USNS Spearhead (JHSV-1)

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This article is about the joint high speed vessel. For the theater support vessel, see USAV Spearhead (TSV-X1).
USNS Spearhead (JHSV-1) - 6.jpg
USNS Spearhead (JHSV-1)
Career (US)
Name: USNS Spearhead
Operator: Military Sealift Command
Builder: Austal USA
Christened: 17 September 2011
In service: 5 December 2012
Status: Active service
Badge: USNS Spearhead JHSV-1 Crest.png
General characteristics
Class & type: Spearhead class Joint High Speed Vessel
Length: 103.0 m (337 ft 11 in)
Beam: 28.5 m (93 ft 6 in)
Draft: 3.83 m (12 ft 7 in)
Propulsion: 4 × MTU 20V8000 M71L diesel engines
4 × ZF 60000NR2H reduction gears
Speed: 43 knots (80 km/h; 49 mph)
Troops: 312
Crew: Capacity of 41, 22 in normal service
Aviation facilities: Landing pad for medium helicopter

USNS Spearhead is the first ship in the Spearhead-class Joint High Speed Vessel, to be operated by the Military Sealift Command and christened on 17 September 2011.

History[edit]

Spearhead undergoing high-speed trials in 2013.

Construction of Spearhead began on 22 July 2010, when the ship's keel was laid at the Austal facility in Mobile, Alabama in a ceremony that included officials from the US Navy, the US Army, the state of Alabama and the city of Mobile.[1] At the time, Spearhead was intended for service with the US Army in the 7th Sustainment Brigade as USAV Spearhead.[2]

Spearhead was launched on 8 September 2011, though she did not enter the water until several days later; her launch was the moving of the vessel from the shed where she was constructed onto a floating drydock.[3] At the time, she was scheduled to be delivered to the navy in early 2012, a delay from the original target of September 2011.[3]

Spearhead was christened on 17 September 2011.[4] Her sponsor was a former army officer, Kenneth Wahlman; as part of the ceremony, his daughter Catherine Wahlman (Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Corps of Cadets class of 2013) broke a bottle of champagne across Spearhead's bow.[4] Spearhead, after delivery to the navy in early 2012, will undergo sea trials and tests, and in the first quarter of fiscal year 2013 is planned to begin operations, homeported at Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek.[5] She will be crewed by civilian sailors from the Military Sealift Command, and her first captain was Douglas D. Casavant, Jr.[6]

In August 2012 Spearhead made a "clean sweep" of her acceptance trials.[7]

Spearhead was formally delivered to the navy on 5 December 2012, eight months late and $31 million over budget.[8] She will make her first deployment to Europe and Africa in early 2014, followed by a trip to Latin America.[9]

On 7 March 2014, Spearhead visited Liberia,[10] where marines conducted a rigid-hulled inflatable boat drill.[11]

On 12 June 2014, the Spearhead was conducting routine testing off the coast of Key West. In the early morning, lightning struck an aerostat that was tethered to the vessel. The strike caused the aerostat to deflate and land in the water, where it was sunk.[12]

Role[edit]

Spearhead, as well as other ships of her class, are built to a modular design that allows them to be rapidly refitted with various equipment within a 20,000 square feet (1,900 m2) bay depending on the mission at hand.[6] Spearhead is planned for non-combat missions, such as transportation of troops or equipment.[6]

Specifications[edit]

Spearhead is 103 metres (338 ft) long and 28.5 metres (94 ft) in beam, and has a draft of 3.83 metres (12.6 ft).[13] She has space for 41 crewmembers, though under normal conditions will sail with 22,[14] as well as sleeping accommodations for up to 150 people and an additional 312 seats for troop transport.[13] She is powered by four MTU 20V8000 M71L engines, each with a power of 9.1 megawatts (12,200 hp), driving four Wärtsilä WLD 1400 SR waterjets through ZF 60000NR2H reduction gears.[13] This allows for a maximum speed of 43 knots (49 mph) and a service speed of 35 knots (40 mph).[13] There are also facilities for one helicopter.[13]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Keel Laying Ceremony for Spearhead (JHSV 1)". MarineLink.com. 23 July 2010. Archived from the original on 22 September 2011. Retrieved 23 September 2011. 
  2. ^ "Keel Laid for First Joint High Speed Vessel". US Navy. 23 July 2010. Archived from the original on 22 September 2011. Retrieved 23 September 2011. 
  3. ^ a b "Austal rolls out first joint high-speed vessel". Alabama Live. 9 September 2011. Archived from the original on 22 September 2011. Retrieved 23 September 2011. 
  4. ^ a b "US Navy Receives First of 10 Joint High Speed Vessels USNS Spearhead". Shipbuilding Tribune. 20 September 2011. Archived from the original on 22 September 2011. Retrieved 23 September 2011. 
  5. ^ "Navy's First Joint High-Speed Vessel Christened". US Navy. 17 September 2011. Archived from the original on 22 September 2011. Retrieved 23 September 2011. 
  6. ^ a b c "Navy’s Newest Ship Is Pickup Truck of the Sea". Wired Magazine. 19 September 2011. Archived from the original on 22 September 2011. Retrieved 23 September 2011. 
  7. ^ "Acceptance trials 'clean sweep' by JHSV 1." Marine Log, 30 August 2012.
  8. ^ "Delay in JHSV Delivery Will Ripple Into 2017"
  9. ^ VERGAKIS, BROCK (14 January 2014). "New Navy high-speed catamaran to make 1st deployment". www.stripes.com. Associated Press. Retrieved 15 January 2014. 
  10. ^ "Spearhead Hosts Joint Familiarization Exercise in Monrovia". navy.mil. United States Sixth Fleet. 7 March 2014. Retrieved 9 March 2014. 
  11. ^ "Marines conduct crisis response exercise from USNS Spearhead."
  12. ^ USNAVSO/US 4th Fleet Statement regarding AEROSTAT - Navy.mil, 13 June 2014
  13. ^ a b c d e "auSTAL JHSV". Austal. Archived from the original on 22 September 2011. Retrieved 23 September 2011. 
  14. ^ "Navy's first joint high-speed vessel christened". Military Sealift Command. 19 September 2011. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 15 October 2011. 

External links[edit]

Media related to USNS Spearhead (JHSV-1) at Wikimedia Commons