Maritime Security Vessel News Roundup | February 23 – A US Navy fast transport ship, UK submarine construction and more

Recent deliveries include a US Navy expeditionary fast transport, a Polish Navy minesweeper, and a Royal Australian Navy patrol boat. Construction has meanwhile begun on the UK Royal Navy’s newest ballistic missile submarine.

US Navy takes delivery of new Spearhead-class fast transport

USNS Apalachicola (Photo: Austal USA)

The US Navy recently took delivery of the future USNS Apalachicola, the thirteenth Spearhead-class expeditionary fast transport (EPF) ordered from Austal USA.

Apalachicola is the first Spearhead-class ship with capabilities for V-22 Osprey flight operations and enhanced medical support.

Austal said the EPF is also the US Navy’s largest ship with the capability to operate as an unmanned surface vessel (USV). Testing of the vessel’s unmanned navigation capability was conducted by the navy and Austal with support from General Dynamics and L3Harris.

As with other EPFs, Apalachicola is designed to operate in shallow waterways and is capable of a wide range of activities including the high-speed transportation of troops, military vehicles, and equipment.

New minesweeper enters service with Polish Navy

Photo: Remontowa Shipbuilding/Michał Pietrzak

The Polish Navy has commissioned a new locally built mine countermeasures (MCM) vessel into service.

ORP Mewa is the final one of three Project 258 or Kormoran II-class MCM vessels in Polish service. As with its sisters, it is armed with a 35-millimetre cannon and is capable of deploying a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) and a towed sonar.

The vessel has a length of 58.5 metres, a beam of 10.3 metres, and a draught of 2.7 metres.

Fourth Evolved Cape-class patrol boat handed over to Royal Australian Navy

ADV Cape Capricorn (Photo: Austal Australia)

Austal Australia has delivered the Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN) newest Evolved Cape-class patrol boat, the future ADV Cape Capricorn.

The 58-metre aluminium monohull vessel features new, larger amenities to accommodate up to 32 people, improved quality of life systems, and more advanced sustainment intelligence systems compared to the RAN’s baseline Cape-class patrol boats. It will be utilised for a wide variety of constabulary and naval missions including anti-illegal immigration patrols and fisheries enforcement.

The vessel’s armament consists of two pintle-mounted 12.7-millimetre machine guns.

Construction starts on UK’s third Dreadnought-class ballistic missile submarine

Rendering of a Dreadnought-class ballistic missile submarine (Photo: BAE Systems)

BAE Systems has cut the first steel that will comprise part of the hull of the UK Royal Navy’s third Dreadnought-class nuclear-powered, ballistic missile submarine.

The future HMS Warspite will measure 153.6 metres long and will have a 130-strong crew and Trident ballistic missile armament. The submarine will have a projected service life of 30 years.

The future Warspite is scheduled to enter service along with its three Dreadnought-class sisters in the early 2030s.

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