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Thursday, September 3, 2020 

Austal has handed over the 12th in its series of Spearhead class Expeditionary Fast Transport (EPF) ships, 'USNS Newport' to the United States Navy from Austal USA's shipyard in Mobile, Alabama.

Austal CEO David Singleton said: “Austal USA has now delivered 24 ships to the US Navy, in just over 10 years, including three in this year alone. This is a remarkable achievement and testament to the productivity and efficiency of the shipyard, which is now expanding to enable the shipbuilding and support of steel vessels. The ongoing, successful delivery of both the Spearhead-class EPF and Independence-class LCS shipbuilding programmes has positioned the Austal USA shipyard to pursue new aluminium and steel shipbuilding opportunities in the future.”

The Spearhead-class EPF is a 103m high-speed aluminium catamaran with a large, 1800m2 cargo deck, medium-lift helicopter deck and seating for 300-plus embarked troops; providing a fast, high-payload transport capability to combatant commanders worldwide.

The Austal-designed EPFs support a wide range of missions, from maritime security operations to humanitarian aid and disaster relief. An EPF’s flexibility allows it to support potential future missions; such as special operations, command and control, and primary medical operations.

An additional Spearhead-class EPF is under construction at Austal USA’s shipyard; the future USNS Apalachicola (EPF 13), while the future USNS Cody (EPF 14) is scheduled to commence construction before the end of the year. In addition to the EPF program, Austal USA is contracted to deliver 19 Independence class Littoral Combat Ships (LCS) for the US Navy, 12 of which have been delivered, with an additional five ships in various stages of construction and two contracted but yet to start.

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