Joint High Speed Vessel (JHSV)

Product Type:

High-Speed Troop and
Cargo Transport Vessel

Using Service (US):

Navy (and Army)

Program Status:

In Production

Prime Contractor:

Austal USA

The Joint High Speed Vessel (JHSV)

About the JHSV:

The Joint High Speed Vessel (JHSV) is a high-speed shallow draft ship designed for rapid intra-theater transport of troops, military vehicles, and equipment in support of U.S. Navy and U.S. Army operations. The ship is designed with an aluminum catamaran hull and propulsion is provided by four MTU 20V 8000 M71L diesel engines (9,100 kW each). The JHSV program merges the previous Army Theater Support Vessel (TSV) and the Navy High Speed Connector (HSC), thus taking advantage of the commonality between the two programs. However, in May 2011, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) announced the decision to transfer all Army JHSV ships to the Navy. The Navy will purchase a total of 10 JHSVs.

The JHSV is capable of transporting 600 short tons a distance of 1,200 nautical miles (1,381 miles/2,222 km) at an average speed of 35 knots (40 mph/65 kph). The ships will be capable of operating in shallow-draft ports and waterways and interface with roll-on/roll-off discharge facilities. Other features include a CH-53E capable flight deck to support day and night aircraft operations. The JHSV is a commercial-design, non-combatant transport vessel, and does not require the development of any new technology.

As a non-combatant ship, the crew on the JHSV will be civilians, either employed by or under contract to the U.S. Navy's Military Sealift Command. The ships require a crew of 41, and will feature airline-style seating for 312 troops and fixed berthing for 104 (+46 temporary berthings).

General Dynamics - Advanced Information Systems is the JHSV ship systems integrator and designs, integrates and tests the JHSV's electronic systems including an open architecture computing infrastructure (OPEN CI). The JHSV is equipped with a C4ISR suite consisting of a Network Suite (ISNS, ADNS and CENTRIXS-M), CBSP, Fleet Broadcast, UHF SATCOM Antenna, UHF/VHF LOS Suite and UHF SATCOM Radios, TVS-TVT, IA and RCS.

the Navy awarded a contract for the construction of JSHV 1 to Austal in 2008 with options for up to nine additional ships. Austal was awarded construction contracts for JHSV 8 and 9 on February 27, 2012. On December 27, Austal was awarded a construction contract for JHSV 10. The Navy accepted delivery of JHSV 1, USNS Spearhead, on December 6, 2012 and JHSV 2, USNS Choctaw County, on June 7, 2013. JHSV 3, USNS Millinocket, was christened on April 20, 2013 and delivered on March 21, 2014. USNS Fall River (JHSV 4) was christened on January 11, 2014 and delivered on September 15, 2014. The last ship in the class, the USNS Burlington (JHSV 10), is expected to be delivered in July 2017.

Armament/Ship Self-Defense:


Price/Unit Cost:

The unit cost of a JHSV is $185.1 million (FY 2012 end cost).

Total Cost - Life of Program (LoP):

The total procurement cost of the JHSV program is $2.06 billion (official DoD estimate) + $0.12 billion in research and development (RDT&E) funds, which means the total estimated program cost is $2.18 billion (numbers are aggregated annual funds spent over the life of the program and no price/inflation adjustment was made).


The JHSV provides combatant commanders with a high-speed, intra-theater sealift capability.

FY 2014 DoD Program:

Only limited funding allocated in FY 2014 for the JHSV program. Last ship was purchased in FY 2013. FY 2014 provides $1.0M in RDT&E funds.

FY 2015 DoD Program:

Only limited funding allocated in FY 2015 for the JHSV program. Last ship was purchased in FY 2013.

For more information, click to see the Complete FY 2015 Navy JHSV Budget.

Source: U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), Austal USA, and General Dynamics.

Specifications Armament DoD Spending FY2015 Budget

Last Update: November 3, 2014.

By Joakim Kasper Oestergaard Balle /// (

External Resources:

Austal USA: Joint High Speed Vessel (prime contractor)

General Dynamics: Joint High Speed Vessel
MTU: 20V 8000 M71L diesel engine

YouTube: Joint High Speed Vessel | YouTube Videos

Fact Sheet: Joint High Speed Vessel | Fact Sheet

Total JHSV Program Cost:

 $2.18 billion  ($2.06B procurement + $0.12B RDT&E)

JHSV Procurement Objective:

  10 ships

JHSV U.S. Defense Budget Charts:

DoD Spending on the Joint High Speed Vessel in FY 2011, FY 2012, FY 2013, FY 2014 and FY 2015
DoD Purchases of Joint High Speed Vessels in FY 2011, FY 2012, FY 2013, FY 2014 and FY 2015
Defense Budget Data

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DoD Spending, Procurement and RDT&E: FY 2011/12/13 + Budget for FYs 2014 + 2015

DoD Defense Spending, Procurement, Modifications, Spares, and RDT&E for the Joint High Speed Vessel (JHSV)

Download Official U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) Budget Data:

Shipbuilding | JHSV (NAVY)

Specifications: Joint High Speed Vessel (JHSV)

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Primary Function: Rapid intra-theater transport of troops, military vehicles, and equipment
Prime Contractor: Austal USA
Hull: Aluminum hull; round bilge, bulbous bow catamaran
Propulsion: 4x MTU 20V 8000 M71L diesel engines with 9,100 kW (each)
Length: 338 ft (103 m)
Beam: 93.5 ft (28.5 m)
Draft: 12.6 ft (3.8 m)
Full Load Displacement: 2,397 metric tons
Capacity: Troop Seats: 312; Troop Berthings: 104 (+46 temporary berthings)
Speed: Fully Loaded: 35 kts/40 mph (65 km/h); Max: 43 kts/49 mph (80 km/h) with no payload
Flight Deck: CH-53E capable
Range: Fully Loaded: 1,200 nm/1,381 miles (2,222 km);
With No Payload: 5,600 nm/6,444 miles (10,371 km)
Armament/Ship Self-Defense: None
Crew: 41
Price/Unit Cost: $185.1 million end cost (FY 2012)
Deployed: January 16, 2014


USNS Spearhead (JHSV 1) - Delivered
USNS Choctaw County (JHSV 2) - Delivered
USNS Millinocket (JHSV 3) - Delivered
USNS Fall River (JHSV 4) - Delivered
USNS Trenton (JHSV 5) - Under construction, to be delivered in January 2015
USNS Brunswick (JHSV 6) - Planned, to be delivered in July 2015
USNS Carson City (JHSV 7) - Planned, to be delivered in January 2016
USNS Yuma (JHSV 8) - Planned, to be delivered in July 2016
USNS Bismarck (JHSV 9) - Planned, to be delivered in January 2017
USNS Burlington (JHSV 10) - Planned, to be delivered in July 2017

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