MOBILE, Ala., May 8 (UPI) -- The keel for the third Joint High Speed Vessel being built for the U.S. Navy has been laid at Austal USA's shipyard in Alabama.
The JHSV is a high-speed, shallow-draft vessel for intra-theater transportation of troops and supplies.
It is 337 feet long and can carry more than 300 troops and 600 tons of supplies over a range of 1,200 nautical miles at an average speed of 35 knots.
The modularly constructed vessel, which can operate in shallow-draft environments, also features a flight deck for helicopter operations.
"This keel laying of the third JHSV is an important milestone," said Capt. Henry Stevens, the Strategic and Theater Sealift program manager for PEO Ships. "We are now beginning to see the fruits of serial production and what it can mean to shipbuilding efficiency."
The Navy's PEO Ships is responsible for the development and procurement of destroyers, amphibious ships, special mission and support ships, and special warfare craft.
The JHSV-3, the Fortitude, is more than 30 percent complete.