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Navy’s Future USNS Apalachicola Completes Acceptance Trials, Unmanned Logistics Prototype Tests

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The U.S. Navy’s future expeditionary fast transport ship has passed its acceptance trials and unmanned logistics prototype tests conducted by the service branch and its manufacturer Austal USA.

Naval Sea Systems Command said Friday the future USNS Apalachicola (EPF 13), which is scheduled to be delivered to the Navy later in 2022, demonstrated its operational readiness and ability to operate autonomously during a series of demonstrations held in recent months.

EPF 13 performed planned test events aimed at assessing autonomous capabilities integrated into its shipboard configuration as part of the unmanned logistics prototype trials supported by Austal USA and industry partners L3Harris Technologies and General Dynamics.

“USNS Apalachicola will enhance the operational flexibility needed by our Sailors,” said Tim Roberts, strategic and theater sealift program manager for Program Executive Office Ships.

The Navy’s expeditionary fast transport ships are capable of loading and unloading military cargo in shallow-draft ports.