Austal USA delivered two ships to the Navy from its Mobile, Ala. yard late last week – the Expeditionary Fast Transport USNS Carson City (EPF-7) and the Littoral Combat Ship Montgomery (LCS-8), according to the service.
Carson City completed its acceptance trials early this month ahead of the delivery to the U.S. Military Sealift Command.
“Upon delivery of USNS Carson City, three additional Spearhead-class EPFs are under construction at Austal’s Mobile, Ala. shipyard,” read a statement from the company.
“Yuma (EPF-8) is being erected in final assembly and modules for City of Bismarck (EPF-9) and Burlington (EPF-10) are under construction in Austal’s module manufacturing facility.”
Carson City is part of a 10-ship 2008 $1.6 billion block buy for the ships. 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 Independence-class Montgomery completed its builders and acceptance earlier this year ahead of the delivery to the service late last week. The ship is scheduled to commission in Mobile in September.
“After the delivery of Montgomery, six Independence-variant LCS remain under construction at Austal’s Alabama shipyard. Gabrielle Giffords (LCS-10), Omaha (LCS-12) and Manchester (LCS-14) are being prepared for trials,” according to a statement from the company.
“Assembly is underway on Tulsa (LCS-16) and Charleston (LCS-18) and modules for Cincinnati (LCS-20) are under construction in Austal’s module manufacturing.
The Navy is expected to select between the Independence and the Lockheed Martin Freedom-class LCS designs to serve as the template for the service’s planned upgunned frigate design in Fiscal Year 2018.
As part of the Fiscal Year 2017 budget, the Office of the Secretary of Defense directed the service to trim the total LCS/frigate buy to 40 ships from a requirement of 52.