Austal Limited delivered USNS Newport (EPF 12) to the United States Navy from Austal USA’s shipyard in Mobile, Alabama, the company announced.
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.
Austal Chief Executive Officer David Singleton said the delivery of EPF 12 by Austal USA further strengthens the status of its Mobile, Alabama shipyard as an industry-leading facility.
“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,” Mr Singleton said.
“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.”
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.
One additional Spearhead-class EPF is under construction at Austal USA’s shipyard; the future USNS Apalachicola (EPF 13), while the future USNS Cody (EPF 14) is scheduled to commence construction before the end of the year.
In addition to the EPF program, Austal USA is contracted to deliver 19 Independence-class Littoral Combat Ships (LCS) for the U.S. Navy. Twelve Independence-class LCSs have been delivered, with an additional five ships in various stages of construction and two contracted but yet to start.