MOBILE, Ala. (NNS) -- Fabrication of the future USNS Vigilant (JHSV 2), the first joint high speed vessel (JHSV) to be operated by the Navy, began Sept. 13 at the Austal USA shipyard in Mobile, Ala.
The JHSV will be used for fast intra-theater transportation of troops, military vehicles and equipment.
The Navy's Strategic and Theater Sealift Program (PMS 385) in the Program Executive Office (PEO) Ships is procuring the vessels for both the Army and the Navy.
Vigilant is the second vessel in the class. The first, the future U.S. Army vessel USAV Spearhead (JHSV 1), is scheduled for delivery to the Army in 2012.
"I am proud to see construction begin for the first Navy JHSV," said Capt. George M. Sutton, PMS 385 program manager. "The implementation of proven commercial technology will help us deliver better value to the taxpayer, producing a top-quality ship delivered on time and within budget."
The JHSV program merges the previous Army theater support vessel and the Navy high speed connector to decrease costs by taking advantage of the inherent commonality between the existing programs. Significant production and financial risk has been avoided by implementing proven technology, ensuring stable requirements, minimizing change and through the ruthless pursuit of cost reduction and efficiency.
"Our drive for affordability and efficiency are the cornerstones of the JHSV program," said Sutton.
PEO Ships is responsible for the development and acquisition of U.S. Navy surface ships and is currently managing the design and construction of 10 major surface ships classes and small boats and craft.
The PEO is committed to ensuring that prior to the start of ship construction, each program completes an exhaustive production readiness review to demonstrate the design is mature and the requirements are well understood. Fully maturing the design prior to the start of construction is one of a number of initiatives the PEO is undertaking to reduce costs in shipbuilding.
For more news from Naval Sea Systems Command, visit www.navy.mil/local/navsea/.