Monday, February 25, 2013


Well, the JHSV topic generated more discussion than I anticipated!  Here’s a few follow up thoughts.

Relative to an amphibious transport or a cargo ship, the JHSV offers only a small capacity.  Its benefit lies in the ability to deliver its cargo to otherwise inaccessible ports and, debatably, its speed.  Whether there is a valid need to deliver cargo to marginally accessible ports in the rear of a combat zone is also debatable.  And, before anyone types out a response, whatever future uses the JHSV may be adapted for, the fact is that it cannot perform combat zone deliveries currently.

I can see a possible need for movement of cargo (men and equipment) from a larger ship to a marginally accessible port but it seems like a better option would be to design an actual cargo ship to do that.  In that regard, as a simple unloading vehicle, the need for high speed seems highly questionable.

Moving on, the origins of ship classes fascinate me.  Understanding the factors that lead to a ship class’ design is always highly informative and, yet, often lost in the subsequent discussions about the merits and costs of the class.

The LCS, for instance, originated not due to a perceived need for a littoral combat vessel but because the Navy was faced with the end of the Cold War, resulting budget cuts, and a perceived lack of mission.  In other words, the Navy was facing a very real possibility of becoming the neglected step-sister of the services.  In response, you may recall that the Navy commissioned several studies and papers to try to enumerate a role in the post-Cold War era and largely failed.  They then latched onto the concept of “littoral” (though that was a spurious concept as we’ve shown in previous posts) and used that to sell Congress on the need for a new vessel.  Hence, the LCS was born.  The Navy simply wanted hulls in the water (to ensure its slice of the budget pie) and didn’t really care what they looked like or could do.  They’d worry about that later.

By comparison, I have no idea what the origin of the JHSV was.  There was no compelling need spelled out by the Navy and I can see no other budgetary imperative.  If the need was so compelling, why did the Navy so readily downsize the class with little fuss or argument?  If the need wasn’t compelling, as I suspect, than what was the real impetus for the class?  If anyone has any thoughts on this, please share them.


  1. And remember POWER in the DoD comes from how much you spend. Sounds retarded.......and it is but its reality.

    The Air force uses more people to do a job than any other force. I know guy who has been in for two years basicly works at home shuffling paperwork.

    Maintanence is done by a person learning to do one then and then devoting massive amounts of people to this job. All of these service members spell something. $$$$
    Each one of those men and women spends money off base............A LOT of money. Each also means more jobs for the area. None of this takes into account the contractors.

    Which brings us to the LCS. The LCS wont be worked on or maintained by the Navy. ITS A FIGHTER...which ironicly has no ability to fight. But it does provide MASSIVE subsidies to the contractors who follow it around constantly.

    DDG-1000, LCS, JHSV, etc. All represent that group of people who think that the world fits what they see in it not what it is. The LCS job calls for a frigate. But we dont need that even though we litteraly have described the job title of "Frigate" when describing what the LCS was supposed to do.

    sigh....The Navy exist to keep peace on the seas and ensure we can do whatever we want to do anywhere.

    The great stupidity of the modern Western Citizen...we have been so dominant for so long we have been fooled into believing the lie that the world is a good safe place.......if only we would lay down our weapons....

  2. JHSV can perform "combat zone deliveries" as well as an LCAC or LCU.

    I'm partially in your camp with regards to the speed issue. The cat hull form also has a rather shallow draft, but I have a feeling you could build a 20-25kt monohull with the same "ton-mile/hour" capability for less, but with similar port accessibility.

    It kinda makes me wonder if some MPF ships should be of a smaller, more numerous design, meant to go directly into these smaller ports. Obviously if there is actually a large, modern port available, then bigger ships like the LMSR would win out big in the ton-mile/hour metric. But if you could skip trans-loading cargo from LMSRs to port or MLP, to JHSV or landing craft it could save a lot of time.

  3. If I am correct I seem to recall this programme was launched from within the Army as a fast intra-theater connector or something..sounds a bell??

    1. As I recall, both the Army and Navy had similar high speed transport programs in development which eventually merged into the JHSV. At one point, the Army was going to procure and man its own JHSVs but wound up dropping that requirement in favor of having the Navy procure and man all vessels.

  4. You're all edging around it. The Army has always had its own "navy" of sorts and they wanted a vessal of this nature to speed up the discharge of cargo vessals in the situation where no suitable deep water port was available and to move cargo within the area of operations.

    The speed is important because the faster the 'cycle time', the faster the discharge of the cargo vessal. (Cycle time is the time it takes to complete one 'round trip when loading or discharging a cargo vessal.) The lower the cycle time, the more quickly the cargo is in the hands of the troops.

    There were a pair of test vessals used for some time, with the Navy and Army taking turns with them. The Navy is building the operational vessals, probably because the Navy doesn't like the Army having ships any more than the Air Force likes the Army having aircraft.


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