Austal shipyard has declared that the U.S. Navy newest Expeditionary Fast Transport vessel, the future USNS Puerto Rico, has efficiently completed acceptance trials.
The shipyard noted that acceptance trials, conducted in the Gulf of Mexico, had been distinctive in that they built-in formal Builder’s Trials with Acceptance Trials for the first time on an EPF ship.
“These trials involved the execution of full, comprehensive testing by the Austal-led trade crew while underway, which explained to the U.S. Navy the successful operation of the ship’s major programs and tools. Sea trials are the last mark before delivery of the vessel. The future USNS Puerto Rico is set for delivery to the U.S. Navy before the end of this year and is the eleventh Spearhead Class boat in Austal’s 14-vessel EPF portfolio.
Austal’s EPF program is mature with ten ships passed and three more under development in Mobile, Alabama, along with the future USS Puerto Rico. The Spearhead-class EPF is at present offering high-velocity, high-payload transport capability to the line and fighter leaders.
The EPF’s large, clear mission deck and large habitability spaces provide the chance to conduct a variety of missions from engagement and humanitarian assistance or catastrophe relief missions, to the possibility of supporting a range of future projects including special services support, command and control, and medical aid operations. With its ability to access severe and degraded ports with minimal external help, the EPF offers unique options to fleet and fighter commanders.
In addition to the EPF program, Austal has further received deals for 19 Independence-variant Littoral Combat Ships for the U.S. Navy. Ten LCS have been passed, five ships are in various phases of construction, and four are yet to start development.