The U.S. Navy has accepted delivery of the seventh expeditionary fast transport USNS Carson City during a ceremony held aboard the ship at Austal USA’s shipyard in Mobile, Alabama, on June 24.
This is the second vessel delivered by Austal USA to the U.S. Navy this month as just a day before, on June 23, the U.S. Navy officially received USS Montgomery.
Expeditionary Fast Transport (EPF) ships are 338-foot shallow draft aluminum catamarans, multi-mission, non-combatant transport vessels designed to operate in shallow-draft ports and waterways.
They are capable of interfacing with roll-on/roll-off discharge facilities, as well as on/off-loading vehicles such as a fully combat-loaded M1 Abrams tank. Each vessel includes a flight deck to support day and night aircraft launch and recovery operations. Carson City will have airline-style seating for 312 embarked forces with fixed berthing for 104.
After delivery of EPF 7, Austal will deliver a further three expeditionary fast transport vessels from its shipyard in Mobile, Alabama, under a US$1.6 billion, 10-ship block-buy contract with the U.S. Navy. Final assembly is well underway on Yuma (EPF 8) and modules for City of Bismarck (EPF 9) are under construction in Austal’s module manufacturing facility.
The first aluminium was cut for Burlington (EPF 10) earlier this month and module construction has begun in the MMF.
According to Austal, EPF 11 and 12 were fully funded by Congress in the 2015 and 2016 Omnibus Appropriations Bills. Shipbuilding contracts for EPF 11 and 12 have not yet been finalised however the Navy awarded Austal a $54 million contract in October to fund long lead materials for EPF 11.