The US Navy’s twelfth Expeditionary Fast Transport (EPF) vessel, future USNS Newport (EPF 12), competed integrated sea trials on July 30, the service has announced.
Integrated trials combine builder’s and acceptance trials, allowing for the shipyard to demonstrate to the Navy’s Board of Inspection and Survey the operational capability and mission readiness of all the ship’s systems during a single underway period.
During trials, the shipbuilder conducted tests to demonstrate the performance of all of the ship’s major systems. The USNS Newport is the second EPF ship to undergo the integrated trial, signifying the stability and maturity of the shipbuilding program.
“Achieving this milestone is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the shipbuilding team and our partners in industry,” said Tim Roberts, Strategic and Theater Sealift program manager, Program Executive Office, Ships. “We are eager to press forward with delivering USNS Newport to the fleet this year and to enhance the operational flexibility available to our combatant commanders.”
EPFs are designed to operate in shallow waterways and are capable of a wide range of activities. The vessels are non-combatant transport ships used for high-speed transportation of troops, military vehicles, and equipment. Their missions’ include overseas contingency operations, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, support of special operations forces, theater security cooperation activities and emerging joint sea-basing concepts.
EPFs are capable of transporting 600 short tons 1,200 nautical miles at an average speed of 35 knots. Each vessel includes a flight deck to support day and night aircraft launch and recovery operations. The ships are capable of interfacing with roll-on/roll-off discharge facilities, as well as on/off-loading vehicles such as a fully combat-loaded Abrams main battle tank.
The USNS Newport is on track to deliver later this year. Austal USA has also started construction of the future USNS Apalachicola (EPF 13) and is under contract to build the future USNS Cody (EPF 14).