The Joint High Speed Vessel (JHSV) is a class of high speed intratheater transport that is being looked at for a variety of additional missions and tasks. The DOT&E 2015 Annual Report offers a look at the use of the JHSV as transport to/from the Navy’s Mobile Landing Platform (MLP – essentially, the sea base). Unfortunately, the JHSV was found to be unsuited for connecting with the MLP due to the JHSV’s ramp design limitations.
“JHSV interoperability with MLP (CCS) is not operationally effective since, by design (ramp limitation), it can only conduct vehicle transfers when conducted in sea states with significant wave heights of less than 0.1 meters (approximates a Sea State 1), which are normally found only in protected harbors.”
“JHSV is not operationally effective interfacing with MLP (CCS) for open-ocean, at-sea transfer of vehicles. The JHSV ramp cannot handle the small, but continual, relative movement of the two ships when moored skin-to-skin. Although vehicles were successfully transferred inside a protected harbor, transfer operations at-sea failed.”
“The operational restriction of the JHSV’s Safe Operating Envelope (SOE) is a major limitation of the ship class that must be factored into all missions.”
The ships were built a bit too weak and significant bow damage has occurred due to higher sea states, forcing the Navy to strengthen and rebuild the bows of all the ships. Still, the ship’s main asset, speed, will be subject to limitations.
“To utilize the speed capability of the ship, seas must not exceed Sea State 3 (significant wave height up to 1.25 meters).
(significant wave height up to 2.5 meters), the ship must slow to 15 knots. At Sea State 5
(significant wave height up to 4 meters), the ship must slow to 5 knots. Above
Sea State 5, the ship can only hold position and await calmer seas.” At Sea State
|Some Significant Limitations|
The JHSV’s purpose and usefulness has always been questionable, in my mind, and the imposed limitations only add to that doubt.