The US Navy’s fourth Joint High Speed Vessel, the future USNS Fall River (JHSV 4) successfully completed Builder’s Trials July 2.
Builder’s Trials are the first opportunity for the shipbuilder to operate and evaluate the ship underway. During the trials the builder, Austal USA, carried out testing to demonstrate the performance of all of the ship’s major systems including Fall River’s propulsion plant as well as the communications, navigation, and ride control systems.
“Fall River follows in the footsteps of the first three vessels with positive and consistent testing and demonstrations,” said Strategic and Theater Sealift Program Manager Capt. Henry Stevens. “The ship’s keel was laid just a little over a year ago and she was launched earlier this year. We expect to have her fully operational by the end of this year. The momentum of this program and the quality of these ships is a true testament to the hard work of the shipbuilder and the Navy.”
Following Builder’s Trials, the ship will undergo Acceptance Trials during which the Navy’s Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV) will inspect and evaluate the ship to identify any deficiencies. Any necessary corrections identified during Acceptance Trials will be made prior to the ship’s delivery. The Navy expects to take delivery of the Fall River later this year.
“JHSV 3 went from initial ship trials to delivery in less than six months,” said Stevens. “JHSV 4 benefits from the same proven technologies and stable requirements that have produced the level of efficiency and savings seen on the previous vessels of this class.”
The USNS Fall River is based on a commercial design with military specification to support of a wide range of operations including maneuver and sustainment, relief operations, flexible logistics support, or as the key enabler for rapid transport. With its flight deck for helicopter operations, off-load ramp suitable for the types of austere piers and quay walls, and shallow draft (under 15 feet), the vessel will further enhance port access and operations in littoral areas. JHSV 4 will be capable of transporting 600 short tons 1,200 nautical miles at an average speed of 35 knots.
Press Release, July 09, 2014; Image: msc.navy.mil