The U.S. Navy’s 10th Expeditionary Fast Transport ship, the future USNS Burlington (EPF 10), successfully completed Acceptance Trials on Aug. 3 after two days of underway evaluation in the Gulf of Mexico.
The ship successfully demonstrated the readiness of its equipment and systems for operations, both dockside and underway, for the Navy’s Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV). The ship returned to the Austal USA shipyard and will now begin preparations for delivery to the Navy later this year.
“Acceptance trials are a major step towards delivering Burlington to the Navy,” said Capt. Scot Searles, Strategic and Theater Sealift program manager, Program Executive Office (PEO)Ships. “The ship performed very well this week, which is a great reflection of the commitment of our industry and government team to delivering quality ships.”
The keel of Burlington was laid by Austal USA at the company’s Mobile, Alabama shipyard in Sept. 2017 and she was launched on March 1 this year. The vessel completed her builder’s trials on June 29, performing various tests to demonstrate the ship’s readiness, including calibration of communication and navigational systems, ship propulsion, ride control, and anchor handling.
The future USNS Burlington, designated T-EPF 10, will be the first ship in naval service to honor Burlington, Vermont’s largest city. The first Navy ship Burlington (PF-51) was named for Burlington, Iowa, and served during World War II.
EPFs are versatile, non-combatant vessels designed to operate in shallow-draft ports and waterways, increasing operational flexibility for a wide range of activities including maneuver and sustainment, relief operations in small or damaged ports, flexible logistics support, or as the key enabler for rapid transport.
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 (MBT). Each vessel includes a flight deck to support day and night aircraft launch and recovery operations. Burlington 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. Also under construction at Austal are future USNS Puerto Rico (EPF 11) and future USNS Newport (EPF 12).
As one of the Defense Department’s largest acquisition organizations, PEO Ships is responsible for executing the development and procurement of all destroyers, amphibious ships, sealift ships, support ships, boats, and craft.