The following is the text of a news release from Austal:
(MOBILE, Ala.) — Joint High Speed Vessel USNS Millinocket (JHSV 3) successfully completed Acceptance Trials (AT) on January 9, 2014, in the Gulf of Mexico. This milestone achievement involved the performance of intense comprehensive tests by the Navy while underway, which demonstrated the successful operation of the ship’s major systems and equipment. This is the last significant milestone before delivery of the ship, which is expected in late January.
This vessel is the third of ten JHSVs that Austal has been contracted by the Navy to build in its Mobile, Ala. shipyard. The Navy selected Austal as the prime for this $1.6 billion contract in 2008. Austal’s teaming partner, General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems (a business unit of General Dynamics) is the ship systems integrator, responsible for the design, integration and testing of the navigation and communications systems, C4I, and aviation systems.
Craig Perciavalle, Austal USA President, had this to say regarding the successful completion of Acceptance Trials: “The completion of this major milestone for the third vessel in the JHSV Spearhead-class further demonstrates the maturity of the JHSV program. With the first two ships delivered, the third making final preparations for delivery now, and two more under construction at this time, this program is progressing well, evidence of Austal’s success in executing its production plan for efficient serial production.”
Perciavalle complimented Austal’s hard-working shipyard staff by saying, “I am so proud of the talented shipbuilders here, especially in knowing we were able to fly a broom on the mast when they returned signifying a clean sweep of trials events.” He continued, “The entire team should be so proud of this significant accomplishment that was executed so well.”
As the U.S. Department of Defense’s multi-use platform, the 103-meter JHSV will provide rapid intra-theater deployment/transportation of personnel, equipment and supplies. The vessel will support military logistics, sustainment and humanitarian relief operations at speeds of up to 43 knots. The JHSV will transport medium-size operational units with their vehicles, or reconfigure to provide troop transport for an infantry battalion, allowing units to transit long distances while maintaining unit integrity. The vessel 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.
USNS Millinocket (JHSV 3) will soon be followed by USNS Fall River (JHSV 4) which Austal christened and launched this month. Fabrication and assembly is well underway on USNS Trenton (JHSV 5) and the first aluminum for USNS Brunswick (JHSV 6) will be cut in mid-January.
Austal USA is a full-service shipyard offering design, construction, service and repair. Austal has been contracted by the U.S. Navy to build ten 103-meter JHSVs and eight 127-meter Independence-variant LCS class ships (including USS Independence (LCS 2) and USS Coronado (LCS 4) already delivered to the Navy), six of which are a part of a 10-ship, $3.5 billion contract.