Austal's first high-speed ship completes U.S. Navy acceptance trials

WASHINGTON Thu Aug 30, 2012 6:43pm EDT

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Navy's first Joint High Speed Vessel, a catamaran transport ship built by Australia's Austal, has passed a comprehensive set of Navy performance and equipment tests, the U.S. unit of the company said on Thursday.

Austal said completion of the Navy acceptance trials marked the last significant milestone for the ship, USNS Spearhead. The company did not say when it would be delivered to the Navy.

The second ship in the new class is due to be christened on September 15 at Austal's facility in Mobile, Alabama, where two other ships are under construction.

The shipyard returned to normal operations on Thursday after being closed for two days due to Hurricane Isaac.

Austal spokesman Craig Hooper said the shipyard survived the hurricane "completely unscathed," but the company was continuing to make improvements aimed at protecting its ships from harm during hurricanes.

(Reporting By Andrea Shalal-Esa)

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