MOBILE, Ala., June 7 (UPI) -- Austral Shipyard in Alabama reports it has successfully launched a third high-speed intra-theater transport ship for the U.S. Navy.
The USNS Millinocket is now being prepared for a series of shipbuilder trials prior to its evaluation later this year by the Navy's Board of Inspection and Survey.
"This launch is an important achievement for the program, as it's the first time the ship has entered the water," Joint High Speed Vessel Program Manager Capt. Henry Stevens said. "Launching signifies a ship is ready to enter into the final phase of construction, including test and activation of major equipment such as the propulsion plant."
JHSVs transport 600 tons for 1,200 nautical miles at an average speed of 35 knots and operate in shallow-draft ports and waters. They also feature a flight deck.
Berthing on the ships are for 104 personnel with airline-style seating for as many as 312 people.
Austral said a fourth JHSV is under construction at the shipyard.
Austal delivered the first of 10 JHSVs to the Navy in December of last year.