The US Navy has accepted delivery of its newest Spearhead-class expeditionary fast transport (EPF) ship, the future USNS City of Bismarck (EPF 9).

The 338ft-long ship is the ninth unit a 12-vessel fleet of non-combatant EPFs and was initially launched in June.

USNS City of Bismarck was built by Austal USA and is set to be owned and operated by the Military Sealift Command.

"With the delivery of EPF 9 to the fleet, the navy continues to provide a variety of capabilities to US operations around the globe."

The shipbuilding company is currently under contract for the development of three additional EPFs.

EPF 9 has been designed to provide warfighters with an adaptable vessel that can be configured and reconfigured to conduct a wide range of missions.

Programme Executive Office (PEO) Ships Strategic and Theater Sealift programme manager captain Scot Searles said: “EPFs continue to be excellent additions to the US Navy force.

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“With the delivery of EPF 9 to the fleet, the navy continues to provide a variety of capabilities to US operations around the globe.”

EPFs are shallow draft, all-aluminium, commercial-based catamarans that are capable of transporting both intra-theatre personnel and cargo loads.

The vessels are able to provide enhanced operational flexibility for a number of activities such as manoeuver and sustainment, relief operations and flexible logistics support.

Furthermore, the Spearhead-class ships feature a flight deck to support the day and night launch of a CH-53 helicopter, in addition to recovery operations.