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Austal to build new Expeditionary Fast Transport ship for US Navy.

| 2022

According to information published by Austal on May 4, 2022, the firm announced that it was awarded a $230.5 million contract for the detailed design and construction of EPF 16, the Navy’s newest Expeditionary Fast Transport (EPF) ship.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Expeditionary Fast Transport 7 (Picture source: Austal)

Austal USA has successfully delivered 12 EPFs, on schedule and on budget. Three additional EPFs are currently under construction. EPFs have demonstrated their operational capability to conduct a variety of missions including humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, maritime security, surveillance, command and control, and counter-narcotic missions around the globe.

The inherent versatility of the EPF design allows for its mission to be tailored to the needs of each fleet and combatant commander’s geographic command.

EPF 16 will be the third ship constructed in the Flight II configuration. Flight II ships will enhance the original capabilities of the Spearhead class through incorporation of reconfigurable spaces for operating rooms and postsurgical recovery efforts. Combined with the ship’s flight deck that is capable of landing V-22 aircraft, Flight II ships provide unmatched versatility.

Construction efforts on EPF 16 are expected to commence later this year with delivery projected for 2025. Austal USA is currently under contract to build additional EPFs, the Independence-variant Littoral Combat Ship, and the Navajo-class Towing, Salvage, and Rescue ships (T-ATS) and is supporting Navy unmanned vessel programs leveraging its advanced machinery control system.

The EPF is an aluminum twin-hull catamaran shell containing four diesel engines, rudimentary facilities for up to 40 crewmembers, and 312 airline-style passenger seats. The vessel has a length of 103 m, a beam of 28.5 m and a draft of 3.83 m, and a displacement of 1,515 tons.

EPF is powered by four MTU 20V8000 M71L diesel engines driving four Wartsila WLD 1400 SR waterjets via four ZF 60000NR2H reduction gears. She can reach a maximum speed of 43 knots (80 km/h) with a maximum cruising range of 1,200 nautical miles (2,200 km).

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