National Security Multi-Mission Vessel is an advanced training vessel being built by Philly Shipyard. Credit: Herbert Engineering and MARAD.
NSMV will be powered by four 4,200kW diesel engines. Credit: Herbert Engineering Corp.
The multi-mission ship will accommodate 1,000 people and 600 cadets at sea. Credit: Herbert Engineering Corp.

National Security Multi-Mission Vessel (NSMV) is a next-generation multi-role vessel being developed for the US Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD).

MARAD selected TOTE Services as the construction manager for the development of five NSMV vessels in May 2019. The NSMVs will join the National Defense Reserve Fleet.

NSMV is intended to offer the best training platform, which ensures the US will continue to set the world standard in maritime training. The vessels will also support national security and the US Department of Defence’s humanitarian assistance and disaster relief missions during emergencies.

The estimated cost of building five ships is approximately $1.5bn, while the initial contract of two vessels is valued at $630m.

The first two vessels are expected to be delivered in 2023 and the remaining three vessels will be delivered between 2024 and 2026.

The environment-friendly NSMVs will comply with the US and international safety regulations.

Development of National Security Multi-Mission Vessel

NSMVs are intended to replace the existing State Maritime Academies (SMAs) Empire State VI ship, which was built in 1962. It has been educating and training maritime students since 1989.

“NSMV is intended to offer the best training platform, which ensures the US will continue to set the world standard in maritime training.”

The Volpe National Transportation Systems Center conducted an analysis for determining fleet recapitalisation alternatives in 2015, resulting in the allocation of funding for the vessels. A total of $300m was assigned for the construction of the first vessel in 2018 federal budget.

The five NSMVs will be berthed at different maritime training academies. NSMV-1 will be stationed at State University of New York (SUNY), NSMV-2 at Massachusetts Maritime Academy and NSMV-3 at the Maine Maritime Academy. NSMV-4 and NSMV-5 will be stationed at Texas A&M Galveston and California Maritime Academy respectively.

National Security Multi-Mission Vessel design and features

NSMV will have a length of 159.85m, a beam of 27m, a depth of 16.8m and a design draft of 6.5m. It will have a deadweight tonnage of 8,487t.

The ship will have the capacity to accommodate 1,000 people, recovery workers and crew during emergencies and will offer space to train up to 600 cadets at sea. Food will be stored for up to 60 days for a maximum of 700 people.

The multi-mission vessel will feature modern hospital facilities and a helipad. It will also be equipped with roll-on / roll-off ramp and cargo cranes to support vehicle and container stowage.

The multi-mission vessel will accommodate classrooms, workshops and lab areas for cadets, training bridge and navigation lab, as well as a large multi-purpose space to train the mariners.

The ship will offer young mariners a modern and adaptable educational training platform to carry out US maritime training operations at the SMAs.

NSMV propulsion

NSMV will be powered by four 4,200kW main diesel-electric engines, which will develop a power output of 14,280kW.

The propulsion system will allow the vessel to sail at a maximum speed of 18k, while the typical cruise speed will be 12k. The vessel will have a range of more than 17,700km.

The vessel will burn marine gas oil (MGO) and will consume 60t per day at a speed of 18k and 26t per day at 12k speed.

Contractors involved

TOTE Services received a contract from MARAD for managing the construction of new vessels in May 2019.

TOTE Service awarded a shipbuilding contract to Philly Shipyard for NSMV vessels in April 2020. The contract covers the construction of first two NSMV ships and includes options for the remaining three vessels.

Herbert Engineering provided concept design of the vessel, which was presented to MARAD in September 2015.

Other contractors in the design team include Jamestown Metal, SPAR Associates, SSPA, VT Group and B Rosenblatt & Associates.