The US Navy has taken delivery of the third Spearhead-class joint high-speed vessel (JHSV), USNS Millinocket (JHSV 3), from Austal USA in Mobile, Alabama, US, marking a major milestone in the ship’s transition to operational status.
The 103m-long high-speed catamaran has been designed as part of the US Department of Defense’s (DoD) ten-ship contract, worth more than $1.6bn, to support theatre cooperating missions, US Marine Corps, Seabees and Army transportation.
Strategic and Theater Sealift programme manager Captain Henry Stevens said: "Millinocket’s speed, agility and cargo capabilities will be an asset to operations around the world."
Capable of transporting 600t of military cargo 1,200nm at an average speed of 35k, the JHSV can support a wide range of operations including non-combatant evacuation operations, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.
Military Sealift Command (MSC) commander Rear Admiral Shannon said: "The JHSV ship class, including USNS Millinocket, will play an important part in the future of our joint forces in terms of affordability, flexibility, speed and agility."
The 2,400t versatile, non-combatant, transport ship can accommodate a crew of 42 and can cruise at a maximum speed of 43k using four MTU 20V8000 M71L diesel engines driving four Wartsila WLD 1400 SR waterjets through four ZF 60000NR2H reduction gears.
Equipped with Navair level 1 class 2 certified flight deck to support the CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter operations, the vessels can be used for military logistics and humanitarian relief operations, in addition to transportation of troops, military vehicles, cargo and equipment.
Owned and operated by MSC, USNS Millinocket will be manned by a crew of 22 civil service mariners.
Image: US Navy’s joint high-speed vessel USNS Millinocket (JHSV 3) at the Austal USA yard. Photo: courtesy of US Navy/Austal.