Austal marked the start of fabrication work on the U.S. Navy’s eleventh expeditionary fast transport USNS Puerto Rico on January 18.
On the same day, the keel was authenticated for the EPF 9, USNS City of Bismarck.
The start of construction on Puerto Rico signifies the procurement of materials and components, and the shipyard’s ability to begin fabrication on the hull.
In September 2016, Austal USA was awarded a contract to definitize long lead-time materials and for the detail design and construction of EPFs 11 and 12.
“As we mark these milestones, the program is benefitting from serial production efficiencies at all stages of the construction process,” said Capt. Henry Stevens, strategic and theater sealift program manager, Program Executive Office, Ships. “Our industry and Navy teams are committed to delivering these highly-capable platforms, and today’s milestones mark our progress in delivering two more ships.”