US Navy names EPF 9
The US Navy's newest Expeditionary Fast Transport vessel has been named USNS City of Bismarck at the Austal USA shipyard in Mobile, Alabama, the US Department of Defense announced on 11 May.
The City of Bismarck, designated T-EPF 9, is a shallow draft, all aluminium, commercial-based catamaran capable of intra-theatre personnel and cargo lift. It will provide high-speed sealift mobility with inherent cargo handling capability and agility to achieve positional advantage over operational distances.
EPF is designed to transport 600 short tonnes of military cargo 1,200 nautical miles at an average speed of 35 knots. The ship is capable of operating in shallow-draft ports and waterways, interfacing with roll-on/roll-off discharge facilities and on/off-loading a combat-loaded Abrams main battle tank.
The EPF will include a flight deck for helicopter operations and an off-load ramp that will allow vehicles to quickly drive off the ship.
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