Austal's American subsidiary, Austal USA, has delivered the Expeditionary Fast Transport ship USNS Burlington (EPF 10) to the US Navy.
It is the tenth ship delivered as part of a US$1.9 billion contract for 12 vessels and the fourth ship Austal has delivered to the USN in 2018.
“Austal takes great pride in sending another EPF to join the Military Sealift Command (MSC) fleet. The success of this milestone achievement is a result of the dedication and hard work of the Austal team," Austal CEO, David Singleton said.
The EPF program provides the Navy with a high-speed intra-theater transport capability. The 103 metre Burlington is a Spearhead-class aluminium catamaran capable of transporting 600 tons over 1,200 nautical miles at an average speed of 35 knots, and is designed to operate in austere ports and waterways that are too shallow and narrow for the larger ships in the surface fleet.
The ship's flight deck can also support flight operations for a wide variety of manned and unmanned aircraft, including a CH-53 Super Stallion.
“Burlington will provide tremendous flexibility to combatant commanders in the fleet,” Captain Scot Searles, Strategic and Theater Sealift program manager, said. “EPF 10 will enhance our forward presence and provide a variety of capabilities to US operations around the globe.”
Two additional Spearhead-class EPFs are under construction at Austal’s shipyard in Mobile, Alabama. The Puerto Rico (EPF 11) is currently preparing for sea trials and Newport (EPF 12) is being erected in final assembly. Austal also recently received instruction from the Navy to order long lead-time materials for EPF 13.
The company is also under contract to build Independence-variant Littoral Combat Ships (LCS) for the USN. Nine LCS have been delivered, while an additional six are in various stages of construction.