Austal USA, Mobile, Ala., launched the future expeditionary fast transport ship Newport (EPF 12) into the Mobile River on Feb. 20. This is the first Navy ship that Austal has launched in 2020. The 338’x93’6″ Newport is one of 14 that the Navy has contracted Austal to build. The next step is sea trials and then delivery before the end of the year.
The Spearhead-class EPF, a high-speed catamaran with a 13′ draft, provides high-payload transport capability to U.S. combatant commanders around the world and is known as “the pickup truck” of the fleet. The ship’s large flight deck, open mission bay and habitability spaces provide an opportunity to conduct a wide range of missions from maritime security operations to humanitarian aid and disaster relief missions.
The ship, which is powered by four MTU 20V8000 engines that produce a speed of 35-40 knots, has built in flexibility that allows it to support potential future missions such as special operations, command and control, and primary medical operations. With its ability to access small, austere, and degraded ports with minimal external support, the EPF provides unique options to fleet and combatant commanders.