Keel-laying for Yuma

On March 29 in Mobile, Alabama Austal USA celebrated the keel-laying milestone for the Expeditionary Fast Transport (EFT) vessel USNS Yuma (T-EPF-8) with a ceremony marking a significant milestone in the ship’s construction. This ship is the eighth EPF built at Austal USA under the 10-ship, $1.6 billion block-buy contract awarded to Austal in 2008.

Mayor Nicholls was assisted by Austal USA A-Class welder, Courtney Cagle
Mayor Nicholls was assisted by Austal USA A-Class welder, Courtney Cagle

Laying the keel is the formal recognition of the start of a ship’s construction. The keel runs lengthwise down the middle of the ship serving as the basic foundation or spine of the structure, providing the major source of the hull’s strength.

The Honorable Douglas Nicholls, Mayor of the City of Yuma, Arizona, authenticated the keel at the ceremony by welding his initials onto an aluminum keel plate that will eventually be placed in ship’s hull. Mayor Nicholls was assisted by Austal USA A-Class welder, Courtney Cagle. Ms. Cagle began her employment with Austal USA in 2012 as an apprentice.

«I am excited to reach this significant milestone today in such a short period of time, considering we just launched EPF-7 from this bay in late January», Austal USA President Craig Perciavalle said. «The momentum we’re experiencing on the construction of this amazing ship is evidence of the strength of Austal’s EPF program, and the continued success displayed by Austal’s talented shipbuilding team».

The EPF program at Austal is progressing rapidly. USNS Brunswick (T-EPF-6) was delivered in mid-January and there are three other EPFs under construction at Austal USA’s headquarters and ship manufacturing facility in Mobile, Alabama. Of the ships already delivered to the U.S. Navy, USNS Spearhead (T-EPF-1) is in Africa on its third deployment and recently took part in a successful anti-piracy operation. USNS Choctaw County (T-EPF-2) and USNS Millinocket (T-EPF-3) are also currently deployed supporting U.S. Navy fleet operations, including many international exercises.

Austal is also under a 10-ship block-buy contract worth over $3.5 billion for the U.S. Navy’s Independence-variant Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) program. The company has delivered three LCS with another seven currently under construction. The future USS Montgomery (LCS-8) is scheduled for delivery later this year.

 

Ships

Defence vessels designed and built by Austal include multi-mission combatants, such as the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) for the United States Navy and military high speed vessels for transport and humanitarian relief, such as the Expeditionary Fast Transport (EPF) – previously known as the Joint High Speed Vessel (JHSV) – for the United States Navy and High Speed Support Vessel (HSSV) for the Royal Navy of Oman. Austal also designs, constructs, integrates and maintains an extensive range of patrol and auxiliary vessels for government agencies globally, including the Cape Class Patrol Boat Program for Australian Border Force. Defence vessels are designed and constructed in Mobile, Alabama and in Henderson, Western Australia.

Austal has been at the forefront of the high speed ferry market since the early days of the industry. Our market leading designs of high performance aluminium vessels have long been at the heart of Austal’s research and development. Today, commercial ship construction is centred on our shipyard in Balamban, Philippines.

Austal celebrates keel-laying for nation's eighth Expeditionary Fast Transport vessel – USNS Yuma (T-EPF-8)
Austal celebrates keel-laying for nation’s eighth Expeditionary Fast Transport vessel – USNS Yuma (T-EPF-8)

 

SPECIFICATIONS

PRINCIPAL DIMENSIONS
Material Hull and superstructure – aluminium alloy
Length overall 103 m/337.9 feet
Beam overall 28.5 m/93.5 feet
Hull draft (maximum) 3.83 m/12.57 feet
MISSION BAY
Area (with tie-downs) 1,863 m2/20,053 feet2
Clear Height 4.75 m/15.6 feet
Turning diameter 26.2 m/86.0 feet
ISO TEU (Twenty Equivalent Units) Stations 6 Interface Panels
ACCOMMODATIONS
Crew 41
Single SR 2
Double SR 6
Quad SR 7
Troop Seats 312
Troop Berths Permanent: 104
Temporary: 46
Galley and Messing 48
PROPULSION
Main Engines 4 × MTU 20V8000 M71L Diesel Engines 4 × 9.1 MW
Gear boxes 4 × ZF 60000NR2H Reduction Gears
Waterjets 4 × Wartsila WLD 1400 SR
PERFORMANCE
Average Speed 35 knots/40 mph/65 km/h @ 90% MCR with 635 mt (700 st) payload
Maximum Speed 43 knots/50 mph/80 km/h without payload
Maximum Transit Range 1,200 NM/1,381 miles/2,222 km
Self-Deployment Range 5,600 NM/6,444 miles/10,371 km
Survival Through SS-7
AVIATION FACILITIES
NAVAIR Level 1 Class 2 Certified Flight Deck for one helicopter
Centreline parking area for one helicopter
NAVAIR Level 1 class 4 Type 2 Certified VERTREP (Vertical Replenishment)
Helicopter Control Station
AUXILIARY SYSTEMS
Active Ride Control Transcom Interceptors
Foils: 3.24 m2/34.9 feet2 each, forward on inboard sides of demi-hulls
Vehicle Ramp Articulated Slewing Stern Ramp
Straight aft to 45 Starboard
Telescoping Boom Crane 12.3 mt @ 15 m, 18.2 mt @ 10 m/13.6 Lt @ 49.2 feet, 20.1 Lt @ 32.8 feet
Rollout of USNS Brunswick (EPF-6)
Rollout of USNS Brunswick (EPF-6)

 

Ships

USNS Spearhead (EPF-1), Delivered

USNS Choctaw County (EPF-2), Delivered

USNS Millinocket (EPF-3), Delivered

USNS Fall River (EPF-4), Delivered

USNS Trenton (EPF-5), Delivered

USNS Brunswick (EPF-6), Delivered

Carson City (EPF-7), under construction

Yuma (EPF-8), under construction

Bismark (EPF-9), under construction

Burlington (EPF-10), under construction

EPF-11

EPF-12

 

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