Sunday, November 11, 2007

Joint High Speed Vessel

The new term for military high speed transport ships is Joint High Speed Vessel (JHSV). The two major makes of these are the Australian companies Austal and Incat. Incat built ships HSV-X1 Joint Venture is used by US Special Operations Command and HSV-2 SWIFT for army transport and civilian relief operations. Austal built MV Westpac Express (HSV-4676) is used by Military Sealift Command (MSC). While the Australian ships have worked well in practice, both the joint nature of the vessels and their Australian origins case problems for the US Military. The US military is having difficulty delineating roles for the Arny and Navy in operation and tasking of such vessels. Also the lease on Swift HSV-2 expires in July 2008 and under US law can't be renewed as this is a foreign made ship.

The Joint High Speed Vessel program is managed by PMS 325. It is a Navy led
acquisition of a platform intended to support users in the Department of the
Navy and Department of the Army. The Joint High Speed Vessel (JHSV) program is a cooperative effort for a high-speed, shallow draft vessel intended for rapid
intra-theatre transport of medium sized cargo payloads. JHSV will reach speeds
of 35-45 knots and allow for the rapid transit and deployment of conventional or
Special Forces as well as equipment and supplies.

The JHSV will be capable of transporting personnel, equipment and supplies over operational distances in support of maneuver and sustainment operations. The JHSV will be able to transport Army and Marine Corps company-sized units with their vehicles, or reconfigure to become a troop transport for an infantry battalion. This will enable units to transit operational distances while maintaining unit integrity,
reducing the need for conducting RSO&I operations following offload.

The JHSV will include a flight deck for helicopter operations and an off-load ramp
that will allow vehicles to quickly drive off the ship. The ramp will be
suitable for the types of austere piers and quay walls common in developing
countries. The JHSV will also be shallow draft (under 15 feet) that will further
enhance access by enabling the JHSV to operate in shallow waters. This makes the
JHSV an extremely flexible asset able to support of a wide range of operations
including maneuver and sustainment, relief operations in small or damaged ports,
flexible logistics support, or as the key enabler for rapid transport. ...

From: Joint High Speed Vessel, US Navy, 2007

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