The U.S. Navy held a keel laying and authentication ceremony for its tenth Expeditionary Fast Transport (EPF) vessel, USNS Burlington (EPF-10), September 26.
The keel was said to be «truly and fairly laid» as it was authenticated by William Pfister, Vice President Emeritus of Austal USA, signing his initials into the keel plate. As the keel is the symbolic backbone of a ship, the keel laying ceremony is a major milestone in the construction process.
«EPFs are incredibly versatile and an asset to the Navy’s fleet», said Captain Scot Searles, Strategic and Theater Sealift program manager, Program Executive Office (PEO), Ships. «With the production consistency that has been demonstrated in the program over the years, I look forward to seeing EPF 10 continue to progress towards delivery».
EPFs are non-combatant vessels designed to operate in shallow-draft ports and waterways, increasing operational flexibility for a wide range of activities including maneuver and sustainment, relief operations in small or damaged ports, flexible logistics support, or as the key enabler for rapid transport. The ships are capable of interfacing with roll-on/roll-off discharge facilities, as well as on/off-loading vehicles such as a fully combat-loaded Abrams Main Battle Tank.
EPFs support a variety of missions including the overseas contingency operations, conducting humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, supporting special operations forces, and supporting emerging joint sea-basing concepts. EPFs are capable of transporting 600 short tons 1,200 NM/1,381 miles/2,222 km at an average speed of 35 knots/40 mph/65 km/h. Each vessel includes a flight deck to support day and night aircraft launch and recovery operations. Burlington will have airline-style seating for 312 embarked forces with fixed berthing for 104.
The EPF program delivered its eighth ship, USNS Yuma, earlier this year and USNS City of Bismarck (EPF-9) is preparing for its second set of sea trials before delivery later this year. USNS Puerto Rico (EPF-11) started construction earlier this year and EPF-12 started construction earlier this week.
As one of the Defense Department’s largest acquisition organizations, PEO Ships is responsible for executing the development and procurement of all destroyers, amphibious ships, special mission and support ships, and special warfare craft.
|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|
|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|
|Troop Berths||Permanent: 104|
|Galley and Messing||48|
|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|
|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|
|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|
|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|
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
USNS Carson City (EPF-7), Delivered
USNS Yuma (EPF-8), Completed acceptance trials
USNS Bismark (EPF-9), Completed builder’s trials
USNS Burlington (EPF-10), Under construction
USNS Puerto Rico (EPF-11), Under construction
USNS EPF-12, On order