Austal USA hands over Expeditionary Fast Transport

Austal USA hands over Expeditionary Fast Transport Austal

APRIL 22, 2017—At one of the largest aluminium vessel construction facilities in the world, Austal USA continues to roll out high-speed, multi-hull vessels for the U.S. Navy from its massive shipyard in Mobile, AL. The latest is the USNS Yuma (EPF 8), which was formerly handed over to Navy officials on April 21.

The waterjet-propelled USNS Yuma is the eighth vessel in a series of 12 ships that are being built under a $1.9 billion contract. The 338 ft Expeditionary Fast Transport vessel USNS Yuma (EPF 8) is an aluminium catamaran that provides the Navy with a high-speed intra-theater transport capability. It has the capability of transporting 600 tons, a range of 1,200 nautical miles at an average speed of 35 knots, and is designed to operate in austere ports and waterways, providing added flexibility to U.S. warfighters worldwide. The ship's flight deck can also support flight operations for a wide variety of aircraft, including a CH-53 Super Stallion.

EPFs were formerly designated by the Navy as Joint High Speed Vessels (JHSV).

Commenting on the delivery, Austal USA President Craig Perciavalle  said it was “exciting to see Yuma join the fleet; an incredible ship built by incredible people.” He added, “What’s even more exciting is seeing how our U.S. Navy is taking these great platforms and expanding their mission sets to support a wide variety of operational needs—demonstrating their value and versatility to our forward deployed Naval forces across the globe.”

Currently three additional Spearhead-class EPFs are under construction at Austal’s shipyard: City of Bismarck (EPF 9) is being erected in final assembly and modules for Burlington (EPF 10) and Puerto Rico (EPF 11) are under construction in Austal’s shipyard.

In addition to the EPF program, Austal is also under contract to build Independence-variant Littoral Combat Ships (LCS) for the U.S. Navy. Five LCS have been delivered while an additional six are in various stages of construction.

As we reported earlier, a recent report by the General Accounting Office (GAO) has called for a delay in acquiring the frigate type vessel that would be the successor to the LCS. Austal USA and Fincantieri Marinette Marine, Marinette, WI, are currently the builders of two variants of the LCS. Congress is expected to call for the authorization of the construction of up to 12 frigates, with the funding for the lead ship this year.

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