US Accepts 14th Spearhead Expeditionary Fast Transport Ship

Austal has delivered the USNS Cody Spearhead-class Expeditionary Fast Transport Vessel (EPF 14) to the US Navy.

Manufactured in Alabama, the ship will serve as the agency’s first Flight II EPF system integrated with improved medical capabilities and related facilities to ensure vital warfighter care in complex scenarios at sea.

The Cody incorporates a “Role 2E” hospital model for intensive care, enhanced life support, and advanced resuscitation procedures through an onboard operating suite.

This suite includes two operating rooms, a pharmacy, a laboratory, and a blood bank.

Simultaneously, the Flight II configuration will enable the vessel to deploy and recover 11-meter (36-foot) class rigid-hull inflatable boats and carry V-22 Osprey vertical takeoff and landing tiltrotor aircraft.

Like its sister ships, the EPF 14 will have the capacity for 21 core personnel, airline-style seating for over 300 soldiers, and a fixed berthing for 146 people.

Latest Military Sealift Command Vessel

The USNS Cody’s handover followed its acceptance trials in the Gulf of Mexico last month.

They involved “execution of intense, comprehensive tests of the ships major systems and equipment while underway,” according to Austal.

The 103-meter (338-foot) vessel will join the US Military Sealift Command’s global fleet, which is responsible for tactical transportation and other logistic services required by the force.

Austal is working on two more EPFs, the future USNS Point Loma (EPF 15) and the unnamed EPF 16, for the US Department of Defense at its Mobile shipyard in Alabama.

USNS Cody Spearhead-class Expeditionary Fast Transport Vessel (EPF 14).
USNS Cody Spearhead-class Expeditionary Fast Transport Vessel (EPF 14). Photo: Austal

Additional Expeditionary Ships

Austal received an $867.6-million contract in December to construct three Expeditionary Transport Ships configured with full medical capabilities for the US Navy.

Designated as Expeditionary Medical Ships or EMS, the systems will support the holding, evacuation, and stabilization of naval patients in line with the US defense’s Distributed Maritime Operations.

“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,” Austal Limited CEO Paddy Gregg said during the contract announcement.

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