Austal USA delivered the expeditionary fast transport ship Burlington (EPF 10) to the Navy during a ceremony in Mobile, Ala., Thursday. This is the fourth ship Austal has delivered to the Navy this year.
The EPFs are high-speed intra-theater transport vessels. The 338′ Burlington is an aluminum catamaran capable of transporting 600 tons, 1,200 nautical miles at an average speed of 35 knots and is designed to operate in austere ports and waterways, too shallow and narrow for the larger ships in the surface fleet, providing added flexibility to U.S. warfighters worldwide. The ship’s flight deck can also support flight operations for a wide variety of manned and unmanned aircraft, including a CH-53 Super Stallion.
Two additional Spearhead-class EPFs are under construction at Austal’s Mobile shipyard. Puerto Rico (EPF 11) was launched last week and is preparing for sea trials and Newport (EPF 12) is being erected in final assembly. Austal also received approval to order long lead-time materials for EPF 13.
“Today’s delivery of Burlington marks the 10th EPF we have delivered to the U.S. Navy, a milestone achieved as a result of the dedicated shipbuilding team made up of Austal employees, our Navy partners, industry suppliers and both local and state community and legislative support,” Austal USA President Craig Perciavalle said in a statement announcing the delivery. “These ships continue to deliver exceptional capability around the globe. The U.S. Navy is taking these great ships and expanding their work to support a variety of operational needs, demonstrating their significance, flexibility and value to the future 355-ship Navy.”
In addition to the EPF program, Austal is under contract to build Independence-variant littoral combat ships (LCS) for the Navy. Nine LCSes have been delivered, while an additional five are in various stages of construction.