The US Navy’s fourth Spearhead-class joint high-speed vessel (JHSV) USNS Fall River (JHSV 4) has completed navy acceptance trial testing and assessments in the Gulf of Mexico, paving the way for its delivery to the Military Sealift Command later this year.
Upon the delivery and final contract trials (FCT), it will join the other vessels of the same class to conduct operations globally.
The Navy’s Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV) assessed and demonstrated the new vessel’s major systems by conducting dockside testing to clear the vessel for sea and rigorous at-sea trials.
Strategic and Theatre Sealift programme manager captain Henry Stevens said: "Each ship of this class leverages lessons learned from previously delivered vessels.
"JHSV 4 is no exception, and completion of these trials is a testament to the programme’s stability and maturity, as well as the dedicated government / industry team that has been integral to its success."
Based on a commercial design, the USNS Fall River integrates military specifications to support diverse missions, including manoeuvre and sustainment, relief operations and flexible logistics support, and is a key enabler for rapid transport.
Powered by four MTU 20V8000 M71L diesel engines, driving four Wartsila WLD 1400 SR waterjets through ZF 60000NR2H reduction gears, Fall River is capable of transporting 600 short tons at 1,200nm, with an average speed of 35k.
The vessel will assist in the rapid, intra-theatre transport of troops, military vehicles and equipment access across the world, in addition to austere piers and quays.
Last month, Austal successfully completed the builder’s sea trials of the JHSV 4 at its mobile shipyard in Alabama, US.
Image: The US Navy’s first ship of the JHSV class USNS Spearhead during its builder’s sea trials in the Gulf of Mexico. Photo: courtesy of Austal.