Philly Shipyard confirms award for fifth NSMV

(PHILADELPHIA) — Philly Shipyard on Sunday announced the authorization by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MarAd) and subsequent order from TOTE Services for the construction of one additional national security multi-mission vessel (NSMV).

The authorization marks the fifth and final NSMV in the training ship series. This modern vessel will replace the aging training vessel at California State University Maritime Academy in Vallejo, Calif.

Construction of the new vessel (NSMV 5) is expected to commence in 2023. The contractual delivery date for NSMV 5 is set in 2026.

U.S. Maritime Administration photo

The order was placed under the April 2020 contract with TOTE Services, which allows for the construction of up to five NSMVs. The initial award included the first two vessels in the NSMV program (NSMVs 1 and 2). The next two vessels in the NSMV program (NSMVs 3 and 4) were ordered in January 2021.

The’s award for NSMV 5 is valued at approximately $300 million, bringing the total order intake under the contract for the five-ship program to be approximately $1.5 billion.

As announced in November 2021, Philly Shipyard’s order backlog also includes a contract from Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Co. to construct one Jones Act-compliant subsea rock installation vessel (SRIV), with a contract value of approximately $200 million. The SRIV will be constructed in between NSMVs 4 and 5.

“It is truly a great day for Philly Shipyard as we are now responsible for building the complete series of the NSMV program – a physical symbol of MarAd’s investment in the future of maritime education and training,” said Steinar Nerbovik, president and CEO of Philly Shipyard. “The NSMV program continues to mark a turning point in our company’s transformation to serve both commercial and government markets.

“I would like to thank both TOTE Services and MarAd for their continued support,” he continued. “This award increases our order backlog to six vessels, which includes five NSMVs and one SRIV. Together with our union partners, workforce, and supplier network, our current backlog reinforces that shipbuilding is here to stay in Philadelphia.”

The NSMVs will be owned by MarAd, which developed the initial concept for the design. Construction of the NSMVs will not require any third-party financing.

Keel laying of NSMV 1 occurred in December 2021 and full production start of NSMV 2 occurred in November 2021 in accordance with plan. Pre-production activities on NSMVs 3 and 4 and SRIV 1 are ongoing.

The contract for the NSMV program has allowed Philly Shipyard to reconstitute its workforce as production ramps up. The total workforce at the yard is currently around 1,200. It is expected that operations at Philly Shipyard will reach full capacity in mid-2022.

About the NSMV program

The NSMV will help to sustain world-class, U.S. maritime training operations at the state maritime academies by equipping young American mariners with the most modern and adaptable training platform. The NSMV will feature numerous instructional spaces and a full training bridge with accommodation for up to 600 cadets to train in a first-rate maritime academic environment at sea.

State maritime academies graduate approximately 70 percent of all new officers each year – the merchant mariners who help keep cargoes and the economy moving. Many also support U.S. national security by crewing military sealift vessels.

Along with serving as an educational and training platform, the NSMV will also be available to uniquely 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 ramp and crane to facilitate container storage capabilities will enable it to provide critical support equipment and supplies to those in need.

– Philly Shipyard

By Rich Miller