Austal Deliver Joint High Speed Vessel, Launch the Next One

Press Release
Friday, June 07, 2013
JHSV 3 Launch: Photo credit Austal

The second Austal-built Joint High Speed Vessel (JHSV 2), USNS Choctaw County (JHSV 2) delivered to the Navy, & USNS Millinocket (JHSV 3) was smoothly launched.

USNS Choctaw County
Austal USA President, Craig Perciavalle, had this to say regarding the delivery of Austal’s second-in-class JHSV: “The delivery of the USNS Choctaw County is a significant achievement for Austal and a proud day for the talented Austal JHSV shipbuilding team.”

He further complimented Austal’s shipbuilders by stating, “Our ability to improve cost and schedule performance, and deliver this ship on schedule, is a testament to the incredible men and women building these great ships.”

The 338-foot-long aluminum catamarans are designed to be fast, flexible and maneuverable even in shallow waters, making them ideal for transporting troops and equipment quickly within a theater of operations.

USNS Millinocket
 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, potentially worth over US$1.6 billion.

Craig Perciavalle, Austal USA President, commented, “Once again we demonstrate forward progress in the JHSV program through the accomplishment of another milestone.” Continued Perciavalle, “With JHSV 1 doing well on the East Coast, JHSV 2 recently completing Acceptance Trials and handed over to the Navy this morning, the keel laying of JSHV 4 at the end of May, and now the launch of JHSV 3, the JHSV program is maturing well. The men and women who make up Austal’s JHSV team should be proud of their efforts and the role they are playing in constructing these incredible ships.”

Unusual launching
The launch of USNS Millinocket was conducted in a multi-step process that involved using Berard Transportation’s self-propelled modular transporters (SPMTs) to lift the entire 1,600-metric-ton ship almost three feet in the air and moving the JHSV approximately 400 feet onto a moored deck barge adjacent to the assembly bay.

The deck barge with USNS Millinocket onboard was then towed a half mile down river to BAE Systems’ Southeast Shipyard. The vessel was transferred to the Drydock Alabama, BAE’s floating dry dock. The floating dry dock was submerged and USNS Millinocket entered the water for the first time. The vessel was next taken from the drydock and towed back up river to Austal USA’s facility, where it will undergo final outfitting and activation before sea trials and delivery to the Navy later this year.


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