MARAD Green Lights Two More NSMV Builds

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

January 19, 2021

(Image: MARAD)

(Image: MARAD)

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD) on Tuesday authorized the construction of two additional National Security Multi-Mission Vessels (NSMV), marking a key milestone for one of America's most high-profile shipbuilding programs.

The new vessels will replace aging training ships at Maine Maritime Academy in Castine, Maine, and Texas A&M Maritime Academy in Galveston, Texas. MARAD previously authorized the construction of the first two NSMVs, destined for SUNY Maritime College in Bronx, N.Y., and Massachusetts Maritime Academy, in Bourne, Mass., in April 2020.

Construction of the two new vessels (NSMVs 3 and 4) is expected to commence in 2022 with planned deliveries in 2024.

“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,” said 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.”

With this authorization, recapitalization of the U.S.’s aging maritime training fleet is nearly complete. A fifth vessel is planned for California State University Maritime Academy in Vallejo, Calif. All authorized vessels will be built at Philly Shipyard, Inc. in Philadelphia, supporting more than 1,200 shipyard jobs.

The award for the third and fourth NSMVs is valued at approximately $600 million. If all five ships are ordered and built in series, the total contract value of the five-ship program would be approximately $1.5 billion.

The NSMV will feature numerous instructional spaces, a full training bridge and have space for up to 600 cadets in a first-rate maritime academic environment at sea.

The NSMV is also 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.

In May 2019, MARAD awarded TOTE Services, LLC a contract to be the vessel construction manager for the NSMV program, an approach that aims to enable the government to benefit from commercial best practices for ship design and construction. In April 2020, TOTE Services awarded Philly Shipyard a contract to construct up to five NSMVs with fixed prices and schedules.

Engineering, procurement and planning activities for the first and second NSMVs are progressing in accordance with plan, Philly Shipyard said. The shipbuilder cut first steel for the series' lead ship in December 2020.

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