Home' Asia Pacific Defence Reporter : APDR October 2010 Contents Australian shipbuilder Austal announced on September 28 that less
than one year after beginning fabrication of Spearhead (JHSV 1),
the company has commenced construction on Vigilant (JHSV 2), the
second of up to ten 103-meter Joint High Speed Vessels (JHSV ).
As the U.S . Department of Defense’s next generation multi-use platform,
the 103-meter JHSV will provide rapid intra-theater deployment/
transportation of personnel, equipment and supplies. The company says
the vessel will support military logistics, sustainment and humanitarian
relief operations and will be capable of speeds up to 43 knots. Proof of the
value of this program for humanitarian efforts was evidenced in January
2010 when the Austal-built 113-meter aluminum catamaran, Huakai,
was successfully deployed to transport members of the U.S. Army’s
Transportation Corps from Ft. Eustis, Virginia, along with their equipment,
to Haiti following the earthquake that devastated that region less than two
weeks prior to Huakai’s arrival.
U.S. Navy Program Manager, Capt. George Sutton said, “The start
of JHSV 2 represents the first Navy/MSC ship and the start of serial
production. Serial production is the key to program stability, affordability
and efficiency for the shipbuilder and the taxpayer.”
Spearhead (JHSV 1) is the first Austal design to be constructed using
the new procedures and processes developed in conjunction with Austal’s
Module Manufacturing Facility (MMF). The MMF provides Austal with
assembly line efficiency, which should result in significant cost savings and
reduced lead times.
Austal USA President and Chief Operating Officer, Joe Rella, commented,
“Since the beginning of the year, Austal has added over 800 employees to
our staff of shipbuilding professionals. Our workforce is well positioned to
start construction on this second JHSV.”
The Austal 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.
The Austal JHSV team includes platform systems engineering agent
General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems who is responsible for
the design, integration and testing of the ship’s mission systems, including
internal and external communications, electronic navigation, and aviation
and armament systems.
construction on JHSV 2
Construction of JHSV 1. Credit: Austal
Links Archive APDR Sept 2010 APDR November 2010 Navigation Previous Page Next Page