Austal USA has been awarded a US$57.8 million order to fund the procurement of long lead-time materials (LLTM) for the construction of the U.S. Navy’s thirteenth 103-meter Expeditionary Fast Transport (EPF) vessel, EPF-13.
Long lead-time materials for the additional vessel will include diesel engines, water jets and reduction gears.
Austal was awarded the initial contract to design and build the first 103-meter EPF in November 2008. The EPF is a high speed, shallow draft catamaran, designed for rapid intra-theatre transport of troops and cargo. Reaching rapid speeds of 35+ knots allows the EPF to be used for rapid deployment of conventional and special-forces with their equipment and supplies.
EPF class ships are able to transport 600 short tons of military cargo, 1,200 nautical miles, at an average speed of 35 knots. They 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. Each vessel includes a flight deck to support day and night aircraft launch and recovery operations. The EPF class ships will have airline-style seating for 312 embarked forces with fixed berthing for 104.
The EPF program delivered its ninth ship, USNS City of Bismarck (T-EPF 9) late last year. Three additional EPFs are under construction at Austal USA including future USNS Puerto Rico (EPF 11) and future USNS Newport (EPF 12).