Second JHSV Completes Builder’s Trials


April 2013


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The USNS Choctaw County, the second of the Navy’s new joint high-speed vessels (JHSV), completed builder’s trials March 7-8 in Mobile, Ala. The ship is under construction at Austal USA.


Builder’s trials are a key step in the construction and delivery of a vessel. They offer the first chance to operate the ship underway and test overall system performance prior to demonstration to Navy inspectors.


As previously reported, the Navy has ordered 10 JHSVs. The first four ships will be manned by federally employed civilian mariners, while the remaining six will be crewed by seafarers working for private operators under contract to the Military Sealift Command (MSC).


According to MSC, the Choctaw County’s trials included operating the ship’s propulsion plant for many hours at different power levels, up to full power; testing and calibration of communication and navigational systems; ride control systems testing; and pollution control systems tests. Maneuverability trials tested the ship’s four steerable water jets while a series of high-speed turns demonstrated the stability and agility of the JHSV’s catamaran hull form. The ship reached speeds of more than 41 knots.


The Choctaw County is scheduled for delivery this summer.


Each ship in the fleet will be 338 feet long. MSC describes the JHSVs as “designed to commercial standards, with limited modifications for military use. [Each] vessel is capable of transporting 600 short tons 1,200 nautical miles at an average speed of 35 knots and can operate in shallow-draft ports and waterways, interfacing with roll-on/roll-off discharge facilities, and on/off-loading a combatloaded Abrams Main Battle Tank (M1A2). Other joint requirements include an aviation flight deck to support day and night aircraft launch and recovery operations.”



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