The ship, he says, can reach its top speed of just more than 40 kt. in about a minute and a quarter. It can accommodate most Navy helicopters, and there are plans to test the capability to handle a hovering V-22 Osprey.
With its stern ramp, shallow draft and unique bridge-wing maneuvering console, the Spearhead can operate in areas many other naval vessels cannot. The most difficult task now, Casavant says, could be finding out just what the ship is capable of and how the Navy can best leverage that potential.
“Getting the fleet to appreciate just what we are capable of, that’s going to be an undertaking,” he says. “A lot of ideas that may have sounded crazy in the past are now possible.”