Last weekend the US Navy’s newest ship was christened at the Austal shipbuilding facility at Mobile, Alabama.
It is the 10th ship of 12 to be built of the Expeditionary Fast Transport (EFT) series of ships by the Austal Shipyards. They are also building the Littoral Combat Ships there.
She will be commissioned later as the USS Burlington, named after Burlington, Vermont, the largest city in the state.
This video will show you what an EFT ship looks like, how she moves at sea and what her capabilities are.
She isn’t pretty.
Her lines will not be familiar to you, but this ship is built for agility, speed and the ability to support combat troops, or relief operations close into the shore.
She is designed to transport up to as much as 600 short tons of military cargo with a range of 1,200 nautical miles. She can do that at an average speed of 35-45 knots. That’s 40 -52 mph.
Her hull is made completely of aluminum, built in a catamaran configuration, and powered by four diesel engines. She has a shallow draft capability and can operate in ports and waters as shallow as 15 feet of depth. She is built with roll-on/roll-off discharge facilities, which you will see in action in this video and can on/off load fully combat loaded Abrams (MIA2) battle tanks. There is also a flight deck for helicopter operations.
All of this makes these ships very flexible assets for both combat support and relief operations.
This odd looking ship is extremely useful in intra-theater personnel and cargo transport needs. It gives ground combat commanders the high speed sealift mobility to move troops, heavy equipment, and supplies efficiently and quickly for potential and important positional advantages in a hot war situation, or for quick responses to emergency relief situations anywhere in the world.
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She can carry up to 312 troops and has a crew between 25 and 41, depending on the mission. She is armed with M2 .50 caliber machine guns. Her landing pad is built to handle up to CH-53 Super Stallion and CH-53 King Stallion helicopters with a parking area for an MH-60 Seahawk helicopter. Her mission bay is a convertible 20,000 square feet. She can be configured to carry U.S. Army or Marine Corps company-sized units with their vehicles, or to become a troop transport for up to an infantry battalion.
The future USS Burlington (EFT-10) was christened with the usual breaking of a bottle of sparkling wine swung at her hull in this case by Marcelle Pomerleau Leahy, the wife of Vermont Senator, Patrick Leahy on Saturday 2/23/2018. Nine of her sister ships have already been commissioned and are in active service with the fleet.
Learn more in the video below!
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Dan Doyle is a husband, father, grandfather, Vietnam veteran, and retired professor of Humanities at Seattle University. He taught 13 years at the high school level and 22 years at the university level. He spends his time now babysitting his granddaughter. He is a poet and a blogger as well. Dan holds an AA degree in English Literature, a BA in Comparative Literature, and an MA in Theology, and writes regularly for The Veterans Site Blog.