The future USNS Spearhead, first of 10 Joint High Speed Vessels (JHSV) designed for the rapid transport of troops and military equipment, was named during a ceremony at Austal’s USA Mobile shipyard on 17 September.
The 103m aluminium catamaran, and six others being built for the US Navy, will be crewed by 22 civil service mariners working on behalf of the Military Sealift Command. The remainder are for the US Army. The JHSVs are capable of transporting 544 tonnes of military vehicles, supplies and equipment 1,200 nautical miles at an average speed of 35 knots.
Each will have accommodation for up to 146 and airline-style seating for up to 312. Their ability to operate in shallow ports and confined waterways, and their aviation facilities makes them suited for humanitarian missions.