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Philly Shipyard Lays Keel for Fourth NSMV

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

December 8, 2023

(Photo: Philly Shipyard)

(Photo: Philly Shipyard)

Philly Shipyard this week held a keel laying ceremony for the fourth of five new purpose built, state-of-the-art training vessels for America’s state maritime academies.

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD) new vessel program – known as National Security Multi-Mission Vessels (NSMVs) – was designed to provide world-class training for America’s future mariners and to support humanitarian assistance and disaster relief missions in times of need.

 The fourth NSMV is scheduled to be delivered to Texas A&M Maritime Academy in 2025.

Each NSMV will feature numerous instructional spaces, a full training bridge, and accommodations for up to 600 cadets to train in a first-rate maritime academic environment at sea. State maritime academies graduate more than half of all new officers each year—the merchant mariners who help keep cargoes and our economy moving. Many also support U.S. national security by crewing military sealift vessels.

Steinar Nerbovik, President & CEO of Philly Shipyard.  “We remain honored to be the shipbuilder of choice for this revolutionary new-build program, and are proud to work alongside of TOTE Services and MARAD on a program that will positively impact the many generations of maritime cadets that follow.”

TOTE Services is the vessel construction manager (VCM) for the NSMV program, the first government shipbuilding program to use the VCM contract model. This innovative approach enables shipyards to apply commercial best practices for design and construction to government vessels.

“We are excited to celebrate this significant achievement today as we continue working to fulfill our commitment to MARAD and our nation’s future cadets by delivering the modern training platforms they deserve,” said TOTE Services President Jeff Dixon.  “There is growing interest in the VCM contract model and its potential applicability to government shipbuilding programs to reduce costs, accelerate delivery times, and build more vessels.”

Congress has appropriated funding to replace aging training vessels with NSMVs at SUNY Maritime College, Massachusetts Maritime Academy, Maine Maritime Academy, Texas A&M Maritime Academy and California State University Maritime Academy, respectively. These ships will be owned and operated by MARAD.

NSMV 1, Empire State, was delivered in September 2023, while NSMV 2 and NSMV 3 are both under construction in Philly Shipyard’s outfitting and building docks, respectively. Construction on NSMV 5 has not yet started.

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