Austal launches 12nd expeditionary fast transport vessel
Alabama shipbuilder Austal USA launched the future expeditionary fast transport Newport into the Mobile River.
The launching of an EPF is a multi-step process. The ship modules are constructed in Austal’s manufacturing facility, then transported to the assembly bay. Tugboats guided it away from the future Independence-variant littoral combat ship Mobile, which was pierside nearby.
The 103 metre Spearhead-class EPF is capable of transporting 312 embarked troops and 600 short tons of cargo up to 1,200 nautical miles at an average speed of 35 knots. The ships can operate in shallow-draft ports and waterways, interface with roll-on/roll-off discharge facilities, and on/off-load a combat-loaded Abrams Main Battle Tank (M1A2).
EPFs are capable of transporting 600 short tons 1,200 nautical miles at an average speed of 35 knots. Each vessel includes a flight deck to support day and night aircraft launch and recovery operations. The ships 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.
It’s crewed by 26 civilian mariners and features berthing for 416 embarked troops, according to the Navy. It also has a flight deck to launch and recover a helicopter.
Maritime Business World