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US Navy considering 2 variants for next common auxiliary hull

According to USNI, the US Navy is currently planning to replace its actual auxiliary ships by two new hulls, under the Common Hull Auxiliary Multi-Mission Platform (CHAMP) program.

US Navy considering 2 variants for next common auxiliary hull 925 001 Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS Greenville and submarine tender USS Emory S. Land (Picture source : US Navy)

The Navy initially expected one new hull to be created. Yet, now, the program office has realized that the five mission areas CHAMP seeks to cover fit into people-centric and volume-centric categories. Therefore, the US Navy is compelled to revise its initial project, by considering the design of two hulls instead of one, which should still generate significant savings over pursuing each replacement program separately.

Both Austal and NASSCO, as well as EPF and ESB operators, have noticed the space that both ships designs have and the flexibility to use that space for many missions, including as a medical facility.

The EPF is already built with some medical spaces, but a massive passenger bay inside the ship and nearby the medical space could be outfitted with more patient beds, more operating rooms, and so on. The ESB has a wide-open mission bay that is used for small boat operations today, but leaders aboard that ship told USNI News previously that the space could easily be used as a hospital.

These auxiliary ships will be used in the fleet via the Maritime Prepositioning Force. Current MFP ships, many of which are about halfway through their service life, will go into reduced operating status and be held in the Military Sealift Command surge fleet. And the hulls in the surge fleet today, which are quite old and many of which use steam propulsion plants, will be retired.