Aug. 3 (UPI) -- Integrated sea trials of the USNS Newport were successfully completed last week, the U.S. Naval Sea Systems Command announced on Monday.
Austal USA successfully conducted comprehensive tests to demonstrate the performance of all of the ship's major systems, the statement on Monday said.
The trials combined Builder's and Acceptance Trials, allowing the shipbuilder to demonstrate the operational capability and mission readiness of the ship to the Navy's Board of Inspection and Survey during a single underway period at sea.
"We are eager to press forward with delivering the USNS Newport to the fleet this year and to enhance the operational flexibility available to our combatant commanders," Tim Roberts, strategic and theater sealift program manager for the Navy's Program Executive Office, Ships, said in a the statement.
The ship is the Navy's 12th Expeditionary Fast Transport vessel, an aluminum-hulled catamaran built for intra-theater personnel and cargo transport during high-speed sealift operations.
The 337 foot-long vessel is designed to operate in shallow-draft ports and waterways for a wide range of activities, including humanitarian assistance and relief operations in small or damaged ports.
EPFs can transport a 600-ton payload 1,200 nautical miles at an average speed of 40.2 mph. The ship includes airline-style seating for 312 troops and fixed berthing for 104.
The keel of the USNS Newport, then known as EPF-12, was laid in January 2019.
Austal USA, its builder, received a $13.6 million contract in March 2020 to provide an engineering change to the ship and to its under-construction sister ship, USNS Puerto Rico. Changes were incorporated to the structural bow section the ships.