Autonomous surface vessel delivered to U.S. Navy by Austal USANews
February 21, 2023
MOBILE, Alabama. Austal USA has delivered Expeditionary Fast Transport USNS Apalachicola (EPF-13) to the U.S. Navy, the "largest surface ship in the fleet with autonomous capability," the company announced in a statement.
In addition to hull, mechanical, and electrical systems that are "highly automated," EPF-13 also includes automated maintenance, health monitoring, and mission readiness capabilities that can operate for 30 days without human intervention, the statement reads.
EPF-13 has been to sea five times over the course of 2022 and 2023. Industry partners L3Harris and General Dynamics Mission Systems tested and analyzed tactical ship systems and the autonomous systems. The ship is capable of supporting V-22 flight operations, as well as launch and recovery of 11-meter rigid hull inflatable boats (RHIBs), the company says.
The goal is for the vessel to support future expeditionary advanced base operations around the world, the statement adds.