Austal USA shipyard has authenticated the keel of the US Navy's new Spearhead-class joint high-speed vessel (JHSV), the future USNS Carson City.
USNS Carson City is the seventh vessel under the navy's JHSV programme. Construction of the ship began in September 2014.
The JHSVs are designed for fast, intra-theatre transportation of troops, military vehicles, supplies, and equipment.
US Navy Ships Program executive office strategic and theatre sealift programme manager captain Henry Stevens said:"We're honoured to have Mayor Crowell of Carson City give life to the ship by authenticating its keel.
"This ship will fill a role critical to our maritime strategy, providing forward naval presence, and strengthening alliances and partnerships, and the keel laying is the first significant milestone in her journey."
The JHSVs will be able to transport 600t for approximately 1,200nm at an average speed of 35k, with berthing space for up to 104 personnel, and airline-style seating for up to 312.
In addition to the capacity to support overseas contingency operations, these vessels will be able to conduct humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, support special operations forces, and emerging joint sea-basing concepts.
JHSV is based on commercial technology, but includes limited military features, such as aviation, C4SI, and fire-fighting.
In May, the US Navy launched its sixth JHSV, the future USNS Brunswick, at the Austal USA Shipyard.
The 338ft-long aluminum catamaran will have 20,000ft² open mission deck and a flight deck to support day and night launch and recovery operations.
Image: The US Navy's sixth JHSV, future USNS Brunswick (JHSV 6). Photo: courtesy of US Navy photo / Released.