The US Navy is set to hold the christening ceremony for its newest Expeditionary Fast Transport, the future USNS Newport (T-EPF 12).

The ship is sponsored by Newport native Charlotte Marshall and will be christened on 9 November at the Austal USA shipyard in Mobile, Alabama.

US Navy Secretary Richard Spencer said: “This ship honours the city of Newport, Rhode Island, and serves as a reminder of the contributions the community has and continues to make to our navy.

“Newport is a navy town where many officers begin their careers and then return later for strategic training. It is right that a fourth ship will bear the name Newport to continue our long relationship and provide our commanders high-speed sealift mobility and agility in the fight to defend our nation.”

T-EPF 12 is the fourth ship to be named after Newport and the 12th EPF boat.

The ships in the EPF class can conduct fast, intra-theatre personnel, military vehicles and cargo lift duties.

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The 338ft-long ships are capable of carrying 600t of cargo up to a distance of 1,200nm.

The EPF can perform operations in shallow-draft ports and waterways and on/off-load a combat-loaded Abrams main battle tank (M1A2).

It features a flight deck to support helicopter operations and an off-load ramp that enables the quick removal of vehicles from the ship.

The ship can be used for relief operations in small or damaged ports, manoeuvre and sustainment, and logistics support.

Under the EPF programme, the US Navy is acquiring 14 EPFs from Austal. The future USNS Apalachicola and USNS Cody are the last two ships in the programme.