The Joint High Speed Vessel (JHSV) is beginning to join the fleet and ComNavOps is beginning to wonder what these vessels will be used for. The stated purpose is intratheater high speed transport of troops and vehicles. Does this make sense?
First, let’s take a quick look at the few specs that are available.
Class Size = 10 ships
Speed = 35 kts – 45 kts
Range = 1200 nm
Troop Capacity = 300 seated airline style or 100 in berths
Weight Capacity = 600 tons
Crew = 22 civilian mariners
Cost = $250M each, $2.5B program
Aviation = flight deck for a single medium helo, no hangar
So, back to our question. How will this vessel be used and does it make sense? Clearly, this is a non-combat vessel, built to commercial standards, and crewed by civilians. Thus, the JHSV is not an amphibious assault vessel of any kind. That leaves peacetime transport. Do we have a pressing need for high speed transport of a relatively small number of troops during peacetime operations? I’d be hard pressed to come up with a scenario where that was required.
|JHSV - What Purpose?|
I suppose we could also consider its use in a wartime scenario where it operated far in the rear of the naval front lines and acted as a shuttle. Again, though, is there a pressing need to quickly move 100 – 300 troops far in the rear of a battle zone?
I can see a use for the JHSV as a humanitarian aid vessel but that’s not really a Navy mission. OK, actually it is an official mission but it shouldn’t be. I’ll make that a topic for another day.
In short, I don’t see the pressing need for this ship. Help me out, readers. What demonstrated need does this vessel fill?