Saturday, November 17, 2018

Austal delivers USNS Burlington to Navy

via Fox News 10
 Austal USA delivered the expeditionary fast transport ship USNS Burlington to the U.S. Navy during a ceremony onboard the ship at the company’s headquarters in Mobile on Thursday.

This is the fourth ship Austal has delivered to the Navy this year, according to the company.

The EPF program provides the Navy with a high-speed intra-theater transport capability.

The 338-foot long Burlington 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.
Story here. 

Two things.

1.  I can't help but feel that these ships are a holdover from the war on terror and won't offer much, as they're currently configured/used, in our plans for a major fight.  Every ship a sensor and a shooter?  Why would we hazard large amphibious ship when we can have these loitering in littoral waters ready to fire at passing fleets or relay targeting data?  You want to add missions and weapons to a ship then I nominate this entire class!

2.  What happened to the instream testing that was suppose to be done with this ship class?  At one time it was proposed that they could quickly stream within a few dozen miles off shore and act as an AAV carrier, launching AAVs and darting back out to the seabase.  I haven't heard a thing for about two years now.

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