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Austal launches JHSV 5

Written by Nick Blenkey
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OCTOBER 1, 2014 — Austal USA yesterday launched JHSV 5, the future USNS Trenton from its shipyard.

“The JHSV program is benefitting from serial production,” said Capt. Henry Stevens, Strategic and Theater Sealift Program Manager, Program Executive Office, Ships. “Because of program maturity, design stability and a dedicated team of engineers and shipbuilders, we are launching this ship only seven months following the laying of her keel.”

Trenton will now prepare for the tests and trials which will evaluate and ready the ship for delivery to Military Sealift Command (MSC) next spring.

Joint High Speed Vessels are operated within MSCs Sealift program. They are manned by a crew of 22 civil service mariners with military mission personnel embarking as required. The ships are capable of supporting of a wide range of operations across the world by facilitating the transport of troops, equipment, and supplies across operational distances including to austere and challenging ports.

The launch of Trenton was conducted in a multi-step process that involved having Berard Transportation transfer the ship from Austal’s Assembly Bay 3 onto a Crowley deck barge, which was then towed to BAE Systems Southeast Shipyard. The next day, Trenton was transferred onto BAE’s floating dry dock Alabama; it was floated then returned to Austal’s facility where it will undergo final outfitting and activation before sea trials and delivery to the Navy in Spring 2015.

“It’s amazing just how efficient this complex launch process has become,” said Austal USA’s president, Craig Perciavalle. “It’s a true testament to the hard work and incredible teamwork by all parties involved.”

JHSV 5 is now one of four Austal-built Navy ships moored in the Mobile River, joining USNS Fall River (JHSV 4), Montgomery (LCS 8), and Jackson (LCS 6).

“With the delivery of USNS Millinocket (JHSV 3) back in March, USNS Fall River (JHSV 4) last week and now the launch of Trenton, the JHSV program is truly mature and progressing as promised,” said Mr. Perciavalle. “I am honored to work with so many dedicated shipbuilders here at Austal who should be very proud of this accomplishment.”

As of last week, Austal has delivered four of ten contracted JHSVs in two years to the Navy. Construction is well underway on Brunswick (JHSV 6) which will begin final assembly in, now vacant, Assembly Bay 3 in October, and construction began on Carson City (JHSV 7) earlier this month.

Austal USA is also prime contractor for the construction of ten Independence-variant Littoral Combat Ships (LCS). Six of these ships are under construction at this time.

For the LCS and JHSV programs, Austal, as prime contractor, is teamed with General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems, a business unit of General Dynamics. For the JHSV program, General Dynamics is responsible for the design, integration and testing of the navigation and communication systems, C4I and aviation systems. As the Independence-variant LCS ship systems integrator, General Dynamics is responsible for the design, integration and testing of the ship’s electronic systems.

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