The US Navy has awarded Austal USA a $40.3 million contract for the procurement of long lead-time materials for the construction of the fourteenth Expeditionary Fast Transport (EPF) ship for the US Navy.
Long lead-time materials for the additional vessel will include diesel engines, water jets and reduction gears. This contract follows a similar award for procurement of long lead time items for EPF 13 earlier this year.
This order means that Austal has received long lead material contracts for 2 EPF’s in this financial year, one funded from the FY18 US Federal budget and one from the FY19 US Federal budget.
It is expected that these contracts will lead to full vessel contracts later in the fiscal year. If awarded, these full vessel contracts will ensure EPF construction continuity out until 4th quarter 2022.
Austal was awarded the initial contract to design and build the first 103-meter EPF in November 2008. The EPF is a high speed, shallow draft catamaran, designed for rapid intra-theatre transport of troops and cargo. Reaching rapid speeds of 35-45+ knots allows the EPF to be used for rapid deployment of conventional and special-forces with their equipment and supplies, making it an ideal platform for utilisation in emergency humanitarian disaster relief.
Since 2008, nine Spearhead-class EPFs have been delivered and are serving as an affordable solution to fulfilling the Military Sealift Command’s requirements worldwide. Three additional EPFs are under construction at Austal USA.