Future USNS City of Bismarck (EPF 9), the ninth US Navy expeditionary fast transport vessel, completed builder’s trials on September 14 after spending two days in the Gulf of Mexico.
Test conducted during the underway included calibration of communication and navigational systems, ship propulsion, ride control, and pollution control.
Maneuverability trials tested the ship’s four steerable water jets while a series of high-speed turns demonstrated the stability and agility of the EPF catamaran hull form.
“This is a major step towards delivering City of Bismarck to the Navy,” said Capt. Scot Searles, Strategic and Theater Sealift program manager, program Executive office ships. “City of Bismarck performed very well during Builder’s Trials, which is a testament to the combined efforts of industry and Navy. The Navy will benefit from EPF 9’s delivery later this year as the need for versatile ships continues to grow.”
City of Bismarck will now prepare for acceptance trials during which the Navy’s Board of Inspection and Survey will inspect and evaluate the ship to certify its readiness for delivery to the U.S. Navy.
The 103 metre, shallow draft all-aluminium catamaran, is a non-combatant transport vessel capable of intra-theater personnel and cargo lift providing combatant commanders high-speed sealift mobility with cargo handling capability.
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. The ship 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).