The seventh Expeditionary Fast Transport successfully completed its acceptance trials two weeks ago, keeping the craft on track for delivery by the end of the year, shipbuilder Austal USA announced today.
The future Carson City (EPF-7), formerly called the Joint High Speed Vessel, went through comprehensive testing in the Gulf of Mexico to put major ship systems and equipment through their paces. The Navy’s Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV) boarded Carson City during the testing, which included dockside and underway events, to assess the readiness of the ship and ensure it is safe and functional for the sailors, according to a Navy statement.
“The successful completion of acceptance trials for EPF-7 is further proof of how mature and efficient this program has become,” Craig Perciavalle, Austal USA’s president, said in the Austal news release.
““These great ships, built by an extraordinary team of talented Austal shipbuilders, are proving their flexibility and potential in improving international relations worldwide.”
Carson City is the seventh ship in a 10-ship $1.6-billion block buy contract the Navy awarded Austal USA in 2008. Since then, the Navy has decided to continue the class to 12, with the service awarding a long lead material contract last month for the future EPF-12.
The ship class was designed to support intratheater lift needs but has since been used to conduct counter-trafficking in U.S. Southern Command, launch unmanned aerial vehicles, and conduct experiments in the Pacific to determine how the U.S. Marine Corps might use the vessel to supplement amphibious warships. It will host the electromagnetic railgun in the future and may host command-and-control payloads.