MOBILE, Ala. -- Austal USA delivered the expeditionary fast transport ship USNS Burlington to the U.S. Navy during a ceremony onboard the ship at the company’s headquarters in Mobile on Thursday.
This is the fourth ship Austal has delivered to the Navy this year, according to the company.
The EPF program provides the Navy with a high-speed intra-theater transport capability.
The 338-foot long 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.
“Today’s delivery of Burlington marks the tenth 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 remarked, according to a company news release. “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.”
Upon delivery of USNS Burlington, two additional Spearhead-class EPFs are under construction at Austal’s Mobile shipyard, according to the company. Puerto Rico (EPF 11) launched this week and will now prepare for sea trials and Newport (EPF 12) is being erected in final assembly.
Austal also recently received instruction from the Navy to order long lead-time materials for EPF 13, the company says.
In addition to the EPF program, Austal is under contract to build Independence-variant littoral combat ships for the U.S. Navy. Nine littoral combat ships have been delivered by Austal, while an additional five are in various stages of construction.