Building on the on-time and on-budget delivery of two 72m High Speed Support Vessels (HSSVs) to the Royal Navy of Oman (RNO) in 2016, Australian shipbuilder Austal (A-015) has announced an expanded HSSV design portfolio that includes a new 113m variant shown for the first time at NAVDEX.
In common with the US Navy’s proven 103m Expeditionary Fast Transport (EFT) platform – designed and built by Austal and now operating with the US 5th Fleet in the Middle East region – the HSSV’s sealift capabilities support a broad range of naval logistics operations.
The all-aluminium, twin-hulled HSSV features a shallow draft that enables the fast, effective deployment of hundreds of personnel and equipment, wheeled and tracked vehicles and cargo, with medium- or heavy-lift aviation support options available for joint force military operations and other missions, such as search and rescue, humanitarian aid and disaster relief.
Furthermore, the HSSV’s unique open design can be customised to achieve even greater mission flexibility. For example, it is possible to integrate specialist mission packages such as mine warfare, hydrographic survey and research, and special forces operations.
Austal has to date delivered seven EFT ships to the US Navy, including USNS Millinocket pictured here, and will deliver a further five through to 2021. All have been built at Austal USA’s yard at Mobile, Alabama.
The two HSSVs for the RNO – RNOV Al Mubshir and RNOV Al Naasir – were both built at Austal’s Henderson yard in Western Australia. This facility also built the 101m aluminium fast ferry WestPac Express, which has been on charter to the US Marines Corps for the past 15 years.