USNS Choctaw County, the Navy’s second Joint High Speed Vessel (JHSV 2), satisfactorily completed Acceptance Trials, May 3 in Mobile, Ala.
The JHSV is a versatile, non-combatant transport ship built by Austal USA and designed 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 for five days of material assessments and testing, including underway at-sea trials in the Gulf of Mexico. The Acceptance Trials evaluated the ship’s major systems and equipment to include a full power run and demonstrations of main propulsion engineering and ship control systems, anchoring, food service and crew support systems. The ship reached speeds of over 40 knots during at-sea trials.
“With these extensive tests, this new, highly-flexible ship class continues to demonstrate its performance ability and endurance,” said Capt. Henry Stevens, JHSV program manager. “Leveraging commercial design and technology, JHSV 2 is building on the successes and lessons learned from USNS Spearhead (JHSV 1), while improving our processes for the entire JHSV program.”
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.
USNS Spearhead (JHSV 1), delivered to MSC in December 2012, is currently undergoing post-delivery testing and trials in Little Creek, VA. These trials include extensive ramp interface testing, refueling at sea, and additional crew training prior to the ship’s first deployment.
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 will have airline style seating for 312 embarked forces with fixed berthing for 104.
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 Navy’s Maritime Strategy.