The U.S. Navy accepted delivery of the twelfth Expeditionary Fast Transport (EPF) vessel, USNS Newport (T-EPF 12), Sep. 2. USNS Newport (EPF 12) has been delivered to the United States Navy from Austal USA’s state-of-the-art shipyard in Mobile, Alabama. USNS Newport is the 12th Spearhead-class Expeditionary Fast Transport (EPF) ship to be delivered to the United States Navy – and brings the total number of ships delivered to the Navy by Austal USA to 24 in ten years, including three this year.
The Spearhead-class EPF is a 103-metre high-speed aluminium catamaran with a large, 1800 square metre cargo deck, medium-lift helicopter deck and seating for 300+ embarked troops; providing a fast, high-payload transport capability to combatant commanders around the world. The Austal-designed EPFs support a wide range of missions – from maritime security operations to humanitarian aid and disaster relief. An EPF’s flexibility also allows it to support potential future missions; such as special operations, command and control, and primary medical operations.
“Austal USA has now delivered 24 ships to the US Navy, in just over ten years, including three in this year alone. This is a remarkable achievement and testament to the productivity and efficiency of the shipyard, which is now expanding to enable the shipbuilding and support of steel vessels. The ongoing, successful delivery of both the Spearhead-class EPF and Independence-class LCS shipbuilding programs has positioned the Austal USA shipyard to pursue new aluminium and steel shipbuilding opportunities in the future,” Austal Chief Executive Officer David Singleton said.
T-EPF 12 will be owned and operated by Military Sealift Command. EPFs are capable of transporting 600 short tons 1,200 nautical miles at an average speed of 35 knots. Each vessel includes a flight deck to support day and night aircraft launch and recovery operations. The ships are capable of interfacing with roll-on/roll-off discharge facilities, as well as on/off-loading vehicles such as a fully combat-loaded Abrams Main Battle Tank. Austal USA is in production on the future USNS Apalachicola (EPF 13) and is under contract to build the future USNS Cody (EPF 14).