Austal to build two more expeditionary fast transport vessels for US Navy

The U.S. Navy has awarded Austal a $248.8 million contract for the design and construction of another two expeditionary fast transport vessels, EPF 11 and EPF 12.

Austal said that this amount included contracts for long-lead time materials that were previously announced.

The new contract follows a 2008 block-buy contract for ten EPF and extends Austal’s total build for the program to twelve ships, valued at US$1.9 billion.

Austal’s extensive order book will grow to over A$3.3 billion with the two additional EPF and the company’s US division will extend its contracted production schedule into CY2022.

Announcing the contracts, Austal Chief Executive Officer David Singleton said: “This new order for a further two EPF reflect the US Navy’s continued confidence and investment in a proven product. The EPF is a unique vessel that is re-defining naval sealift capability and exceeding expectations in various military and civilian operations around the world.”

To date, Austal USA has delivered seven EPF, with five now deployed by the United States Military Sealift Command (USMSC) with various US Navy fleets around the world. Three EPF are under construction at Austal USA’s modular manufacturing facility in Mobile, Alabama, including the future USNS Yuma (EPF-8), scheduled for launch this weekend.

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).