MOBILE, Ala., July 9 (UPI) -- Builder trials of the U.S. Navy's fourth Joint High Speed Vessel, the future USNS Fall River, have been successfully completed, the Austal USA announced.
The trials, conducted while the vessel was at sea, tested the performance of major systems, including propulsion, communications, navigation and ride-control systems.
"Fall River follows in the footsteps of the first three vessels with positive and consistent testing and demonstrations," said Strategic and Theater Sealift Program Manager Capt. Henry Stevens.
"The ship's keel was laid just a little over a year ago and she was launched earlier this year. We expect to have her fully operational by the end of this year.
"The momentum of this program and the quality of these ships is a true testament to the hard work of the shipbuilder and the Navy," he said.
JHSVs are shallow draft vessels for rapid intra-theater transport of cargo and troops. The vessels are nearly 338 feet long and have a speed of more than 40 miles per hour and a range of 1,200 nautical miles.
Following Austal's testing, the future USNS Fall River will undergo Navy acceptance trials, during which the Navy's Board of Inspection and Survey will inspect and evaluate the ship to identify any deficiencies.
Austal expects to officially deliver the ship to the Navy later this year.