The second, third and fourth vessels of Austal USA’s Joint High Speed Vessel contract have all achieved milestones in the past few months.
The USNS Choctaw County, number 2 in the contract, was delivered to the United States Navy June 6, exactly six months after delivery of the first vessel, the Spearhead.
On the day before delivery of the Choctaw County, the third ship, the USNS Millinocket, was launched — a complex project that involves lifting the ship three feet into the air and onto a barge, barging it down river a half mile, transferring it to a floating dry dock at BAE Systems and submerging the dry dock, before towing the Millinocket back upriver to Austal for final outfitting.
And in late May, the company celebrated the keel laying for the fourth JHSV, the Fall River, which is slated for delivery next year.
Text by Nedra Bloom