VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP/WAVY) – A new breed of Navy ship is preparing to begin its maiden deployment.
The USNS Spearhead is a joint high-speed vessel that can be called upon by the Army or Navy to deliver people and equipment. The ship leaves Virginia on its way to Europe and Africa on Thursday. Weather delayed the deployed a day.
The expansive ship is a large catamaran made of aluminum that can carry about 600 tons about 1,200 nautical miles. With an average speed of about 40 miles per hour, the ship is designed to act as a sort of high-speed ferry in specific regions of the globe. By comparison, the Navy’s amphibious transport docks travel at about 24 miles per hour.
The Navy says the high-speed vessel’s missions could include anything from carrying a containerized portable hospital to transporting tanks.