Austal USA 's Mobile, Alabama, shipyard recently celebrated the successful launching of the Department of Defense's first-of-class Joint High Speed Vessel, Spearhead.
Christening ceremonies are set for Saturday. The ship's sponsor, retired Army Chief Warrant Officer Kenneth Wahlman, will be assisted by his daughter, Catherine, a staff sergeant in the Army Reserve Officer Training Corps at Virginia Tech, in the ceremony.
The shipbuilder plans to deliver the Spearhead to the Navy early next year. The second ship, named Vigilant, is to be delivered by September 2012.
The 103 m catamaran has been designed as a multi-use platform, capable of providing rapid intra-theatre deployment and transportation of personnel, equipment and supplies, while supporting military logistics, sustainment and humanitarian relief operations.
As prime contractor, Austal was awarded the construction contract for the first 103-m JHSV in November 2008, with options for nine additional vessels between FY09 and FY13. Construction on JHSV 2, Vigilant, is well underway at Austal's Module Manufacturing Facility, and contracts have been awarded for a further five JHSVs.
September 15, 2011