Spearhead

The first of the Navy’s new catamaran transports, the Joint High Speed Vessel Spearhead, has completed its acceptance trials, builder Austal and the Naval Sea Systems Command announced last week.

Derived from an Australian-built commercial ferry that the US leased to experiment with, the twin-hulled JHSV is a smaller, cheaper, unarmed sibling of the triple-hulled General Dynamics Littoral Combat Ship design, also built in the Austal yards in Mobile, Ala.; Austal is an Australian company. (There is also a very different LCS variant built by Lockheed Martin and Marinette Marine in Wisconsin). The unusual catamaran-like design of both ships is intended to reduce drag by giving them the narrowest possible cross-section in the water, yet without reducing stability. Keep reading →