The US Navy’s Spearhead-class expeditionary fast transport (EPF) ship USNS City of Bismarck (T-EPF 9) is set to join the fleet later this month.
USNS City of Bismarck represents the 9th in a 12-unit fleet of non-combatant EPFs, which are intended to provide warfighters with an adaptable vessel that can be configured and reconfigured to carry out a wide range of missions.
The 338ft-long EPFs will also enable fleet commanders to free up combatant vessels such as destroyers and amphibious ships to focus on their primary missions.
EPFs are specifically designed to function in austere ports and waterways and are also capable of supporting a broad variety of missions, ranging from the transport of containerised portable hospitals and tanks and troops to time-critical support for humanitarian assistance or disaster relief operations.
Each of the vessels feature a 20,000ft2 mission bay area that can be reconfigured quickly using adaptive force packages (AFP) for various other operations.
In addition, the ships are all equipped with a flight deck capable of landing a CH-53 helicopter, as well as a slewing stern ramp to allow vehicles to access the mission deck and seating accommodation for up to 312 passengers.
The EPFs are capable of transporting 600 short tonnes of military cargo for 1,200 nautical miles (nm) at an average speed of 35k.
Following its delivery to the Military Sealift Command, USNS City of Bismarck is expected to travel the Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story for additional certifications before being deployed to the Pacific.