Navy's new fast transports need millions in bow repairs

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(WASHINGTON) — The Pentagon's chief weapons tester says the U.S. Navy is spending millions of dollars to reinforce new high-speed transport ships because their weak bows can’t handle buffeting from high seas, Bloomberg Business reported. Michael Gilmore, the Defense Department’s director of operational test and evaluation, said in a report to Congress that the repairs are needed due to a design change that the Navy adopted at the recommendation of Austal, the shipbuilder contracted to provide the $2.1 billion fleet of expeditionary fast transports (formerly designated as joint high-speed vessels, or JHSVs). “The Navy accepted compromises in the bow structure, presumably to save weight, during the building of these ships,” Gilmore wrote in a September letter that wasn’t previously disclosed. “Multiple ships of the class have suffered damage to the bow structure.”

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By Professional Mariner Staff