ComNavOps has previously expressed doubt about the intended role of the JHSV (see, “JHSV”) and nothing has happened to change that. That aside, the JHSV appears to be largely meeting its designed capabilities with a few notable exceptions. Frankly, it’s a welcome relief to see a Navy shipbuilding program largely succeed even if the intended role is questionable.
The FY2013 DOT&E report (1) highlights a few shortcomings with a couple related to range being noteworthy.
“USNS Spearhead cannot make the required 23 knot, 4,700 nautical mile light ship self-deployment transit; current analysis shows a 682 nautical mile deficit assuming a 90 percent starting fuel load with an ending fuel load of 10,000 gallons.”
“It appears that USNS Spearhead cannot make the required 35 knot, 1,200 nautical mile, fully loaded (600 short tons) transit.”
“USNS Spearhead is roughly 12.5 short tons over the predicted outfitted weight.”
“The JHSV’s organic container load trailer is not effective for loading 20-foot long metal storage containers. During the IOT&E, the test team took five hours to connect the container load trailer with a storage container and failed to load it aboard the ship.”
On the plus side, the main functions of transporting cargo and personnel and supporting the personnel appear to have been fully achieved. In short, the vessel appears to have generally met its design goals. Kind of refreshing, actually, even though I remain doubtful about its usefulness!
(1) Director, Operational Test and Evaluation, FY 2013 Annual Report