Sept. 30, 2014, Austal USA successfully completed the launch process of Trenton (JHSV 5) — the second joint high speed vessel (JHSV) launched by Austal in 2014. This 103-meter high-speed catamaran represents the U.S. Department of Defense’s next generation multi-use platform. It is part of a 10-ship program worth over $1.6 billion.

The launch of Trenton was conducted in a multi-step process that involved having Berard Transportation transfer the ship from Assembly Bay 3 onto a Crowley deck barge, which was then towed to BAE Systems Southeast Shipyard. The next day, Trenton was transferred onto BAE’s dry dock Alabama; it was floated then returned to Austal’s facility where it will undergo final outfitting and activation before sea trials and delivery to the Navy in spring 2015. 

Austal USA’s president, Craig Perciavalle, complimented the launch team by saying, “it’s amazing just how efficient this complex launch process has become.” He continued “It’s a true testament to the hard work and incredible teamwork by all parties involved.”

JHSV 5 is now one of four Austal-built Navy ships moored in the Mobile River, joining USNS Fall River (JHSV 4), Montgomery (LCS 8), and Jackson (LCS 6).

Perciavalle added, “With the delivery of USNS Millinocket (JHSV 3) back in March, USNS Fall River (JHSV 4) last week and now the launch of Trenton, the JHSV program is truly mature and progressing as promised. I am honored to work with so many dedicated shipbuilders here at Austal who should be very proud of this accomplishment.”

As of last week, Austal has delivered four of 10 contracted JHSVs in two years to the Navy. Construction is well underway on Brunswick (JHSV 6) which will begin final assembly in, now vacant, Assembly Bay 3 in October, and construction began on Carson City (JHSV 7) earlier this month.

The JHSV is a relatively new asset that will be an important Navy connector. In peacetime, JHSVs will be operating forward supporting Navy Expeditionary Combat Command and riverine forces, theater cooperating missions, Seabees, Marine Corps and Army transportation. Each JHSV also supports helicopter operations and has a slewing vehicle ramp on the starboard quarter which enables use of austere piers and quay walls, common in developing countries. A shallow draft (under 4 meters) will further enhance theater port access.

Austal USA is also prime contractor for the construction of 10 Independence-variant littoral combat ships (LCS), a contract totaling $3.5 billion.  Six of these ships are under construction at this time.

For the LCS and JHSV programs, Austal, as prime contractor, is teamed with General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems, a business unit of General Dynamics. For the JHSV program, General Dynamics is responsible for the design, integration and testing of the navigation and communication systems, C4I and aviation systems. As the Independence-variant LCS ship systems integrator, General Dynamics is responsible for the design, integration and testing of the ship’s electronic systems.

Austal USA is a full-service shipyard offering design, construction and aluminum vessel service and repair. As Austal USA continues to expand its service and repair capabilities, the company is well-positioned for new business with engineering, test and trials capabilities, and a new waterfront facility on the Mobile River.

By Professional Mariner Staff