Shipbuilding: EPF-13 Christened for US Navy at Austal USA
Austal USA christened Expeditionary Fast Transport (EPF-13) USNS Apalachicola at its shipyard in Mobile over the weekend.
Austal has delivered 12 EPFs since December 2012, and USNS Apalachicola is slated for delivery in the summer of 2022.
The Honorable Kelly Loeffler, ship sponsor of USNS Apalachicola, performed the ceremonial bottle break over the bow of the ship, the 13th EPF designed and constructed by Austal USA and the second U.S. Navy ship to be named after the Florida coast city. The first Navy ship named Apalachicola (YTB-767), A Natick-class large harbor tug, was also built in Mobile at Mobile Ship Repair in 1963.
EPFs have performed humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, maritime security, surveillance, command and control, counter narcotics, and additional operations in almost every region of the world. A unique characteristic of EPF 13 is that Austal USA has been contracted to design, procure, implement, and demonstrate EPF 13 as an autonomous platform, allowing EPF 13 to operate autonomously while retaining the capability for manned operation, reducing cost and centralizing ship operations to the bridge.
Apalachicola (EPF 13) is one of two Expeditionary Fast Transport ships Austal USA is currently building for the U.S. Navy, while the start of construction on the future USNS Point Loma (EPF 15) will commence at the end of this month. Five Littoral Combat Ships (LCS) are also under various stages of construction at the Gulf Coast shipyard.