(PHILADELPHIA) —Philly Shipyard on Wednesday marked the start of fabrication for the second national security multi-mission vessel (NSMV) with a brief steel-cutting ceremony. Representatives from Philly Shipyard, TOTE Services and the U.S. Maritime Administration (MarAd) gathered around the yard’s plasma cutting machine to watch the official start. The first steel plates cut will be later joined into a double bottom, midship section.
Following the initial steel cutting for NSMV I in December, this event signifies the second major construction milestone in the NSMV program – a MarAd project to develop the first purpose-built, state-of-the-art training vessels for America’s state maritime academies.
In April 2020, TOTE Services awarded Philly Shipyard a contract to construct up to five NSMVs with an initial order for two vessels. In January 2021, MarAd authorized TOTE to execute a subsequent order for the third and fourth ships in the series. The first NSMV has a target delivery in early 2023.
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