«Flight II» configuration

Austal Limited (ASX) is pleased to announce that the United States Navy has exercised a US$230,545,382 (A$324.6M) fixed-priced incentive (firm target) contract option for the detail design and construction of Expeditionary Fast Transport (EPF) 16 by Austal USA.

T-EPF-16 will be the third ship constructed by Austal USA in «Flight II» configuration, which has enhanced medical and aviation capabilities (image: Austal USA)

T-EPF-16 will be the third ship constructed by in «Flight II» configuration, which has enhanced medical and aviation capabilities. Austal USA has successfully delivered twelve EPF ships to the U.S. Navy since 2012, on schedule and on budget and is currently constructing EPFs 13, 14 and 15 at the company’s shipyard in Mobile, Alabama.

USNS Apalachicola (T-EPF-13) is being developed as a prototype for autonomous operations, while USNS Cody (T-EPF-14) and USNS Point Loma (T-EPF-15) were redesigned to deliver greater medical capability and capacity.

Austal Limited Chief Executive Officer Paddy Gregg said the contract for another EPF with enhanced medical capabilities highlighted both the success of the high-speed vessel platform and its flexibility to deliver various mission profiles.

«Austal’s Flight II EPF’s will further enhance the US Navy’s capability and enable a fast response with expanded medical support facilities available for any mission or theatre of operation», Mr. Gregg said. «We are delighted to see the EPF platform being deployed globally and we’re excited to begin production of another highly capable ship for the United States Navy».

The United States Navy’s fleet of Expeditionary Fast Transport ships conduct humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, maritime security, surveillance, command and control, and counter narcotic missions around the globe. The versatility of the EPF design provides a significant operational capability that can be tailored to the needs of each fleet and combatant commander’s geographic command.

Flight II ships enhance the original capabilities of the Spearhead-class EPFs through incorporation of reconfigurable spaces for operating and post-surgical recovery efforts. Combined with the ship’s V-22 Osprey capable flight deck, Flight II ships provide unmatched versatility.

Construction of T-EPF-16 will commence later this year with delivery projected for 2025. In addition to EPFs 13, 14 and 15 currently in production, Austal USA is currently constructing the Independence-variant Littoral Combat Ships (LCS) 32, 34 and 36; and is under contract for LCS 38. Following the opening of the company’s new steel shipbuilding production line, construction will soon commence on the first of two Navajo-class Towing, Salvage and Rescue Ships (T-ATS), T-ATS 11 and 12 for the United States Navy.

This ASX announcement has been approved and authorised for release by Paddy Gregg, Austal Limited’s Chief Executive Officer.