Austal USA christened the Joint High Speed Vessel Brunswick (JHSV 6) over the weekend at its shipyard in Mobile, Ala. The Brunswick is the sixth of 10 JHSVs that Austal has under contract with the Navy as part of an overall 10-ship block-buy contract worth over $1.6 billion.

JHSV 6, a 338' shallow-draft aluminum catamaran, is a multimission, non-combatant transport vessel characterized by its high volume, high speed, and flexibility. It is the fourth vessel to be named Brunswick after the seaport city located on the southeast coast of Georgia. The city of Brunswick played an important role during World War II as the site of a 435-acre shipyard that employed up to 16,000 workers at its peak. The yard produced 99 Liberty ships by the end of the war.

Brunswick displays American values of community, hospitality and resourcefulness at their very best,” said Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus. “I chose to name the Joint High Speed Vessel after Brunswick to honor those values and the men and women of the city, as well as the state of Georgia."

Brunswick is the result of the successful industry/Department of Defense partnership that has developed between Austal USA, Military Sealift Command and the Navy,” said Craig Perciavalle, president of Austal USA. “We’re very excited about how stable and mature the JHSV program has become as we prepare JHSV 6 for trials and delivery in the fall.” 

Brunswick will soon join her sister JHSVs that have been delivered over the last two-and-a-half years including Spearhead (JHSV 1) which is deep into her second deployment since she was delivered in 2012. “The fast-growing JHSV fleet has proven to be flexible in ways we didn’t even consider when this program first started,” said Perciavalle, “Without the dedication and pride of the hard-working individuals that make up Austal’s awesome shipbuilding team, this program wouldn’t be experiencing the success we’re celebrating today.”

More than 300 naval guests, civic leaders, community members and Austal employees attended the ceremony held beneath the hull of Brunswick in the Austal final assembly bay.

Three JHSVs and seven Littoral Combat Ships (LCS) are currently under construction at Austal’s Mobile shipyard. The company is scheduled to launch JHSV 6 before the end of the month, while the future Jackson (LCS 6) prepares for its acceptance sea trials later this summer.

For the LCS and JHSV programs, Austal, as prime contractor, is teamed with General Dynamics Mission Systems, a business unit of General Dynamics. For the JHSV program, General Dynamics is responsible for the design, integration and testing of the navigation and communication systems, C4I and aviation systems.

Ken Hocke has been the senior editor of WorkBoat since 1999. He was the associate editor of WorkBoat from 1997 to 1999. Prior to that, he was the editor of the Daily Shipping Guide, a transportation daily in New Orleans. He has written for other publications including The Times-Picayune. He graduated from Louisiana State University with an arts and sciences degree, with a concentration in English, in 1978.