First of four Navy ships to be launched at Austal in 2014
On January 16, 2014, Austal USA successfully completed the launch process of the USNS Fall River (JHSV 4). Recently christened, this 103-meter high-speed catamaran represents the U.S. Department of Defense’s next generation multi-use platform. It is part of a 10-ship program, the funds for all of which have been appropriated, worth over US$1.6 billion.
The launch of USNS Fall River was conducted in a multi-step process that involved having Berard Transportation transfer the ship from Assembly Bay 3 onto a deck barge, which was then towed to BAE Systems Southeast Shipyard. The next day, Fall River was transferred onto BAE’s dry dock Alabama; it was floated then returned to Austal’s facility where it will undergo final outfitting and activation before sea trials and delivery to the Navy later this year.
Craig Perciavalle, Austal USA President, commented, “It’s really amazing at how easy the team makes this complicated process look. I appreciate the efforts of all involved.”
JHSV 4 is now one of four Austal-built Navy ships moored in the Mobile River, joining USNS Millinocket (JHSV 3), Coronado (LCS 4), and Jackson (LCS 6).
Perciavalle added, “With JHSV 3 recently completing Acceptance Trials and preparing for delivery, and now the launch of Fall River, the JHSV program continues to progress well as we meet our commitments to the Navy. The incredible shipbuilders here at Austal should be very proud of this accomplishment”.
USNS Spearhead (JHSV 1) was delivered in December 2012 and has been deployed. USNS Choctaw County (JHSV 2) was delivered to the Navy in June 2013. USNS Millinocket (JHSV 3) has completed Acceptance Trials and is scheduled to be delivered within the next month. Construction is well underway on Trenton (JHSV 5) which will begin final assembly in, now vacant, Assembly Bay 3 by the end of January, and construction will begin on Brunswick (JHSV 6) by the end of this month.
The JHSV is a relatively new asset that will be an important Navy connector. In peacetime, JHSVs will be operating forward supporting Navy Expeditionary Combat Command and riverine forces, theater cooperating missions, Seabees, Marine Corps and Army transportation. Each JHSV also supports helicopter operations and has a slewing vehicle ramp on the starboard quarter which enables use of austere piers and quay walls, common in developing countries. A shallow draft (under 4 meters) will further enhance theater port access.
Austal USA is also prime contractor for the construction of ten Independence-variant Littoral Combat Ships (LCS), a contract totaling $3.5 billion. Four of these ships are under construction at this time, the first of which was launched just last month.
For the LCS and JHSV programs, Austal, as prime contractor, is teamed with General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems, a business unit of General Dynamics. For the JHSV program, General Dynamics is responsible for the design, integration and testing of the navigation and communication systems, C4I and aviation systems. As the Independence-variant LCS ship systems integrator, General Dynamics is responsible for the design, integration and testing of the ship’s electronic systems.
Austal is a global defense prime contractor. The Company designs, constructs and maintains revolutionary platforms such as the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) and the Joint High Speed Vessel (JHSV) for the U.S. Navy, as well as an extensive range of patrol and auxiliary vessels for defense forces and government agencies globally. Austal also designs, installs, integrates and maintains sophisticated communications, radar and command and control systems.
Austal benefits from its position as a world leader in the design, construction and support of customized, high-performance aluminum vessels for the commercial high-speed ferry market, an achievement gained over a period of nearly 25 years.
Austal’s primary facilities comprise a dedicated defense shipyard in Mobile, Alabama; a dedicated defense shipyard in Henderson, Western Australia; and a dedicated commercial shipyard in Balamban, Philippines. The Company also provides vessel support services from its facilities in the United States, Australia, Asia, the Caribbean, and the Middle East. Systems development, sales and support are coordinated from Austal’s facility in Canberra, Australia. Learn more
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Media – For further information contact:
Terry O’Brien, Vice President of Business Development and External Affairs, Austal USA
Michelle Bowden, Communications & Marketing Coordinator
Tel: 251-434-8000, Fax: 251-445-1955
Original Press Release: “Austal Launches USNS Fall River (JHSV 4),” Austal USA, 1/16/2014