Sunday, December 4, 2022

U.S. Navy places order for additional Expeditionary Fast Transport vessels

The U.S. Navy has awarded a modification to previously contract to company Austal USA for the construction of two additional Expeditionary Fast Transport vessels, the Pentagon said on Monday.

The Austal USA shipyard in Mobile is being awarded a $261,776,539 modification to previously-awarded contract N00024-19-C-2227 for the detail design and construction (DD&C) of the 13th and 14th Expeditionary Fast Transport (EPF) ships, and to definitize the long-lead-time material undefinitized contract actions for EPFs 13 and 14.

“This modification will award the DD&C effort for EPF 13 and EPF 14 and definitize and subsume the long-lead-time material undefinitized contract actions for EPFs 13 and 14,” said in Pentagon’s statement.


The EPF program provides the Navy with a high-speed intra-theater transport capability.

The 338-foot long EPF vessel is an aluminum catamaran capable of transporting 600 tons, 1,200 nautical miles at an average speed of 35 knots, and is designed to operate in austere ports and waterways, too shallow and narrow for the larger ships in the surface fleet, providing added flexibility to U.S. warfighters worldwide. The ship’s flight deck can also support flight operations for a wide variety of manned and unmanned aircraft, including a CH-53 Super Stallion.

The EPF’s large, open mission deck and large habitability spaces provide the opportunity to conduct a wide range of missions from engagement and humanitarian assistance or disaster relief missions, command and control, and medical support operations. With its ability to access austere and degraded ports with minimal external assistance, the EPF provides unique options to fleet and combatant commanders.

Austal was awarded the initial contract to design and build the first 103-meter EPF in November 2008. Since then, ten Spearhead-class EPFs have been delivered and are serving as an affordable solution to fulfilling the Military Sealift Command’s requirements worldwide.

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About this Author

Dylan Malyasov
Defense journalist and commentator. Aviation photographer. Dylan leads Defence Blog's coverage of global military news, focusing on engineering and technology across the U.S. defense industry.