The following is the text of a news release from Austal USA:
(MOBILE, Ala.) – Austal successfully completed acceptance trials on USNS Carson City, an expeditionary fast transport (EPF 7), on May 25 in the Gulf of Mexico. Carson City is slated for delivery to the U.S. Navy by the end of the year and is the seventh ship in Austal’s 10-ship, $1.6 billion block-buy contract awarded by the U.S. Navy in 2008.
“The successful completion of acceptance trials for EPF 7 is further proof of how mature and efficient this program has become,” said Craig Perciavalle, Austal USA’s president. “These great ships, built by an extraordinary team of talented Austal shipbuilders, are proving their flexibility and potential in improving international relations worldwide.”
This milestone achievement involved the execution of intense comprehensive tests by the Austal-led industry team while underway, which demonstrated to the Navy the successful operation of the ship’s major systems and equipment. Acceptance trials are the last significant milestone before delivery of the ship.
Austal’s EPF program is steadily maturing with six ships delivered and three more under construction at the Mobile, Ala., facility. The 338-foot Spearhead-class EPF is currently providing high-speed, high-payload transport capability to fleet and combatant commanders. The EPF’s large, open mission deck and large habitability spaces provide the opportunity to conduct a wide range of missions — from engagement and humanitarian assistance or disaster relief missions being conducted today to the possibility of supporting a range of future missions including special operations support, command and control, and medical support operations. With its ability to access austere and degraded ports with minimal external assistance, the EPF provides unique options to fleet and combatant commanders.
In addition to the EPF program, Austal is also building 11 Independence-variant littoral combat ships (LCS) for the U.S. Navy under a contract worth over $3.5 billion. Three LCS have been delivered while an additional seven are in various stages of construction.