Nov. 16 (UPI) -- The U.S. Navy accepted its tenth Spearhead-class Expeditionary Fast Transport, or EPF 10, from Austal USA on Nov. 15th, according to Navy press release
USNS Burlington will be owned and operated by the Military Sealift Command and will be used in a variety of missions including overseas contingency operations, humanitarian assistance and special operations forces support.
"Burlington will provide tremendous flexibility to combatant commanders in the fleet," Strategic and Theater Sealift program manager Capt. Scott Searles said in a release."EPF 10 will enhance our forward presence and provide a variety of capabilities to U.S. operations around the globe."
The EPF is designed to carry up to 600 tons of cargo and 312 troops plus Military Sealift Command attachments over 1,300 miles between refueling at an cruising speed of 40 miles per hour.
The ship is capable of operating in shallow ports and waterways and is compatible with roll-on/roll-off discharge facilities, and can perform on/off-loading of heavy armored vehicles like the M!A2 Abrams main battle tank.
The EPF has a flight deck for helicopter and UAV operations and an off-load ramp that allows vehicles to embark quickly up landing. It also has a draft of under 15 ft. making it suitable for operating in coastal areas and shallow or damaged ports and providing logistics and disaster relief.
It carries a civilian crew under Navy command like other USNS ships but often has military personnel attached. Nine ships in the class are currently operational with several more in various stages of construction or pending delivery.