US Navy to launch USNS Yuma EPF

The U.S. Navy is scheduled to launch its newest expeditionary fast transport vessel USNS Yuma during a ceremony this weekend at Austal’s Mobile, Alabama shipyard.

According to Wilhelmsen Ships Service, the roll out and launching of the EPF 8 will cause partial blockage of the Mobile River on or about Friday, September 16.

The USNS Yuma was 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.

The 103 metre, shallow draft all-aluminium catamaran, is a multi-mission, non-combatant transport vessel. The ship is capable of intra-theater personnel and cargo lift providing combatant commanders high-speed sealift mobility with inherent cargo handling capability and agility to achieve positional advantage over operational distances.

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).