The U.S. Navy awarded a $261.8 million contract to Austal USA for the 13th and 14th Expeditionary Fast Transport ships (EPF) on March 25, 2019. General Dynamics Mission Systems, as a subcontractor to Austal USA, designs, integrates and tests the Expeditionary Fast Transport's electronic mission systems including the backbone computing infrastructure, internal and external communication, electronic navigation, aviation and armament systems.
These systems use the same infrastructure as the Independence-variant Littoral Combat Ships and promote commonality, increased capability and reduced cost while supporting U.S. soldiers and sailors in traditional logistics missions, humanitarian support projects, disaster response and maritime law enforcement activities.
Excerpt From Austal USA's Press Release:
The EPF’s large, open-mission deck and large habitability spaces provide the opportunity to conduct a wide range of missions from engagement and humanitarian assistance to disaster relief, and from maritime security support operations, to intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance. The Expeditionary Fast Transport ships are performing valuable missions all over the world.
With a draft of only 13 feet and a unique propulsion system, its ability to access austere and degraded ports with minimal external assistance provides an overabundance of options to fleet and combatant commanders. Along with its draft, propulsion system, enormous mission bay and greater-than 40 knot speed, these ships have the potential to support future requirements in special operations, command and control, and medical support operations.