EPF 8 completes Navy acceptance trials

Austal's eighth Expeditionary Fast Transport (EPF) vessel for the US Navy, USNS Yuma, has successfully completed acceptance trials in the Gulf of Mexico Austal's eighth Expeditionary Fast Transport (EPF) vessel for the US Navy, USNS Yuma, has successfully completed acceptance trials in the Gulf of Mexico Austal

FEBRUARY 12, 2017 — Naval Sea Systems Command reports that he future USNS Yuma (EPF 8) successfully completed Acceptance Trials on Jan. 26 after two days of underway evaluation in the Gulf of Mexico.

The Expeditionary Fast Transport returned to the Austal USA shipyard after demonstrating the readiness of its equipment and system operations for the Navy's Board of Inspection and Survey. By conducting numerous tests, both dockside and underway, surveyors were able to evaluate and determine that the ship met all criteria required for final acceptance.

"The EPF program continues to be a successful model of serial ship production," said Capt. Henry Stevens, Strategic and Theater Sealift program manager, Program Executive Office (PEO), Ships. "The class continues to grow and advance the U.S. Navy, expanding U.S. presence across the maritime theater. I look forward to seeing EPF 8 deliver this year and the continued success of the program."

Expeditionary Fast Transports are versatile, non-combatant vessels designed to operate in shallow-draft ports and waterways. They provide increased 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.

Following confirmation of Yuma's successful acceptance trials, Austal CEO David Singleton noted the significant contribution the versatile EPF platform is making to US Navy operations.

"Just this week, EPF 1 (USNS Spearhead) was deployed as the lead platform for the four month civil-military operation 'Continuing Promise 2017', to Guatemala, Honduras and Colombia," he said. "Conducted by the U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command and U.S. Fourth Fleet, the operation includes humanitarian aid and medical missions that will see an estimated 15,000 people treated from January to April 2017, utilizing on board and mobile facilities transported by Spearhead."

Following delivery of EPF 8 later this year, Austal USA has a further four expeditionary fast transport vessels on schedule for delivery from its shipyard in Mobile, Alabama, under a 12- ship contract with the U.S. Navy worth over US$1.9 billion.

Final assembly is well underway on City of Bismarck (EPF 9) and modules for Burlington (EPF 10) are under construction in the shipbuilder's module manufacturing facility.

The first aluminum for Puerto Rico (EPF 12) was cut on January 18, 2017.

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