Rella, a 1987 graduate of the
U.S. Merchant Marine Academy
and Spring Hill College who has
been building ships since 1990,
said Austal has about 140 employees engaged in the design of the
JHSV, including about 50 engineers
in the United States and about 50
in Perth, Australia.
General Dynamics Advanced
Information Systems is the lead
contractor for the JHSV’s mission
The JHSV successfully completed its Initial Critical Design
Review in April. The Final Critical
Design Review is scheduled for
September. The Defense Acquisition Board’s program review, necessary for authorization to start
production, is slated for November. Construction of the first hull
is scheduled to begin Nov. 13. The
ship is scheduled for delivery Nov.
The first JHSV will be delivered
to the Army. The next two ships will
be delivered to the Army and Navy.
At delivery, there will be no significant differences between the ships,
but the services could modify them post-delivery to meet
their unique requirements, Sutton said.
The program office is looking at options to provide
bridge simulators for the JHSV. The Army already operates a sophisticated simulator at Fort Eustis, Va., that
has been used to train LCS crews for the Navy.
“I’m working with the Army and MSC to see if we can
leverage that capability and make some modifications
and have a simulator for Joint High-Speed Vessels,”
Commenting on why Austal was selected to build
the JHSV, Sutton said, “If you look at technical
approach, management approach, costs and facilities,
they provided best value to the Navy.”
Sutton attributes program success so far to high
design maturity of the technology incorporated in the
design — proven in commercial HSVs and military
experiments — and the stable requirements for the
“That’s a biggie,” he said. “No major changes to
requirements, no additional requirements to our baseline. There have been some minor clarifications that
would constitute a change, but no additional requirements.” ■
AUSTAL USA ILLUSTRATION
The JHSV’s cargo bay will provide 20,053 square feet of space, and be able
to accommodate the M1A2 tank, Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement and
Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle. Its flight deck can accommodate helicopters,
including the H- 60, CH-46 and CH-53E, in seas up to Sea State 3.
The JHSV will not have an alongside underway
replenishment capability, Rella said, although it can
receive vertical replenishment via rotary-wing aircraft.
Sutton said the Navy plans for its JHSV to be manned
by about 22 civilian mariners from Military Sealift
Command (MSC). The Army plans for a crew of 31. The
ship will feature 15 staterooms for crew berthing for a
capacity of 41 personnel.
Four .50-caliber machine guns will provide 360-
degree defensive coverage for the JHSV, which is
designed to operate independently in permissive environments or under the protection of the Navy’s Sea
Shield. The Navy still is in the process of deciding the
issue of who will operate the guns, given that the crew
will be civilian mariners.
The JHSV is being built in accordance with High-Speed Naval Craft Rules which, Rella said, are less
stringent than the Naval Vessel Rules under which
General Dynamics’ LCS is being built.
The design is making maximum use of commercial,
high-speed craft standards, including American Bureau
of Shipping, U.S. Coast Guard and commercial, off-the-shelf equipment, with limited modification for
military applications, according to Sutton.
SEAPOWER / AUGUST 2009