The U.S. Navy’s 10th Spearhead-class expeditionary fast transport, the future USNS Burlington (T-EPF-10), successfully finished acceptance trials, the Navy said on Friday.
The EPF ships, built by Austal USA in Mobile, Ala., are non-combat ships that are meant to on or off-load personnel and vehicles at shallow-draft ports and waterways. They are used for maneuver and sustainment, relief operations in small or damaged ports, and flexible logistics support.
EPFs can hold a fully combat-loaded Abrams tank and have a flight deck that supports day and night aircraft launch. The vessels have airline-type seating for 312 embarked forces and fixed berthing for 104 personnel.
The trials ended with two days of dockside and underway evaluations demonstrating ship systems in the Gulf of Mexico with the Navy’s Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV). Such trials are usually the last major milestone before a ship is delivered to the Navy.
“Acceptance trials are a major step toward delivering Burlington to the Navy. The ship performed very well this week, which is a great reflection of the commitment of our industry and government team to delivering quality ships,” Capt. Scot Searles, Strategic and Theater Sealift program manager at Program Executive Office (PEO) Ships, said in a statement.
After trials, the ship returned to Austal’s shipyard and will start preparing for delivery to the Navy, set for later this year.
T-EPF-10 previously finished its builder’s trials in late June (Defense Daily, July 5).