Navy's new high-speed transport vessel completes final contract trials

July 29, 2013 at 4:04 PM

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va., July 29 (UPI) -- The Navy's first high-speed fast intra-theater transport for troops, vehicles and equipment has successfully completed its final contract trials.

The Navy said the USNS Spearhead, built in Alabama by Austal, proved to meet Navy standards and requirements and will undergo operational and live-fire testing.

"The Navy's Board of Inspection and Survey has confirmed Spearhead is materially ready for operations," said Capt. Henry Stevens, Strategic and Theater Sealift program manager for Program Executive Office Ships.

"These first trials involving the ship's crew have ensured that all equipment has been fully tested prior to the expiration of her warranty period. This ensures that the ship and crew will be ready to conduct sustained fleet operations upon completion of her post-shakedown availability."

Final contract trials are a component of a ship's post-delivery test period and mark the final in-depth examination of a newly constructed ship to ensure it meets Navy standards and requirements. Spearhead completed the trials July 12.

Construction of the Spearhead was completed this month.

Joint high-speed vessels such as the Spearhead will be able to transport 600 short tons a distance of 1,200 nautical miles at an average speed of 35 knots. They can also carry 360 troops in addition to the ship's crew complement.

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