High-speed vessel USNS Spearhead (JHSV 1). U.S. Navy photo by Lt. Cmdr. Corey Barker/Released


The U.S. Navy’s new high-speed transport ships need millions of dollars of repair due to design changes to save weight that have left the vessels unable to withstand buffeting from high seas.

Almost $2.4 million has been spent strengthening the bows of the first four vessels delivered since 2012.

The joint high-speed vessel USNS Choctaw County (JHSV 2) is the second of 10 joint high-speed vessels designed for rapid intra-theater transportation of troops and military equipment. U.S. Navy photo Courtesy Austal/Released


Bloomberg News: “The entire ship class requires reinforcing structure” to bridge the twin hulls of the all-aluminum catamarans because of a design change that the Navy adopted at Austal Ltd’s recommendation for the $2.1 billion fleet of Expeditionary Fast Transports, Michael Gilmore, the Defense Department’s director of operational test and evaluation, said in a report to Congress.

“The Navy accepted compromises in the bow structure, presumably to save weight, during the building of these ships,” Gilmore wrote lawmakers, including Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain, in a September letter that wasn’t previously disclosed. “Multiple ships of the class have suffered damage to the bow structure.”  Read more from Bloomberg News here…


Posted by Mai Armstrong for the Working Harbor Committee