Colonna’s Shipyard is being awarded a contract for a 67-calendar day shipyard availability for the regular overhaul and dry-docking of USNS Spearhead (T-EPF 1), the first Spearhead-class expeditionary fast transport vessel of the U.S. Navy.
The firm, fixed-price contract, worth around $10 million, by the Navy’s Military Sealift Command (MSC), which operates the vessel. The contract includes options which, if exercised would bring the total contract value to aroun $11.8 million.
Work will be performed in Norfolk, Virginia, and is expected to completed, if all options are exercised, by Jan. 10, 2019.
Spearhead (formerly Joint High Speed Vessel, JHSV-1) is 103 metres long and 28.5 metres in beam, and has a draft of 3.83 metres. She is powered by four 12,200 hp MTU 20V8000 M71L engines, driving four Wärtsilä WLD 1400 SR waterjets through ZF 60000NR2H reduction gears. This allows for a maximum speed of 43 knots and a service speed of 35 knots.
Spearhead, as well as other ships of her class, are built to a modular design that allows them to be rapidly refitted with various equipment within a 20,000 square feet bay depending on the mission at hand. Spearhead is planned for non-combat missions, such as transportation of troops or equipment.
The vessel has space for 41 crewmembers, though under normal conditions will sail with 22, as well as sleeping accommodations for up to 150 people and an additional 312 seats for troop transport. There are also facilities for one helicopter.
Construction of Spearhead began on 22 July 2010, when the ship’s keel was laid at the Austal facility in Mobile, Alabama. Spearhead was launched on 8 September 2011, christened on 17 September 2011 and was formally delivered to the Navy on 5 December 2012.