Sweet sixteen for Austal with extra EPF deal
The USN has awarded Austal USA a $230.54 million contract modification to design and build an extra Spearhead-class Expeditionary Fast Transport (EPF) vessel.
Work on the modification from Naval Sea Systems Command will be completed by October 2025, the DoD announced on 3 May.
Austal was originally contracted to build 15 EPF ships; 12 of these have been delivered to USN Military Sealift Command.
EPF 16 will be the third Spearhead-class ship in the Flight II configuration, which includes a flight deck capable of accommodating the V-22 Osprey and ‘reconfigurable spaces for operating rooms and post-surgical recovery efforts’, Austal USA noted in a statement.
The EPF class provides a high-speed, shallow draft transportation capability to support intra-theatre deployment of personnel, supplies and equipment for the US Army, USMC and USN.
Shephard Defence Insight estimates that the programme has an overall value of $3.9 billion. The DoD FY2022 budget included funding for two Spearhead-class ships at the insistence of Congress.
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