Navy's latest Expeditionary Fast Transport christened at Austal

Mrs. Marcelle Leahy, wife of U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), was the ship's sponsor Mrs. Marcelle Leahy, wife of U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), was the ship's sponsor

FEBRUARY 25, 2018 —The U.S. Navy’s newest Expeditionary Fast Transport, the USNS Burlington (EPF 10), was christened yesterday at a ceremony at Austal USA’s shipyard in Mobile, AL. Austal USA was awarded the contract to build the USNS Burlington in December 2012 and it is the tenth of 12 EPFs that the shipyard has under contract with the U.S. Navy with a combined value of over $1.9 billion.

“Austal is excited to get Burlington one step closer to joining the fleet,” said Austal USA President Craig Perciavalle. “The efficiency at which this complex ship has come together is truly remarkable and a testament to the incredible talent of our shipbuilding professionals here at Austal USA.”

The 338 ft x 93 ft EPF has a draft of 13 feet, with a displacement of 2,460 tons. She will have a complement of 22, with a troop capacity of 312. With an all-aluminum shallow-draft hull, the EPF is a commercial-based catamaran capable of intra-theater personnel and cargo lift providing combatant commanders high-speed sealift mobility with inherent cargo handling capability and agility to achieve positional advantage over operational distances. 

EPF class ships are designed to transport 600 short tons of military cargo 1,200 nautical miles at an average speed of 35 knots. The ship is capable of operating in shallow-draft ports and waterways, interfacing with roll-on/roll-off discharge facilities, and on/off-loading a combat-loaded Abrams main battle tank (M1A2). When delivered, the USNS Burlington will be operated by the Military Sealift Command.

“T-EPFs are operating around the world supporting maritime security operations, humanitarian assistance/disaster relief, logistics support, and multiple international and joint exercises,” said Rear Adm. Dee L. Mewbourne, Commander, Military Sealift Command. “The Expeditionary Fast Transport class, characterized by speed, capacity, adaptability, and innovation, is part of the Navy the Nation Needs to support our National Defense Strategy.”

slide spearhead

Last year, the USNS Spearhead (T-EPF 1), shown at right in Navy photo, was loaded with equipment and deployed to Sint Maarten to assist in humanitarian aid and disaster relief efforts after Hurricane Irma hit the island

The ship’s sponsor, Mrs. Marcelle Leahy, wife of U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), headlined the group of officials, naval guests, civic leaders, community members and Austal employees who attended the ceremony.

Nine Spearhead-class EPFs have been delivered by Austal USA. USNS City of Bismarck was delivered to the Navy in late 2017 and three more EPFs are under construction at Austal USA’s Mobile, AL, shipyard.

In addition to being in full rate production for the EPF program, Austal is also the Navy’s prime contractor for the Independence-variant of the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) program. Austal has delivered six LCS, another will be delivered next week, while an additional six are in various stages of construction.



Subscribe to Marine Daily for breaking marine news