The US Naval Sea Systems Command has announced that the USNS Newport, an Expeditionary Fast Transport (EPF) vessel, has completed integrated sea trials.

During the trials, builder Austal USA carried out comprehensive tests to enable the US Navy’s Board of Inspection and Survey assess the capabilities of the ship’s major systems.

The USNS Newport (EPF 12) is the second EPF ship to undergo the integrated trial.

Program Executive Office Ships strategic and theater sealift program manager Tim Roberts said: “Achieving this milestone is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the shipbuilding team and our partners in industry.

“We are eager to press forward with delivering USNS Newport to the fleet this year and to enhance the operational flexibility available to our combatant commanders.”

EPFs are designed as non-combatant transport ships to carry troops, military vehicles, and equipment. These transport vessels also feature a flight deck to support aircraft launch.

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They can carry 600 short tonnes of cargo 1,200 nautical miles at an average speed of 35 knots.

EPFs are developed to operate in shallow waterways and can be used for several missions, including disaster relief, support for special operations forces, theatre security cooperation activities, and emerging joint sea-basing concepts.

The USNS Newport is expected to be delivered later this year.

Austal USA has already started building the future USNS Apalachicola (EPF 13). The ship builder is also under contract to build the future USNS Cody (EPF 14).