Navy Adds High Speed Troop Carrier to Fleet

Navy Adds High Speed Troop Carrier to Fleet

The Navy last weekend christened a high-speed catamaran that will join a growing fleet of shallow-draft troop carrier and supply vessels that the Defense Department envisions as the future of riverine operations.

“In this world, it’s important to have a flexible, adaptable, and affordable Navy” to meet ever-changing threats, Rear Adm. Lawrence Jackson said at the Saturday ceremony in the Mobile, Ala., shipyard of the Austal USA firm. “In this ship, the Millinocket, we have the perfect marriage of all three,” said Jackson, the deputy commander of the Navy’s Military Sealift Command

The 338-foot, aluminum-hulled Millinocket was the third in the new class of Joint High Speed Vessels (JHSV) after USNS Spearhead, which is currently undergoing sea tests, and the USNS Choctaw County, which was christened in September.

A fourth JHSV, the USNS Fall River, named for the Massachusetts fishing town, is under construction by Austal, an Australian company. The Spearhead, the first in the class of ships, was delivered eight months late in December with initial cost overruns estimated at $31 million.

The Navy has plans for a total of 10 JHSVs at a projected cost of about $250 million each, and all will have the prefix designations of United States Naval Ships (USNS) as non-commissioned ships of the Navy’s Military Sealift Command, rather than the USS prefix designation for commissioned Navy ships.

Sailors and troops will go aboard the Millinocket only when needed. The ship will have a crew of 21 civilian mariners from the Sealift Command and “military mission personnel will embark as,” the Navy said last week in a statement.

The Millinocket is the first ship of that name to join the fleet since the SS Millinocket, a freighter, was torpedoed by a German U-boat in World War II. In a statement last week, Navy Secretary Ray Mabus said that naming the ship after the adjoining towns of Millinocket and East Millinocket in Maine “honors the immense contributions and support to the military made by the men and women of these communities and the state of Maine.”

Karen G. Mills, administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration, broke the traditional champagne bottle on the Millinocket’s hull as the ship’s sponsor.

The ship, capable of speeds of 35 knots (40 mph) with a 15-foot draft, has berthing space for up to 42 crew members and 104 troops, plus airline-style seating for another 312 troops.

The Navy has billed the JHSVs, and the new Littoral Combat Ships, as fast and flexible additions to the fleet that will allow for troops and their gear to debark quickly for coastal and riverine operations.

Sea trials for the Millinocket will be delayed for several months because of yet another accident involving the Carnival Cruise Line.
The ship had been scheduled to go first from the Austal shipyard to the BAE Systems dry dock, also in Mobile, but the Carnival line’s 900-foot Triumph broke from its moorings at the BAE dry dock on April 3 in high winds, killing one worker and damaging the facility.

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“…the future of riverine operations”? Where? The Mississippi? I doubt they will operate in anything but the most benign of environments where we have control of most of the battle space–especially the air. They might be good for some of those “feel good” New Horizons missions to Central and South America. They are too small to be used for overseas contingency support when “firs-test wit the most-est” is vital. I admit that perhaps I’m missing the big picture here. Please enlighten.

WTF? Now we are doing the Marine Corps’ mission too? This seems like something the Marines should have built and integrated.

Are you sleeping through your professional courses? What SHIPS has the USMC built and integrated? The requirements for expeditionary forces come from OPNAV N95/85 who is a USMC general on the Navy staff but the ships end up being designed, built, etc by the USN.

Be good for hoping around the CA coast doesn’t look good for island hoping in the choppy Pacific or Atlantic Oceans though the Navy needs to invest in more Blue Water vessels. LCS sucks compared to DDG-1000.

It’s a small, fast cargo ship. Small and fast kinda defeat the purpose of a cargo ship though, as you use Airlift for true express cargo. The only niche I could think it would fit in is cargo too big for cost-efficient airlift, but needed faster than bulk cargo. The issue there though is that the LCAC fleet covers that niche.

History and civics appear to be absent from public education in these enlightend times where all parts of our history where things warfighting and military have been scrubbed.

Clearly the fact that the United States Marine Corps and the United States Navy have been joined at the hip at birth (though at times they act like troubled siblings) both officially and unofficially ( hence the OPNAV instruction you quote) was never breought into the public awareness, except by mistake, of the past couple of generation.

My guess .… more than a few marine recruits arrive for training only to be shocked at the Navy linkage .… probably first inclination is when Navy medical appears.

Help me!

you got that right Hawk, The Navy and Marine Corp are essentially the same service. The Navy created a cadre of Marines to act as sharpshooters on their sailing ships way back when

Additionally, Navy and Marines officers train together in many areas. They both go through aviation training together, they both wear wings of gold and they are totally integrated on carriers. In fact my drill instructor at AOCS was a Marine master sergeant

The Marines are basically sea soldiers, The Navy gave birth to those devil dogs and we haven’t regretted it since :-)

This is how the Navy wastes money. Buy gas-guzzlers than can’t carry much, have no defensive weapons (meaning they’re big targets), and are who will get to the battle AFTER the Special Ops guys will have already been covertly inserted by air. These gooney birds should never have been bought. But since our Australian allies conned us into supporting their shipbuilding industry, I say they should pay for that $1.6 billion it’s going to cost to house US Marines in Australia.

These kinds of vessels actually do pretty well in heavier seas than you would think for there size. And this ship isn’t that small, sure she is only 338ft (Around 2/3rd the length of a Destroyer) she is 93feet a beam which makes her around 150% the width of Destroyers. The duel hule and wide stance makes her very laterally stable. Capsizing a ship like this would take sizeable seas.

It essentially the same design as the Hawaii super ferry which operates in open ocean. http://​en​.wikipedia​.org/​w​i​k​i​/​H​a​w​a​i​i​_​S​u​p​e​r​f​e​rry

Here is a little more of the class of vessel. http://​en​.wikipedia​.org/​w​i​k​i​/​S​p​e​a​r​h​e​a​d​-​c​l​a​s​s​_​J​oin

Not saying I like it BTW, just that open ocean shouldn’t be to much of a problem.

Okay, I need to elaborate on what I mean and I was partially joking… partially. I’ve been making jokes about the USMC’s lost amphibious capability because of their plans to replace the well deck on gators with F-35B hangers. Guess I need to be more clear next time.

Really, being able to move an entire company sized unit with all its vehicles from Okinawa to South and go back without refueling in valueless in your eyes? These class of ships make that trip all over the western Pacific for various countries and they handle it just fine.


Its not its sea keeping abilities I’m questioning, just its cargo capacity.

How so many people forget, the Marines are part of the Department of the Navy.

Haha, we have people in Australia complaining about our military purchases for the opposite reason. I suppose ignorance is a global problem. I never knew the US military was subservient to the all powerful australian military industrial complex. Who’d a thunked it?

Shame they have to be built overseas by a foreign company. Billions wasted on “green energy” that consistently fails to produce, a government rife with fiscal abuse and mismanagement, and then they resolve to outsource shipbuilding? Sad, so very sad.

Didn’t you read the article Mike? these Ships were built in Mobile, Ala., shipyard of the Austal USA firm.

Two Independence class LCS and two JHSV’s could deliver a battalion of marines onto an island 1700 miles away in just two days, with a couple Blackhawks or a couple AH-1Z Vipers as air support. Draw 1700 mile radius circles around Guam, Darwin, Buckner Bay/White Beach and Pearl. You cover a huge part of the Pacific. Add a Burke (though the Burke would be hard pressed to get there with the faster LCS/JHSV’s, it wouldn’t be far behind) for gravitas and you are talking about serious force projection.
This wouldn’t work against China but against just about anyone else it would really make them wonder if they wanted to push the issue.
I think this is what the LCS was meant to be used for, before they lost the NLOS-LS and the export option for a tactical VLS was rejected for the domestic LCS classes.

I served in the Mobile Riverine Force in RVN, and I’ve gotta say — that thing would have trouble navigating around on the Mekong River, which is about a mile wide in some spots. As far as going up river, either forget it, or hope that paint wagon can soak-up a lot of RPGs!

I’m glad you see that STemplar.

Same could be said of any LHD, LPD, LSD.

Use this in conjunction with an ARG, and you can open up several beachheads AND keep reinforcing them with troops without the use of an airfield.

Both LCS and DDG-1k are sub optimal for what is needed.

It’s a real capability, not every crisis we will need to move forces to Korea for, or wherever we base these would mean total war. In fact, the point that we could in a single lift pick up a USMC Recon BN and move it 1200 nm’s to a very primitive pier/quay and off load all it’s vehicles and personnel in one fell swoop has quite a deterrent effect. Really spending tons of the storm the beach option is wasteful when we can pick 85%ish of the world’s coastline to land on.

Actually no it couldn’t do that. Neither is Amphibious. Also neither is capable of operating at its maximum speed without being refueled before the day is out. Also neither the LCS or the JHSV’s are capable of protecting themselves from any Naval or serious Air threats. Torpedo’s can also hit them (LCS can’t go their top speed with a load in their bays).

The truth is the LCS Just doesn’t have the abilities it needs. And the JHSV’s are just ferries. The Danish absolons can do the same jobs as the LCS and JHSV’s at the same time and for less money. The 55kts speed is one of the LCS biggest killers. It make sure no real armament can be carried and survivability is a problem because of the thin skin and lack of compartmentally and small crew.

Yah, JHSV needs a pier or quay. Very primitive ones will suffice. There are a great many places they could land forces but alone they are definitely a permissive environment option. However thrre is a myth about the Absalons out there that they are supet cheap. Alot of the #s l see thrown around for them is base hull like the LCS price. It doesnt include things like weapons, combat systems etc. Plus the Absalon is the other side of the coin which is too slow.

The J in JHSV stands for “joint”. This is not just a solely USN/USMC asset. The Army actually bought and paid for five of the ten ships. People often forget the Army when it comes to deployment across the seas. Many would be surprised to find that most of the sealift command’s ships are dedicated to the Army (27 to 17). http://​www​.hazegray​.org/​w​o​r​l​d​n​a​v​/​u​s​a​/​a​u​x​_​s​e​a​l​.​htm

What defense company in America is going to build these ships that isn’t going to rape the government for every dollar of taxpayer money they can get?

No argument there.

It only takes 21 cilivian mariners to man this ship? If she was under Navy command you would need at least 100 people. This is a area we the tax payers could save money on.

Belesari, I was under the impression that the LCS classes and the JHSV could all re-fuel while under way. Have a Kaiser class oiler leave Buckner Bay at 18 knots12 hours before the LCS and JHSV are ready to depart, conduct an Unrep 24 hours after the LCS/JHSV left port at the JHSV’s service speed of 35 knots, the 4 ships reach the port at Mindanao or Sulawesi after 48 hours underway, the marines are off-loaded, the LCS/JHSV refuel 120 miles offshore and escort the oiler back to port or sail back at their best speed to get another battalion.
I could see them making a fast re-inforcement of South Korea by taking a marine battalion to the port at Pusan, as well, but I don’t know if there are enough Marines in Japan now for them to stage from there or if they would have to stage from Okinawa.
My point, admittedly not well thought out, was that a combination of LCS and JHSV ships could deploy a marine battalion, or battalions, faster than the amphibious ships we have now, again admittedly only in relatively benign environment.
I guess I just hope to see the LCS classes used for something that makes the large investment in them worthwhile, which is a backwards way of looking at the navy’s fleet acquisition process.

A $ 250,000.00 ski boat. Another hole in the ocean to pour taxpayer money into. Cancel this POS toy.

They are built in Mobile Alabama you ignorant twit. Good lord you putz, you couldn’t even read through the second damn paragraph?

Oh come on, its not useless.

We all scratch our heads on why they made those ships.

The capacity is pretty good as well. In addition to Hawaii the Alaska Marine Highway System operates one, the Chenega. 40 vehicles and 250 passengers with lots of spare room I consider pretty decent. Fast and surprisingly maneuverable. A dream to ride.

MSC does not use many people even when they take over an existing USN ship. Part of the conversion to MSC includes a lot of automatic controls and monotoring equipment. In addition they only operate the ship and do not do maintenance. The civil service mariners are highly experienced and very well paid (with overtime) but as I said, they just operate the ship. Oh, and that number of 21 is only for PART of the ship. There will also be a USN detachment doing things like Comms, CIC and any necessary weapons.

Not really true. Take a look at the number of flights needed to carry as many vehicles or heavy cargo as just one of these ships and you’ll see that it is a lot more effective to send STUFF (not people) on ships like this or larger. LCACs are fast but have nowhere near the range. LCACs are for shp to shore within a fairly tight distance of the destination while these are much larger and better equipped for moderate length transits.

lets see.… alumin. hull.…..1 155mm hit, bye bye, 1st ship 31 mil. over. budget.…no problem, that will decrease as the construct. learn. curve increases, maybe to 5 mil for the last boat.…10 boats prob. a total of 55–80 mill cost over run, gee I thought money was tight, but then the U.S.N. is repairing the miami.…@ 450 mil (projected) add 10% cost over runs…(that Portsmouth NSY is notorious 4) for the fire damage & then the other work 4 a 22 y/o hull.….wow.…that’s half a billion dollars for low endurance ships & a 22 y/o/ hull. The only winner in this game are the aussie’s, one of the silent 5. I wish I knew what the navy’s policy is in the pacific, to go “up river” in what country, with how any marines? And fire cruise missles (a 25 y/o weapons platform) againts who?.….gotta go take my meds.….because u guys are in a different world, sorry not a dis!

In can carry 400+ troops (Plus it’s crew), that’s a pretty good sized complement and with only 12ft of draft it can drop them off pretty much anywhere.

major, don’t 4 get how many army personel fought in the pacific command during WW2 & Korea as well. They have a small albeit well trained ampfib. landing capability.

I think the JHSVs have a lot of potential utility. Spearhead class (USNS JHSV 1) have 1200nm unrefueled range at 35kt in sea state 3 while carrying 635 tonnes (metric tons) of payload. Top speed without payload exceeds 43kt. The flight deck is Navair level 1 class 2 certified to handle the big CH-53, and can do so while a medium helo is stowed in its parking area. The passenger deck is located below the flight deck, and is described in the article above. The roll-on / roll-off vehicle/payload deck is located below the passenger deck and has a usable cargo area of more than 1,800 square meters with clear height of 4.7m and accommodates a turning diameter of 26.2m. A jib crane at the stern can move cargo from/to the flight deck, from/to the ro/ro deck, from/to a pier. The articulating ramp at the stern can support the weight of an M1A2 Abrams main battle tank, can provide roll off and walk off offload into the dry well deck of an amphibious ship (LHD-8, LPD-17, etc.) or to a pier at an austere shore facility. The vessel has a length of 103m, a beam of 28.5m and a shallow draft of only 3.8m at maximum displacement.

1700 radi around guam, w/BH’s & upgraded Cobra’s? w/o carrier or LHA air support? u need to check the operating spec’s of the aircraft ur referencing. and a bn of usmc, that’s a LIC sceanario or a humantarian relief/supp. scenario! The LCS’s are a great idea in a no threat or low threat theatre of opns, maybe gulf of tears?, u need air super. + a log. train & a steady re-enforcement capability to sustain any type of “forced entry amfib.” opns! The LCS’s are lightly armoured & lightly armed, u need a supplementary force of surface combatants & either land/sea based air power proj. to supplement their capabilities!

You had help from Hawaii SuperFerry guys who palmed their old ships off onto the US Navy so they could modernize their fleet while making a profit off American taxpayers.

Superferry imploded, the boats were swept up into bankruptcy court and eventually ended up with the Navy.

Who is “they” in “so they could modernize their fleet”?

We have never engaged any opponent in the last 30 years without at least 45 days planning. In 45 days we can move any heavy forces from one point in the world to another using all those other real ships we have (both amphibs and sealift) and do the job right. Why do we continue to spend money on every stupid idea that comes along? This ship may be good for certain things, but it’s completely unnecessary in the American military. It’s really just a make-work (“economic stimulus”) program for shipbuilders who can’t find real customers.

Thanks for the correction. Who picked up the inter-island ferry business?

I guess FSF-1 wasn’t good enough. Austal USA it is.

Not sure. According to the site of the defuct ferry guys (http://​www​.hawaiiinterislandsuperferry​.com/)

“The only real alternatives to the Superferry are private boat charter and flying. Flying is by far the least expensive alternative. We suggest flying Hawaiian over the smaller inter-island charters. Hawaiian Airlines has the best on-time record for the islands.”

From (http://​www​.govisithawaii​.com/​2​0​0​9​/​0​3​/​2​4​/​a​-​g​u​i​d​e​-​t​o​-​i​n​t​e​r​-​i​s​l​a​n​d​-​t​r​a​v​e​l​-​i​n​-​h​a​w​a​ii/)

“The predominate method of inter-island travel is by air. Most people assume there’s a huge network of ferries to transport you from island to island. That’s not really the case in Hawaii. Ferry service is only available between Maui and Lanai and Maui and Molokai.”

JRT ur sayin’ this “ship“Fully loaded can go 35nmph for 1200 nm’s? w/o underway refueling?.…..wholly crap I gotta write the Armed Forces Journal & Defense News, their peddling crap. That’s going from NYC to Daytona Fla. @ 35 kt’s w/o r’fuelin’ carryin” 635 met. tonnes (10 abrams + some xtra troops & gear)?

In the Navy.….u can defend the motherland.… the Navy.….….

KrazyC, the JHSV service speed is 35 knots and at that speed the JHSV has a un-refueled range of 1200 nm. And if it goes more than 600 nm at that speed without a unrep they will be a bit short. But it can carry half a battalion for a day and a half without unrep at a speed that makes an LHA/LHD green with envy. It isn’t the best fit for Abrams but it can carry a lot of marines and LAV’s a long ways in a short time as long as it isn’t asked to make an assault on a hostile beach.

You wouldn’t be using this for a long-distance run as it doesn’t carry enough to be a viable long term transport. It’s a ferry. It’s even based off a ferry design. The only time in combat you need a ferry is in opening stages, and the marines with the LCACs will be there. Usually, time constraints are not tight enough to warrant using a small ferry over a bulk freighter, especially on the short ranges this has. Aircraft could fill any remaining gap, and even if not as cost-effective, the massive cost savings from not buying and maintaining this extra fleet more than make up for the cost of the occasional airlift.

Naval Academy Grads have a choice of the Marine Corps or Navy.

It can carry 10 M1 tanks 1200 nmi to a primitive pier or quay. A freighter needs a deep water port. An airplane that can carry an M1 needs a pretty serious runway. A LCAC can carry one at a time.

Fair, fair. The JHSV however cannot remain idle and off like a berthed LCAC or Aircraft can, and must be constantly running in order to remain useful. Yes. it can dock, unless you are fighting right next door, you’re going to have to pay for deployment. As to the shallow draft, an LCAC has 0 draft. And it requires no port facilities whatsoever, plus is a fraction of the crew, cost, and fuel requirements. Considering that these aren’t going to be put on standby loaded with M1s, and will have to be ferrying them in from other transports, that’s the exact role of the LCAC. The only thing this can do in practice and not on paper the LCAC can’t is act as a mini-LPD and do we really need to invest billions in a fleet of mini-LPDs?

My question to the Rear Adm. would be… why stop at just 10 hulls for a $250m ship that qualifies as a “perfect marriage” to fill the important requirement “… to have a flexible, adaptable, and affordable Navy”?!?

Sounds like this JHSV might also have some potential future modular capacity too (e.g., VLS missile barge? Laser defense barge?? Natural disaster relief (Earthquake/Typhoon) missions? Cheap surface presence/maritime pat ship? Special counter-measures escort ship? Aero-stat tender? At-sea buddy-tanker for underway JHSV/LCS? At-sea spec ops tender/rescue?), potentially even more modular than even the more expensive LCS?

One could imagine a RADM getting a promotion to ADM for having a brilliant idea to double down on the JHSV contribution to a flexible, ‘adaptable’ and affordable Navy!? :)

Seriously… that kind of capacity, ‘job creation’ and yet further unknown adaptable potential for $250m per pop?

A LCAC is a landing craft, plain and simple. How is a berthed LCAC and parked aircraft more useful than a docked JHSV? A LCAC may not require a port facility, but it requires a big damn navy gator to get anywhere near where it becomes useful. You can’t state that it requires less fuel than a JHSV, because there is no way you have any data to support such a moronic claim. That’s like stating a LCAC requires less fuel than an LPD.

If you are going to compare classes, the nearest would be comparing it to the Army’s Besson class LSVs. Which performs the same primary function as the JHSV, intratheater logistics support.

Thankfully, I can look up the fuel consumption of the engines mounted on each of the vessels. The engines on the JHSV are about 63% more efficient. Which does not make up for the amount of time they are spend running while the JHSV isn’t carrying cargo. So yes, I do have data, called engine spec sheets. Similarly, you can indeed lookup the fuel consumption on the engines for the LPDs. And this JHSV requires a gator nearby to be useful, it has a relatively small payload. This vessel is designed as a ferry, very similar in capabilities to a landing craft. It doesn’t have the payload to be a long-distance cargo hauler plain and simple.

On the bessons, they have roughly 4 times the payload, and much more range. Which only helps point out this isn’t worth the money.

marines are also the navy, boot

4 could move an entire USMC LAV BN with all it’s vehicles and personnel in one lift. Then deploy 1200 nmi to any primitive pier/quay and off load the entire BN. How you can say that’s not useful? LCACs certainly couldn’t off load a BN in 4 trips. It would take dozens of C17s to accomplish that. You’re looking at this as a stand alone system. This is very much intended to work with the MLPs and AFSBs to act as a high volume, high speed ship to shore connector. These could make multiple runs between Okinawa and South Korea without ever involving LPDs or LCACs at all.

Most of the capacity for people is airplane type seating. 16 hours on a plane is one thing; days on a boat is entirely different.

Did you think about what you wrote or did you just go all futurest on us? Draw a 1700 mile radius around Guam or White Beach (Okinawa) — but “This wouldn’t work against China but against just about anyone else it would really make them wonder if they wanted to push the issue”. You thinking of going to war with Japan or Taiwan or the Philippines or South Korea? Well I guess we are ready now.

Yes, well sell all of them to the Army quick, before they wake up. Deployment across seas? Sealift command’s ships? This won’t deploy across any seas with a combat load, I would hardly call them Sealift. For them to deploy a force of any size you would sure need a lot of them, about 3 per batallion without artillary, armor or much in the way of supply. Is that what is meant as an Army of one???

I think it will be a semi-quick, fat juicy target — on water. It can’t really defend itself and it won’t be a commisioned ship so it will require its own Navy to defend it.

True that it would not likely be feasible to transport 250 equipped troops + 10 trucks from Hawaii to Japan. That’s a long time to sit in airliner style seating.

But for a quick hop as a redeployment intra-theater (within 1,500–2,000nm eg) it could add credible flexibility in combat planning and new capacities never before had. Doctrine would evolve by such a ship.

So while sea-lift is a broad term, this could arguably be like the equivalent of a C-27 vs a C-5 as comprising part of the overall Transport mix? Different craft for different missions and specializations.

Another way to look at it… would be to see JHSV more along the lines as equivalent to a regional jet (737 eg, vs an A-330), something which definitely has an economical and practical place within the overall business plan and fleet.

Moreover, you could probably procure 6 hulls for the cost of 1 LPD too? That could be an interesting trade off, with differing degree of flexibility, readiness for quick reaction and economy. i.e., you could deploy 1–2 JHSV for a required mission, but you couldn’t deploy 25% of your LPD. Moreover, that 1 LPD hits a mine… that’s a good loss in capability, whereas 1 JHSV out leaves you 5 remaining in operation.

Just my opinions.

DDG, my first response got mod-ed so sorry if this is a double post. My thoughts about the JHSV were that if you look at our ports in the Pacific, that we could deploy a marine battalion or two twice as far in a given amount of days in comparison to our present LPD/LHA fleet. Obviously the LCS and JHSV aren’t going to doing a Tarawa type assault, but if the government of the Phillipines, or Indonesia needed help on one of their islands to keep a islamic radical group at bay, we could use a handful of LCS/JHSV’s to get there ‘fustest, with the mostest’ as Mosby would put it. Or we could send a couple battalions of marines to Pusan in half the time they would other take to get there. Or we could stand alongside our longstanding allies, the Australians, if they decide to shore up a democracy in the Solomons as soon as possible. Or we could support a moderate regime in Brunei against AQ fundamentalists. Most of these possibilities could see a marine battalion using a friendly port to support a government that is friendly to the US. This isn’t rocket science. We are just talking about deploying battalion or larger forces in half the normal time over distances that are too distant for helicopters to be used.

We had the triple AAV but they scrubbed it because they said it cost to much. Now they bring in this that cost triple the cost of the AAAV. That’s the Government for ya.

Mike, take it easy on the Aussies. They’re one of the very few TRUE ALLIES we have. If you want to blame anyone, blame our government officials. Just look at the billions of dollars of taxpayer money that our government gives away to Afghanistan, Egypt, Pakistan, Palestinians, and others who hate our guts. What do we get in return? These same countries continue to hate the USA just the same. Our troops have shed their bloods and suffered horrific injuries, and their families forever suffer too, in order to help these people..

MARNES are not the Navy they are part of the Navy. One can’t do without the other.

TAXPAYER, take it easy on the Aussies. They’re one of the very few TRUE ALLIES we have. If you want to blame anyone, blame our government officials. Just look at the billions of dollars of taxpayer money that our government gives away to Afghanistan, Egypt, Pakistan, Palestinians, and others who hate our guts. What do we get in return? These same countries continue to hate the USA just the same. Our troops have shed their bloods and suffered horrific injuries, and their families forever suffer too, in order to help these people..

This is good support and fast transport. LCS can be used deal combat situations, while the Spearheads are meant to support troops after they’ve landed. I’m not crazy it being built out of aluminum, ship fire would be serious problem. I wish they hadn’t built the LCS Classes with aluminum, no one remembers the USS Belknap (CG-26) when it had its collision with the USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67)..

Nice, but we’ll need a few more of these (and then some) if we expect to win a fight against the Chinese and Russians.

Actually the Marines are older than the Navy!

The problem is the LCS aren’t meant to go top speed for a long time. And I’d be suprised if their top speed with a combat load, Fuel, Stores, etc is above 45kts. So yea it would be a bit slower. If I remember correctly the Independence class can travel further than the freedom class as it has more fuel bunkerage. However they use that up FAST. Like a few hundred miles and they are empty.

And yea I believe everyone is hoping the Navy figures out something useful for them as they are at the moment a waste of money and resources.

The problem is the LPD can deploy landing vehicles as well as helicopters. Meaning it can bring the heavy firepower of tanks and such ashore. The JHSV can’t unless they can find a dock secure it and the area around.

You’re mixing apples and oranges as to contested and uncontested landings. LCACs aren’t going to be used in a non permissive environment either so you aren’t bringing any tanks ashore under those conditions.

I am all for upgrading our fleet and I hope that this turns out to be a great ship, especially for the Marines. According to the article, it’s aluminum-hulled and great for shallow water, well that’s fine but how is it for open ocean and how is its defenses? I believe in creating jobs but I also believe that at the same time we want to build ships that are going to be effective and serve our Navy/Marines well. I’m not saying that this ship won’t do that, but there are some red flags here.

looked at a map of DPRK lately..

US Marines are US Navy.
good point thought, ever since the101st started deploying into Stans from blackhawks on carriers the USMC should be getting a little nervous.

it’ll be good enough to ferry between Japan and DPRK…

majr0d… In line with your comment, consider Spearhead’s characteristcs in the context of Army’s efforts toward rapidly deploying Stryker brigade combat teams, using a combination of C-17, C-5, and commercial jettransport, efforts into shortening the process of getting to wheels up in CONUS. If they are wheels down in someplace like Darwin, it is a short distance to the pier. Spearhead being a ro-ro ferry shouldn’t take long to load. 30 hours after getting underway from pier side, they can be more than 1000nm from Darwin.

The Navy admiralty just needs more ships to make their numbers look better. Currently (www​.navy​.mil — check it out if you don’t believe me) one can find that there are 330 admirals (one to four star varieties) and only 280 ships in the Navy ???

You mean it will be just like the minesweepers, cargo ships or oil tankers that the Navy already has?

This is totally different than the EFV (AAAV). The EFV/AAAV carries a squad and is only short range (25–30 mi) because of seakeeping, lack of navigation, etc. This is a full fledged ship that can carry many times more people and stuff.

You are flat out wrong on the LCS running out of fuel in a few hundred miles.
Range at top speed is over 1K miles and at cruising speed over 4K miles

Belesari, I think my post was pretty poorly written because I didn’t explain what I envisioned the LCS/JHSV group doing with any clarity. Both the LCS and the JHSV are rated to have a Service Speed (not max or sprint speed) of 35 knots that they would use when they were being deployed in a manner that called for a certain rapidity of movement. The LCS range at 18 kts is between 4300 and 4800 nautical miles depending on who you are reading and the JHSV has a range of 1200 miles at its service speed of 35 kts. One of my mistakes was that I had thought that the JHSV had a range of 2400 nautical miles at 35 kts., not 1200 nautical miles.
My other mistake was that I made it sound like I thought that the LCS and the JHSV could conduct assault operations, when I mentioned that they would have Blackhawks and/or Marine gunships like the Viper, which I thought would be useful for supporting the marines and their LAV’s. Adding the thought about the Burke was just stupid because its 5″ gun would be useful for a force ashore but not really critical.
But my main thought to start with was, what kind of force could a combined force of JHSV and LCS deliver at their rated service speed of 35 knots in 2 or 3 days of steaming? I was thinking of how a battalion of marines could be a major help to our allies if the Phillipines has to fight insurgents on Mindanao, etc. and my poorly structured post must have looked like I thought they could be used as an assault ship. But I guess my secondary point would be, even at their service speed of 35 knots, which is slower than their sprint speed of 45 knots by a good bit, they would be able to deliver a heck of a force over an amazing long distance given our ability to re-fuel while they are underway. If you could fit 3 Vipers into an LCS it would be able to furnish a great deal of air support to the marines after they landed and even the two helos it is currently rated for would be very useful.

I am certain there are projected scenarios whereby such a vessel could be the exact vehicle needed to insert American/ally expeditionary forces. It would be a courtesy to the taxpayer to mention the many/few theaters of operation that this vessel would service. So far as it is explained, it does appear to be a luxury twin hull “paddle wheel”. Perhaps the NAV has river boat gambling in mind?

Actually given the enormous number of primitive piers and quays throughout the third world’s coastlines this vessel has a large number of places it could unload.

I understand what your saying now worries. In many ways the thing that Makes the Independence class is that deck. Kinda wonder what a trimaran hulled steel ship with more emphasis on the flight deck and a more moderate speed would equal. Maybe that assualt boat you envision.

And I don’t think the Idea of the JHSV being used to reinforce places like the PN or other places we don’t have forces is out of the question. The problem is they would need to be used Before hostilities started.

I can’t help but wonder what shape the Marines in the airline style seating would be in after 24–48 hours. Also, these ships by themselves can only deliver personnel and some light cargo/vehicles. So what you have is light infantry being delivered in 24–48 hours by ships with no defensive capability and little forced entry capability. Wonderful.

That’s not much different from when Marines are delivered by helicopter: light infantry all the way.

Though you theoretically have CAS from the mothership, which is nice.

These will probably make a little more sense for places like AFRICOM and the Caribbean, where it’s a “waste” to keep an LPD or an LHA around.

There are 104 berths for the troops which means you can rest 312 troops a day by hot-bunking. Carrying much more than 300 troops would be problematic, though. But 300 troops deploying (with how much of their equipment?) at a service speed for the JHSV of 35 knots is pretty impressive. What I don’t know is how many JHSV’s it would take to deploy a battalion with all their equipment/vehicles. Or how frequently they would have to use Un-Rep to keep them going that speed and to reach port with enough fuel left to allow the ships to return to Un-Rep and return to their home port.

The JHSV has 104 bunks for the troops/marines, so you can hot bunk them and get each man 8 hours of rest/sleep per day. They won’t be on these ships for a week, given the limited range between underway-replenishiments, much more than 4 days would simply be incredibly difficult to stage. The lack of ability to make an assault type of landing is why the JHSV is more of a fast troop ship with limited ability to Abrams, but more ability to land LAV’s and the future MPC.
If the JHSV stage with a couple LCS (Indepence Class) as an escort they would also have several Blackhawks and/or AH-1Z Vipers for support. The LCS ought to find some use for that huge hanger bay.

HISTORY LESSON: The Royal Navy built their Destroyers out of aluminum in the Falkland Islands which killed a lot of fine British Sailors. Now we are putting 1500 Marines aboard this tin can awaiting for a cruise missile to find and acquire it’s target on some river. Remember it hard to dig a foxhole aboard a ship.

“Initial cost overuns”: The vessel design and technology is Australian, built to ISO and Maritime requirements. The design was modified by Australian designers to meet shock/ vibration requirements of Abrams tanks and CH-53 choppers. To qualify for US requirements, a US Company (Austal US) was founded. A US site was found, and bought. Manufacturing facilities were developed to DUPLICATE the facilities in Perth, WA. Skilled American personnel were hired, skilled workers and staff require wages commensurate with US conditions. The design would have been bought by US Govt to satisfy ITAR requirements. USN/ Marines/ Army most certainly would have required further changes to the submitted design. Its not an off-the-shelf item. Any changes to design, increase cost and delay to manufacturing. Americans assembled the vessel. The vessel was further inspected under US quality standards.

The COTS variant /was/ the Hawaii Superferry, which is now also owned by the Navy.

We’re all seeing how a president, and wussies band together to destroy a Navy, then a Military.
Anyone who served in what we can now call THE OLD NAVY. Might as well admit it. Politics, Lies, and Dependence on Government for handouts has made us…The Former United States of America.
Thanks to the noted Socialists who brag about their membership…IN CONGRESS.

KrazyCOL… Yes, without taking on more fuel, per the published specs, Spearhead can go from NYC to well beyond Daytona FL while carrying 635 tonnes.

Reducing speed 10% would reduce the corresponding power requirement by more than 27%, and assuming roughly similar brake specific fuel consumption from the diesels and roughly similar power conversion efficiency from the water jet pumps, that 10% reduction in speed would extend unrefueled range from 1200nm to roughly 1500nm. The NOAA chart shows the navigation distance from Boston Ma to the Florida Strait as 1408nm.


I agree it only has berthing for 104 troops sitting in airplane style seats for a few days just doesn’t cut it. Where are they going to sleep?

South China Sea, Spratly Islands.

Marines are Marines. I have no idea what branch the MARNES belong to. Is it an acronym of sorts?


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