U.S. Navy’s future expeditionary fast transport USNS Yuma (EPF 8) completed acceptance trials January 26 after two days of underway evaluation in the Gulf of Mexico, the navy announced on February 7.
The ship returned to the Austal USA shipyard after demonstrating the readiness of its equipment and system operations for the Navy’s Board of Inspection and Survey. During tests carried out both dockside and underway, surveyors determined the ship met all criteria required for final acceptance.
“The EPF program continues to be a successful model of serial ship production,” said Capt. Henry Stevens, strategic and theater sealift program manager, Program Executive Office (PEO), Ships. “The class continues to grow and advance the U.S. Navy, expanding U.S. presence across the maritime theater. I look forward to seeing EPF 8 deliver this year and the continued success of the program.”
USNS Yuma is the eight U.S. Navy EPF christened on August 20, 2016 with a ceremony that had guests seated beneath the ship’s hull. Austal, the company in charge of delivering the catamarans to the U.S. Navy, laid the ship’s keel on March 29.
Formerly known as joint high speed vessels (JHSV), the 103 metre EPF are shallow draft all-aluminium catamarans that serve as non-combatant transport vessels. EPF is designed to transport 600 short tons of military cargo 1,200 nautical miles at an average speed of 35 knots in sea state 3.