Philadelphia-based Philly Shipyard has been awarded an initial USD 630 million contract to construct the newest class of US training ship, the national security multi-mission vessel (NSMV).
As informed, the shipyard will construct up to five new ships to provide maritime training for America’s future mariners and to support humanitarian assistance and disaster relief in times of need.
“This new world class vessel, constructed at an American shipyard, is part of our much-needed program to replace the aging training vessels currently operated by state maritime academies,” Elaine L. Chao, U.S. Transportation Secretary, said.
In May 2019, TOTE Services contracted with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD) as the vessel construction manager to deliver up to five NSMVs.
Under the new contract awarded by TOTE, Philly Shipyard is to construct the first two NSMV training ships with options for the remaining three. The ships will be owned and operated by MARAD. The first two units are scheduled for delivery in spring and winter 2023. If all five ships are ordered and built in series, then the total contract value of the five-ship program would be approximately USD 1.5 billion.
Following the construction and delivery of the ships to TOTE Services, the vessels will be transferred to MARAD to further their mission of training future licensed mariners at state maritime academies and responding to humanitarian and natural disasters for the United States.
The NSMV will feature numerous instructional spaces and a full training bridge and have space for up to 600 cadets to train in a first-rate maritime academic environment at sea.
Along with serving as an educational and training platform, the NSMV will also be available to support federal government efforts in response to national and international disasters such as hurricanes and earthquakes.
In this role as a national defense reserve fleet vessel, the NSMV will incorporate medical capabilities, a command and control platform, and berthing for up to 1,000 first responders and recovery workers. The vessel’s roll-on/roll-off (RoRo) ramp and crane to facilitate container storage capabilities will enable it to provide critical support equipment and supplies to those in need.