USNS Spearhead Successfully Completes Acceptance Trials

The Navy's first joint high speed vessel, USNS Spearhead (JHSV 1), successfully completed acceptance trials in Mobile, Ala., Aug. 16.

Built by Austal USA, JHSV 1 is a versatile, non-combatant, transport ship that will be used for fast intra-theater transportation of troops, military vehicles and equipment.

The ship was presented to the Navy's independent Board of Inspection and Survey by the Program Executive Officer, Ships, for a complete and thorough material assessment, which included two days underway in the Gulf of Mexico. The acceptance trials evaluated the ship's major systems and equipment to include a four-hour, full power run and demonstrations of main propulsion engineering and ship control systems, anchoring, food service and crew support systems.

"JHSV 1 performed extremely well during these trials, a testament to the hard work and preparation by the Austal-Navy shipbuilding team," said JHSV Program Manager Capt. Henry Stevens. "Spearhead will be a valued asset to our fleet, and these trials highlight the revolutionary capabilities of the ship."

Acceptance trials represent the cumulative efforts following a series of in-port and underway inspections conducted jointly by the JHSV Program Office, SUPSHIP Gulf Coast, INSURV, the Military Sealift Command and Austal, USA, throughout the build, test and trials process.

JHSV is designed to commercial standards, with limited modifications for military use. The vessel is capable of transporting 600 short tons 1,200 nautical miles at an average speed of 35 knots, and can operate 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). Other joint requirements include an aviation flight deck to support day and night aircraft launch and recovery operations. JHSV 1 will have airline style seating for 312 embarked forces, with fixed berthing for 104.

Acceptance trials are the last significant milestone before delivery of the ship to the Navy, expected to occur later this year.

As one of the Defense Department's largest acquisition organizations, PEO Ships is responsible for executing the development and procurement of all destroyers, amphibious ships, special mission and support ships, and special warfare craft. Delivering high-quality war fighting assets - while balancing affordability and capability - is key to supporting the nation's maritime strategy.

Source: US Navy
Date: Aug 31, 2012