US Navy to commission ninth EPF
The US Navy will receive its newest Expeditionary Fast Transport (EPF) vessel, City of Bismarck, later this month.
USNS City of Bismarck is the ninth of 12 EPFs being built for the navy by Austal.
The non-combatant EPFs are designed to carry out a number of transport roles including delivering marines and their equipment to the battlefield, as well as provide a low-cost intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capability.
Designed to operate in austere ports and waterways, the EPFs are adaptable and flexible and can support a wide variety of missions ranging from the transport of containerised portable hospitals, tanks and troops and time-critical support for humanitarian assistance/disaster relief operations.
EPFs are 338ft aluminium catamarans, complete with a 20,000sqft mission bay area that reconfigures quickly through the use of adaptive force packages. They have a flight deck capable of landing a CH-53 helicopter, a slewing stern ramp for vehicle access to the mission deck and seating for 312 passengers.
All EPFs are designed to transport 600 short tonnes of military cargo 1,200 nautical miles at an average speed of 35 knots.
Following its delivery USNS City of Bismarck is scheduled to head to Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story for additional certifications prior to being deployed to the Pacific.
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