The U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD) has announced authorizing the construction of two more National Security Multi-Mission Vessels (NSMV) to serve as training ships at Maine Maritime Academy and Texas A&M Maritime Academy in Galveston.
The authorization brings the number of NMSVs ordered for construction at Philly Shipyard in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to four. The first two NMSVs are bound for SUNY Maritime College and Massachusetts Maritime Academy.
“The NSMV is part of a strategy to bolster maritime education, revitalize U.S. shipbuilding, and provide a much-needed shot in the arm to the U.S. maritime industry,” added Doug Burnett, the Chief Counsel of MARAD, who is acting in lieu of the Administrator. “America must be a maritime nation if it is to continue to lead the world in this century.”
Each NMSV will feature instructional spaces, a full training bridge, and have space for up to 600 cadets. The vessel will also serve as a highly functional national asset that includes modern medical facilities, a helicopter pad, the ability to accommodate up to 1,000 people in times of humanitarian need, and roll-on/roll-off and container storage capacity for use during disaster relief missions.
MARAD had previously awarded TOTE Services, LLC with a contract to be the Vessel Construction Manager for the NSMV program in May 2019. In April 2020, TOTE Services awarded Philly Shipyard, Inc. with the contract to construct up to five NSMVs with fixed prices and schedules.
Construction of the first NMSV got underway at Philly Shipyard in December 2020 with delivery planned for early 2023. Construction of the two new vessels (NSMVs 3 and 4) is expected to commence in 2022 with planned deliveries in 2024.
The shipyard reports that the award for NSMVs 3 and 4 is valued at approximately $600 million. If all five ships are ordered and built in sequence, then the total contract value of the five-ship program would be approximately $1.5 billion.
Construction of the NSMVs is expected to support more than 1,200 direct shipyard jobs in Philadelphia.
“We are very excited to receive the order for the third and fourth NSMVs from TOTE Services, continuing MARAD’s investment in maritime education and supporting manufacturing jobs in the Philadelphia region’s industrial base,” said Steinar Nerbovik, Philly Shipyard’s President and CEO. “The NSMV program is a critical step forward in our transformation to serve both commercial and government markets. Together with our union partners, workforce and supplier network, this program signals that shipbuilding is here to stay in Philadelphia.”