US Navy | Unveils new Bethesda-class EMS medical ship
Defence Redefined
Published on 23/05/2023 at 19:27

The first ship of the US Navy’s new class of medical ships will bear the name ‘USNS Bethesda’ (EMS 1), the Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) Carlos Del Toro has announced.

Giving its name to a whole class of ships, Bethesda is the first of the new Expeditionary Medical Ship (EMS) class and is currently being built by Austal.

The expeditionary medical ships are exclusively designed as dedicated medical ship that optimizes hospital-level medical care in support of distributed maritime operations (DMO).

Based on the Spearhead-class expeditionary fast transports, the EMS will feature a shallow draft enabling greater reach and allowing direct access to shallow ports, also providing a flight deck that accommodates military helicopters.

According to the US Navy, this design provides a full range of medical capabilities including triage/intensive care, three operating rooms, medical laboratory, radiological capabilities, blood bank, dental, mental health, OB/GYN, and primary care, rapid stabilization and follow-on evacuation of multiple casualties and combat search and rescue including recovery at sea.

Overall, as a high-speed forward deployed medical ship the EMS is capable of providing rapid responsive sea-based and near-shore intensive care, humanitarian assistance, natural disaster relief, non-combatant evacuation operations, and special operations.

In comparison with its predecessors, USNS Mercy and USNS Comfort, the EMS is designed to respond and provide care at a more rapid pace than their sailing at speeds of at least 30 knots with a range of 5,500 nautical miles (at 24 knots).

Also read: Germany’s Rheinmetall supplies Ukraine with state-of-the-art field hospital




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