The US Navy is set to christen its latest expeditionary fast transport (EPF), the future USNS City of Bismarck (T-EPF 9), at the Austal USA shipyard in Mobile, Alabama.
The navy’s ninth EPF future City of Bismarck (T-EPF 9) is the first vessel in naval service to honour the city of Bismarck, which is the capital city of the state of North Dakota, US.
Former California congresswoman Jane Harman will serve as the sponsor for the US Navy vessel.
US Navy acting secretary Sean Stackley said: “We are honoured that former congresswoman Harman will serve as the sponsor for the newest ship in our fleet.
“She has had a distinguished career working to improve our nation’s security, and her relationship with Bismarck and its crew will be a continuation of those efforts.”
The USNS City of Bismarck EPF is a shallow draft, all-aluminum, commercial-based catamaran that will be capable of performing intra-theatre personnel and cargo lift. It will also offer combatant commanders high-speed sealift mobility with inherent cargo-handling capability.
The US Navy vessel has been designed to transport 600 short tonnes of military cargo at an average speed of 35k, and is also is capable of operating in shallow-draft ports and waterways, interfacing with roll-on / roll-off discharge facilities, and on / off-loading a combat-loaded Abrams Main Battle Tank (M1A2).
USNS City of Bismarck will feature a flight deck for helicopter operations and an off-load ramp that will enable vehicles to leave the vessel in a quick and efficient manner.
The under-15ft shallow draft of the EPF will help improve littoral operations and port access, thereby increasing the flexibility of the ship to support of various operations such as manoeuvre and sustainment, relief operations in small or damaged ports, flexible logistics support, or as the key enabler for rapid transport activities.