USNS Spearhead Successfully Completes Final Contract Trials

The Navy’s first joint high-speed vessel USNS Spearhead (JHSV 1) successfully completed final contract trials, the Navy announced July 25.

Final contract trials, or FCT, are a component of a ship’s post-delivery test period and mark the final in-depth examination of a newly constructed ship to ensure it meets Navy standards and requirements. Spearhead completed FCT July 12.

The Navy’s Board of Inspection and Survey has confirmed Spearhead is materially ready for operations,” said Capt. Henry Stevens, Strategic and Theater Sealift program manager for Program Executive Office (PEO) Ships. “These first trials involving the ship’s crew have ensured that all equipment has been fully tested prior to the expiration of her warranty period. This ensures that the ship and crew will be ready to conduct sustained fleet operations upon completion of her post-shakedown availability.”

Spearhead will now conduct a series of operational and live-fire tests followed by a post-shakedown availability.

JHSVs are versatile, non-combatant, transport ships designed for fast intra-theater transportation of troops, military vehicles and equipment. These vessels can transport 600 short tons 1,200 nautical miles at an average speed of 35 knots and operate in shallow-draft ports and waterways. The ships also have an aviation flight deck to support helicopter operations. JHSVs have berthing space for up to 104 personnel and airline-style seating for up to 312. The vessel has a core crew of 22 civilian mariners who operate and navigate the ship as part of the U.S. Navy’s Military Sealift Command (MSC).

The second ship of the class, USNS Choctaw County (JHSV 2), was delivered to the Navy June 6, one day following the launch of USNS Millinocket (JHSV 3) at Austal USA in Mobile, Ala. The future USNS Fall River (JHSV 4) held a keel laying and authentication ceremony in May, while the future USNS Trenton (JHSV 5) started fabrication in February. There are 10 ships in total under contract with Austal.

As one of the Defense Department’s largest acquisition organizations, PEO Ships is responsible for executing the development and procurement of all destroyers, amphibious ships, special mission and support ships and special warfare craft. Delivering high-quality warfighting assets – while balancing affordability and capability – is key to supporting the Navy’s Maritime Strategy.

Press Release, July 26, 2013