Austal to Design, Construct Three Medical Vessels for US Navy

Shipbuilding firm Austal has secured a $867.6-million contract for the final detailed design and production of three Expeditionary Medical Ships (EMS) for the US Navy.

The EMS is based on the company’s proprietary Expeditionary Fast Transport ship and will have aluminum capabilities similar to the latest manufactured vessel of the product line.

As a dedicated medical platform, the EMS will address transport, evacuation, holding, and stabilization of naval patients as part of the US Department of Defense’s Distributed Maritime Operations.

The ship will have a shallow draft for greater reach, convenient access to austere ports, and a flight deck to accommodate airborne assets such as the CH-53K King stallion heavy lift cargo helicopter and V-22 Osprey tiltrotor military aircraft.

Extending Capabilities

“The new Expeditionary Medical Ship further extends the capabilities of the proven Expeditionary Fast Transport platform, designed and constructed by Austal, to enable more complex medical procedures and operations to be performed onboard, at sea and underway,” Austal Limited CEO Paddy Gregg stated.

“These three new EMS will enhance the US Navy’s capability to provide effective medical and surgical support anywhere in the world, quickly, safely and efficiently.”

To date, Austal has delivered 13 Expeditionary Fast Transport ships to the US Navy.

The firm is now preparing to hand over the first upgraded vessel of the class, the future USNS Cody (EPF 14), which also contains improved medical capabilities.

Work for this ship is ongoing at Austal’s facility in Alabama.

Medical Capabilities for Eisenhower Carrier

In October, The US Navy deployed the first medical expeditionary capability of the Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group.

The two-man solution will cover critical care and response operations for a maximum of eight hours from the point of injury through rehabilitation for all personnel aboard the USS Dwight Eisenhower (CVN 69) and its corresponding naval ships.

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