ShipConstructor user Austal USA has won the contract to design and build the U.S. Department of Defense’s next generation multi-use platform, the Joint High Speed Vessel (JHSV).
The work will be performed at Austal in Mobile, Alabama and should be completed by 2010. With the options for the nine additional vessels expected to be exercised between FY09 and FY13, the program is potentially worth over US$1.6 billion.
The JHSV program is a cooperative effort for a high-speed, shallow draft vessel intended for rapid intra-theatre transport of medium-sized cargo payloads. JHSV will reach speeds of 35-45 knots and allow for the rapid transit and deployment of conventional or Special Forces as well as equipment and supplies.
The JHSV will be capable of transporting personnel, equipment and suppliers over operational distances in support of maneuver and sustainment operations, and will transport army and marine corps company-sized units with their vehicles or reconfigure to become a troop transport for an infantry battalion. The JHSV will include a flight deck capable of handling the CH-53E, the largest and heaviest helicopter in the American military, and an off-load ramp capable of supporting M1A2 Abrams tanks which allows vehicles to quickly drive off the ship.