Wednesday, March 27, 2019

US Navy buys two Expeditionary Fast Transport ships

via UPI
The Navy has awarded Austal $261.8 million for work on the construction of two Expeditionary Fast Transport vessels.

The contract, announced Monday by the Department of Defense, includes the design and construction of the 13th and 14th EPF ships, as well as long-lead-time material for their construction.

The Spearhead-class of EPF ships are used to transport personnel, supplies and equipment for the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps and Army.

The new contract follows Austal's $1.8 billion contract for the first 12 EPF vessels.

The ship can operate in shallow ports and waterways and can on/off-loading heavy armored vehicles like the M1 Abrams tank. A flight deck is used for helicopter and drone operations.

Ten vessels in the class are operational, including the first ship, the Spearhead, which was delivered in 2012, and the newest, the Burlington, received by the U.S. Navy last November. The future Puerto Rico and Newport are under construction.
Story here.

I guess any amphibious transport is good amphibious transport but I have a bit of trouble understanding the utility of these ships and why the US Navy would seek to have more than 6 much less 14.

The pics shows the vessel damn near on the beach which was a capability I didn't know it had.  Additionally I know it planned to operate with the sea base as far as 200 miles off shore.  What I wonder about is its capability in high seas.

Lastly I have to wonder about the Navy's "Battle Fleet".  If this class of ship is considered part of the planned 350 then is that number credible?

Circling back I guess I end where I began.  Any amphibious transport is good amphibious transport.

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