The US Navy has awarded a US$230.5 (A$324.6) million contract to Austal USA for the detail design and construction of its newest Expeditionary Fast Transport (EPF) ship.
EPF 16 will be the third ship constructed by in “Flight II” configuration, which has enhanced medical and aviation capabilities. Austal USA has successfully delivered twelve EPF ships to the Navy since 2012 and is currently constructing EPFs 13, 14 and 15 at the company’s shipyard in Mobile, Alabama.
EPF 13 is being developed as a prototype for autonomous operations, while EPF 14 and 15 were redesigned to deliver greater medical capability and capacity.
Austal Limited Chief Executive Officer Paddy Gregg said the contract for another EPF with enhanced medical capabilities highlighted both the success of the high-speed vessel platform and its flexibility to deliver various mission profiles.
“Austal’s Flight II EPF’s will further enhance the US Navy’s capability and enable a fast response with expanded medical support facilities available for any mission or theatre of operation,” Gregg said.
“We are delighted to see the EPF platform being deployed globally and we’re excited to begin production of another highly capable ship for the United States Navy.”
The United States Navy’s fleet of Expeditionary Fast Transport ships conduct humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, maritime security, surveillance, command and control, and counter narcotic missions around the globe.
Construction of EPF 16 will commence later this year with delivery projected for 2025.