Newport is an expeditionary fast transport (EPF), one of 14 that Austal has under contract with the U.S. Navy, 11 of which have been delivered with the remaining 3 in various stages of construction.
The next step is sea trials and then delivery before the end of the year.
The future USNS Newport was officially christened in November 2019 and was named after Newport, Rhode Island – home to U.S. Naval Station Newport and the Naval War College.
The 103 metre Spearhead-class EPF is capable of transporting 312 embarked troops and 600 short tons of cargo up to 1,200 nautical miles at an average speed of 35 knots. The ships can operate in shallow-draft ports and waterways, interface with roll-on/roll-off discharge facilities, and on/off-load a combat-loaded Abrams Main Battle Tank (M1A2).
The EPF includes a flight deck for helicopter operations and an off-load ramp that allows vehicles to quickly drive off the ship. The ramp is suitable for the types of austere piers and quay walls common in developing countries. EPF’s shallow draft further enhances littoral operations and port access. This makes the EPF an extremely flexible asset for support of a wide range of military and other (humanitarian and disaster relief) operations to small or damaged ports.