Philly Shipyard, Vard Marine Win CHAMP Gig
Philly Shipyard (PSI), the U.S. commercial shipyard constructing vessels for operation in the Jones Act market, and the naval architecture and marine engineering company Vard Marine announced that their bid to conduct industry studies for the Common Hull Auxiliary Multi-Mission Platform (CHAMP) program has been selected by the U.S. Navy.
The CHAMP program is a multi-phase effort that involves design studies, preliminary design, and detail design and construction (DD&C) to ultimately replace the Military Sealift Command (MSC) fleet of aging ships, which provide transport of supplies and critical support to U.S. forces abroad.
CHAMP could affordably recapitalize the current fleet with significant decreases in cost both in ship construction and life-cycle maintenance cost. The demand for the CHAMP program could approach 60+ vessels.
Steinar Nerbovik, Philly Shipyard President and CEO, remarked, “We are excited and grateful to team with Vard Marine and explore the design for this important program. Philly Shipyard has the history, facility and access to skilled labor, as well as a strong reputation for quality, which is required to develop a highly effective, mature and affordable solution to support a successful long-term recapitalization.”
“It is an honor to be teamed with a state-of-the-art and capable world-class shipyard such as Philly. Our combined expertise is a great recipe for achieving a best-value solution for the CHAMP program,” said Darren Truelock, VP Houston for Vard Marine.
Philly Shipyard is one of four U.S. shipyards selected for the design study. The design study efforts begin immediately and last into 2022. It is anticipated the shipyards will ultimately compete for the DD&C contract, with award in 2023 and acquisition occurring over the next ten years. There is growing support, however, to accelerate the program to begin acquisition of the first vessels as early as 2021.