The US Navy has received the delivery of the Spearhead-class expeditionary fast transport ship, the future USNS Burlington (EPF 10), from Austal USA.
EPF 10 is the tenth of 12 EPFs currently being built by Austal under a US Navy contract that comprises a total value of more than $1.9bn.
It is the fourth vessel delivered by the company to the US Navy this year.
Austal chief executive officer David Singleton said: “Austal takes great pride in sending another EPF to join the Military Sealift Command (MSC) fleet. The success of this milestone achievement is a result of the dedication and hard work of the Austal team.”
The US Navy’s Spearhead-class EPF programme has been designed to provide the service with high-speed, intra-theatre transport capabilities.
The future USNS Burlington will operate in ports and waterways, which are otherwise too shallow or narrow for the service’s larger ships to operate.
EPF 10 was christened as Burlington at the Mobile, Alabama shipyard in February.
The 338ft-long ship has been built with the capability to transport 600t load at a range of 1,200nm and an average speed of 35k.
The flight deck of the vessel can support flight operations for a wide range of manned and unmanned aircraft, including a CH-53 Super Stallion.
Currently, two additional Spearhead-class fast transport vessels are under construction at Austal’s shipyard in Mobile, Alabama.
Recently, the future USNS Puerto Rico (EPF 11) was launched with the navy and is now preparing for sea trials.
Also, the future USNS Newport (EPF 12) is in final assembly, while the company received instruction from the US Navy to order long lead-time materials for EPF 13.