Austal Joint High Speed Vessel USNS Spearhead (JHSV 1) completes Builder’s Sea Trials

USNS Spear­head (JHSV 1), the inno­v­a­tive high-speed cata­ma­ran trans­port ship under con­struc­tion by ship­builder Austal in Mobile, Alaba­ma, suc­cess­ful­ly com­plet­ed Builder’s Sea Tri­als (BST) on April 19 in the Gulf of Mex­i­co. The tri­als encom­passed over 50 demon­stra­tion events that enabled the ship­builder to rig­or­ous­ly test the ship and all of its sys­tems in prepa­ra­tion for final inspec­tion by the Unit­ed States Navy before deliv­ery.

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Notable achieve­ments dur­ing the tri­als includ­ed a demon­stra­tion of major sys­tems along with first-of-class stan­dard­iza­tion and maneu­ver­abil­i­ty tri­als, reach­ing a top speed in excess of 35 knots.

A series of high-speed ahead and astern maneu­vers in the Gulf of Mex­i­co demon­strat­ed the effec­tive­ness of the ship’s four steer­able water­jets. In the course of repeat­ed high-speed turns the ship demon­strat­ed the sta­bil­i­ty and agili­ty of the cata­ma­ran hull­form, with the JHSV exhibit­ing vir­tu­al­ly no heel­ing motions through­out the rad­i­cal turns.

Upon return­ing from the full-pow­er tri­al, Joe Rel­la, Pres­i­dent and Chief Oper­at­ing Offi­cer of Austal USA, remarked: “The suc­cess­ful first run tri­als for this pro­to­type ves­sel val­i­dates the qual­i­ty and reli­a­bil­i­ty of Austal’s ship­build­ing know-how. I have nev­er wit­nessed a more prob­lem-free Builder’s Sea Tri­al than USNS Spearhead’s. The glob­al Austal orga­ni­za­tion suc­cess­ful­ly par­tic­i­pat­ed in the design, pro­cure­ment, and pro­duc­tion of this ship with a great out­come, all being accom­plished while local­ly, Austal USA con­tin­ues to hire new work­ers and expand our facil­i­ties. This is a tell­tale sign of the ded­i­ca­tion of our team of ship­build­ing pro­fes­sion­als.”

Austal’s US facil­i­ty is a full-ser­vice ship­yard offer­ing design, con­struc­tion and high-speed ves­sel ser­vice and repair. As Austal 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 all co-locat­ed on the Mobile Bay water­front.

Austal is cur­rent­ly under con­tract with the U.S. Navy to build nine 103-metre JHSVs under a 10-ship, US$1.6 bil­lion con­tract and five 127-metre Inde­pen­dence-vari­ant Lit­toral Com­bat Ship (LCS) class ves­sels, four of which are a part of a 10-ship, US$3.5 bil­lion con­tract.

For the LCS and JHSV pro­grams, Austal, as prime con­trac­tor, is teamed with Gen­er­al Dynam­ics Advanced Infor­ma­tion Sys­tems, a busi­ness unit of Gen­er­al Dynam­ics. As the ship sys­tems inte­gra­tor, Gen­er­al Dynam­ics is respon­si­ble for the design, inte­gra­tion and test­ing of the ship’s elec­tron­ic sys­tems includ­ing the com­bat sys­tem, net­works, and seaframe con­trol. Gen­er­al Dynam­ics’ proven open archi­tec­ture approach allows for afford­able and effi­cient capa­bil­i­ty growth as tech­nolo­gies devel­op.

Austal has grown into one of south­ern Alabama’s largest employ­ers with over 2,800 employ­ees on staff hail­ing from the Mobile Area, Mis­sis­sip­pi, Flori­da, and beyond. Under the cur­rent work­load, Austal expects to employ over 4,000 Amer­i­cans by the end of 2013, and will be ready to help the U.S. Navy meet any nation­al secu­ri­ty con­tin­gency ahead.

Source:
Austal