Austal USA has started the fabrication of U.S. Navy’s 14th Expeditionary Fast Transport Ship, the future USNS Cody (T-EPF 14), at its shipyard in Mobile, Alabama on Oct. 14.
The start of fabrication signifies the procurement of materials and components, and the shipyard’s ability to begin fabrication on the hull.
Last week, Austal USA started fabrication of the @USNavy’s newest Expeditionary Fast Transport ship, the future #USNSCody (T-#EPF 14). The start of fabrication signifies the procurement of materials and components, and the shipyard’s ability to begin fabrication on the hull. pic.twitter.com/QAf9jybw67
— Austal USA (@Austal_USA) October 20, 2020
Once commissioned, the future USNS Cody will be operated by the Navy’s Military Sealift Command. She will be the first ship in naval service named after Cody, Wyoming.
In 2019, Austal Limited was awarded a USD261 million contract for two additional Expeditionary Fast Transport Ships, EPF-13 and EPF-14, by the U.S. Navy. The construction of the 13th vessel of the class, the future USNS Apalachicola (T-EPF-13), began on August 19.
The EPF’s large, open-mission deck and large habitable spaces provide the opportunity to conduct a wide range of missions including engagement and humanitarian assistance to disaster relief, maritime security support operations, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance across the world.
The design of the EPF has a shallow draft of 13 feet and an advanced water jet propulsion system, enabling speeds greater than 40 knots. This capability provides EPF the versatility to access austere and degraded ports with minimal external assistance, enabling the vessels to support requirements in special operations, command and control, and support operations.
The 14-ship, EPF program has to date been worth over US$2 billion.