The US Navy has awarded a contract for the procurement of long lead-time materials and production engineering to Austal USA for the 14th Spearhead-class expeditionary fast transport (EPF).

The A$54.9m ($40.36m) cost-plus-fixed-fee undefinitised contract action is funded from the FY19 US federal budget.

This order will fund the purchase of diesel engines, water jets and reduction gears.

Work under the contract will be carried out at various locations across the US and outside of the country. The majority of works will be performed in Novi, Michigan; Houston, Texas; Chesapeake, Virginia; and Mobile, Alabama.

Austal is expected to complete works by July 2022.

In October, the company received a $57.85m order for the procurement of long lead-time materials for the construction of EPF 13. This contract has been funded from the FY18 US federal budget.

“Austal is expected to complete works by July 2022.”

Austal expects the full vessel contracts for EPFs 13 and 14 to be awarded later in the fiscal year. The company has a contract valued in excess of $1.9bn for delivery of 12 vessels.

The US Navy EPF is a 103m-long high-speed, shallow draft catamaran capable of operating in shallow-draft ports and waterways. It is capable of transporting 600t, 1,200nm at an average speed of 35k.

These vessels are primarily deployed to carry out activities such as manoeuvre and sustainment, as well as relief operations in small or damaged ports, and flexible logistics support missions.

The navy awarded a contract to Austal to design and build the first EPF in November 2008. Since then, the company has delivered nine Spearhead-class EPFs with three additional units under construction.

Last month, the company delivered the USNS Burlington (EPF 10) to the navy.