Sunday, February 8, 2009

Excellent links on LCS and JHSV in Australian Professor's post today

Australian National University Lecturer Tom Worthington had another good post today comparing JHSV to LCS. There seem to be a number of articles doing that recently. Worthington previously posted back in 2005 some of the first entries on the Internet regarding the Australian designed Chinese Navy's Type 022 Houbei Class offensive catamaran, what I call the Houbei Class "Hellcat."

In particular Worthington cites two nice new links. One is an article from the January issue of the U.S. Naval Institute's Proceedings, see: "Checkered Past, Uncertain Future" by Commander Otto Kreisher, U.S. Navy Reserve (Retired) in Proceedings U.S. NAVAL INSTITUTE, January 2009. The article by Otto Kreisher is excellent, one of a kind reporting on the LCS. Anybody wanting to understand LCS, JHSV, and the troubled concept of developing military vessels from commercial aluminium vessels should click over to there and read that article.

I will point out, though, just one mistake that I noticed Mr. Kreisher made in the above Proceedings article. Kreisher wrote, "General Dynamics' LCS-2, called the Independence, is based on the ferry design seen in the High-Speed Vessel Swift (HSV-2) that the U.S. military has been leasing." This is incorrect. LCS-2 is based on the commercial design of Benchijigua Express (An Auto Express 127 high speed vehicle-passenger trimaran ferry Video Available), a fast ferry that has been slicing through Canary Island waters with unique size, speed, and momentum.

The other good link that Worthington provides are some newly available graphics on the JHSV-1 design. Those are here and here. They are still leaving out disclosure of any significant changes to the hull design that may be contemplated regarding seakeeping deficiencies.


Sunday, February 8, 2009
"Australian design selected for U.S. Military Transport Ships"

The design from West Australian based Austal has been selected by the US Department of Defence for the Joint High Speed Vessel (JHSV), worth around US$1.6 billion, if all ten ships are built. The aluminium 103-metre ship design is derived from that of Austal's car ferries, one of which, the “WestPac Express” was leased to the US Marines. Austral's main rival is also Australian: Incat of Hobart, who have also leased ships to the US military. One reason for Australia's success in building such ships is expertise in welding aluminium.

The JHSV ships will be built in Mobile, Alabama, USA, not in Australia. These vessels are likely to be less controversial than the Littoral Combat Ship, USS Independence (LCS 2), being completed by Austal. The Independence was due for sea trials in early 2009. But both it and the competing design from Lockeed Martin (USS Freedom LCS1) have had problems with delays and cost overruns. See: "Checkered Past, Uncertain Future" By Commander Otto Kreisher, U.S. Navy Reserve (Retired) in Proceedings U.S. NAVAL INSTITUTE, January 2009.

Unlike the complex weapons and sensors used in the LCS ships, the JHSVs are more basic conversions of civilian transport ship design. Also the role of the transport ships is less controversial. This raises the interesting possibility of using the JHSVs for some of the roles envisaged for the LCSs... posted by Tom Worthington

Aloha, Brad

1 comment:

MauiBrad said...

A day after the Professor and we called attention to it, MarineLog had a report yesterday on this that included the following quote:

"Though broadly similar to Austal designs such as the slightly larger Hawaii Superferry, it offers quite a few features not found on its commercial counterparts, weapons mounts among them."

Actually, the 'Alakai' is about the same size. It is the one people are calling the 'Koa' that is slightly larger. Also, FWIW, those weapons mounts on JHSV-1, out there on perches at the points, look like easy targets for return fire.