MV Westpac Express (HSV-4676)

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Westpac Express HSV-4676.jpg
MV Westpac Express (HSV-4676) moored pier side, date unknown location is Henderson, Rockingham, Western Australia. To conduct its load/discharge, the HSV backs into the pier, ties up to the pilings, and lowers its stern ramp. WestPac Express is currently the only HSV with an axial stern ramp, which affords it greater loading and unloading capacity.
United States
Name: Westpac Express (HSV-4676)
Owner: Irish Continental Group
Operator: Chartered by the Marine Corps Logistics Prepositioning Ship Program by Military Sealift Command (MSC)
Builder: Austal Ships, Henderson, Australia
Completed: 2001
General characteristics
Class and type: Roll-on/roll-off catamaran
Tonnage: 2,111 tons (light)
Length: 100.99 m (331.3 ft)
Beam: 26.64 m (87.4 ft)
Draft: 4.29 m (14.1 ft) (fully loaded)
Installed power: Four Caterpillar 3618 diesel engines each producing 7,200 kW @ 1,050 rpm
Propulsion: water-jet propulsion
  • 20 knots (37 km/h; 23 mph) (economical)
  • 33 knots (61 km/h; 38 mph) (warranted)
  • 1,240 nmi @ 33 kn (laden)
  • 2,182 nmi @ 20 kn (laden)
  • 2,927 nmi @ 20 kn (ballast)
  • Troop capacity:
  • 970
  • Cargo capacity:
  • 20,698 square feet: RORO designed for roll on/roll off service (typical loads - 153 HUMMWVs or 12 AAVPs and 20 LAVs)
  • 11 military
  • 13 civilian

MV Westpac Express (HSV-4676) is a high-speed catamaran built in 2001 by Austal Ltd. of Henderson, Western Australia. Chartered as a United States Marine Corps Maritime Prepositioning ship by Military Sealift Command (MSC), the ship provided extensive logistics support to "Exercise Cobra Gold 2002". Cobra Gold 2002 is the 21st U.S. Pacific Command exercise conducted in Thailand demonstrating the ability of U.S. forces to deploy rapidly and conduct joint-combined operations with the Thai and Singapore Armed Forces. Austal Hull 130 Chartering, LLC of Mobile, Alabama was awarded a $13,395,944 firm-fixed-priced contract commencing in February 2007, with four one-year additional options to September 2011.

With a design based on the Westpac Express, Austal USA won the bidding for the Joint High Speed Vessel in November 2008 and will build one ship with an option for nine more. The new vessel will have an increased top speed of at least 35 and up to 45 kn and up to ten ships will eventually be used by the United States Navy, the United States Marine Corps and the United States Coast Guard.[1]

In March 2011, the Westpac Express was deployed as part of the US response to the Japanese earthquake and tsunami.[2] In recognition of this service MSC Admiral Buzby presented the ship’s crew with United States Merchant Marine Medals for Outstanding Achievement at a ceremony on board the ship in Yokohama, Japan.[3]

In December 2011, the Westpac Express has been re-chartered with the United States Navy’s Military Sealift Command[4] which continued operating to January 2014.[5] The contract was subsequently renewed in October 2014 for operational support of the III Marine Expeditionary Force in the Far East.

In April 2016 Westpac Express was sold to Irish Continental Group for €13.25 million.

MV Westpac Express (HSV-4676) offloads cargo at Chuk Samet, Sattahip, Thailand on 8 May 2002. An AH-1W Super Cobra attack helicopter from Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 369 HMLA-369 is being moved across the stern ramp.
MV Westpac Express (HSV-4676) loading/unloading a Marine LAV, date and place unknown.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Jane's Defense Weekly, 2008-11-19, p. 5
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  5. ^