Join our crew and become one of the 106,520 members that receive our newsletter.

The Expeditionary Medical Ship (EMS) is a high-speed aluminium catamaran based on the proven Expeditionary Fast Transport design that offers enhanced medical support to the United States Navy. (Image: Austal USA)

The Expeditionary Medical Ship (EMS) is a high-speed aluminium catamaran based on the proven Expeditionary Fast Transport design that offers enhanced medical support to the U.S. Navy. (Image: Austal USA)

Austal USA Awarded Contract for US Navy’s Next-Generation Hospital Ships

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 1602
December 22, 2023

Australian-based Austal Limited (ASX: ASB) has announced that its U.S. shipyard, Austal USA, has received a $867.6 million undefinitised contract award (UCA) for the final design and construction of three Expeditionary Medical Ships (EMS) from the U.S. Navy.

The EMS, known as the Bethesda Class Expeditionary Medical Ship, are the U.S. Navy’s next-generation hospital ships. These ships are designed to provide faster response and greater range compared to their predecessors, USNS Mercy and USNS Comfort.

Based on Austal’s proven Expeditionary Fast Transport ship (EPF) platform, the EMS will be manufactured in Austal USA’s aluminium manufacturing line, following the completion of the last Expeditionary Fast Transport (EPF 16).

Paddy Gregg, Chief Executive Officer of Austal Limited, said the UCA enables the final detailed design for the Expeditionary Medical Ship and the commencement of the construction of three vessels.

“The new Expeditionary Medical Ship further extends the capabilities of the proven Expeditionary Fast Transport (EPF) platform, designed and constructed by Austal, to enable more complex medical procedures and operations to be performed onboard, at sea and underway,” said Mr. Gregg. He also added that 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.

The Expeditionary Medical Ship (EMS), a variant of the Expeditionary Fast Transport (EPF), is a cost-effective design optimized to perform patient holding, stabilization, evacuation, and transport in support of Distributed Maritime Operations (DMO). With a shallow draft, the EMS design allows for greater reach and direct access to austere ports. The flight deck is designed to accommodate military aircraft, including the V-22 Osprey and CH-53K heavy lift cargo helicopter.

Austal USA has a successful track record of delivering 13 EPFs, a predecessor to the EMS design, to the U.S. Navy. The company is currently in the process of delivering the first EPF Flight II, the future USNS Cody (EPF 14), which features enhanced Role 2E medical capability, and has two more Flight II vessels under construction.

Unlock Exclusive Insights Today!

Join the gCaptain Club for curated content, insider opinions, and vibrant community discussions.

Sign Up
Back to Main
polygon icon polygon icon

Why Join the gCaptain Club?

Access exclusive insights, engage in vibrant discussions, and gain perspectives from our CEO.

Sign Up
close

JOIN OUR CREW

Maritime and offshore news trusted by our 106,520 members delivered daily straight to your inbox.

gCaptain’s full coverage of the maritime shipping industry, including containerships, tankers, dry bulk, LNG, breakbulk and more.