Military Embedded Systems

Autonomous capability in development for transport catamarans


June 09, 2021

Emma Helfrich

Technology Editor

Military Embedded Systems

Austal Limited photo.

AUSTRALIA. Austal Limited has announced that Austal USA has won a $44 million fixed-price, undefinitized contract modification for the design, procurement, production implementation, and demonstration of autonomous capability on Expeditionary Fast Transport (EPF) 13, USNS Apalachicola.

According to the company, Austal USA is constructing 15 Spearhead-class EPF vessels for the U.S. Navy and has delivered twelve EPFs since December 2012. EPF 13 is currently under construction at Austal USA’s Mobile, Alabama shipyard.

The Spearhead-class EPF is a 103-meter, high-speed aluminium catamaran with a large, 1800 square meter cargo deck, medium-lift helicopter deck, and seating for over 300 embarked troops intended to provide a fast, high-payload transport capability to combatant commanders around the world.

The Austal-designed and built EPFs are engineered to support a range of missions from maritime security operations to humanitarian aid and disaster relief. Two EPF’s are currently under construction at Austal USA’s shipyard – the USNS Apalachicola (EPF 13) and the USNS Cody (EPF 14).


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