MOBILE, Ala.-- – Austal USA met with Navy officials here today onboard the ship to finalize the documentation required to make the delivery of USNS City of Bismarck (EPF 9) official. EPF 9 is the second ship in this program that Austal has delivered in 2017, with the Navy taking delivery of USNS Yuma (EPF 8) earlier this year.
The EPF program provides the Navy with a high-speed intra-theater transport capability. The 338-foot long City of Bismarck 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.
“We take great pride in sending another EPF to join the MSC fleet thanks to the commitment of our talented shipbuilding team.” Austal USA President Craig Perciavalle remarked. “It’s exciting to see how our U.S. Navy is combining this great platform with the capabilities of the Littoral Combat Ship platform and expanding their mission sets to support a wide variety of operational needs around the globe – most recently when LCS 4 and EPF 3, 4 and 6 worked together to give the Navy access to over a thousand port locations in the littoral regions of South and Southeast Asia.”
Today’s delivery marks the ninth EPF ship delivered to the Navy as part of a contract for 12 ships worth over $1.9 billion.
Upon delivery of USNS City of Bismarck, three additional Spearhead-class EPFs are under construction at Austal’s Mobile, Ala. shipyard. Burlington (EPF 10) is being erected in final assembly and modules for Puerto Rico (EPF 11) and EPF 12 are under construction in Austal’s module manufacturing facility.
In addition to the EPF program, Austal is also under contract to build Independence-variant Littoral Combat Ships (LCS) for the U.S. Navy. Six LCS have been delivered while an additional seven are in various stages of construction.