NMSV 1, aka Empire State VII, is floated out of dry dock at Philly Shipyard. Photo: courtesy of RADM Alfultis

Philly Shipyard Marks Milestones in New Training Ship Construction

Mike Schuler
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September 30, 2022

Philly Shipyard is celebrating two shipbuilding milestones in the construction of the first two new state-of-the-art training ships for state maritime academies.

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD) new vessel program, known as National Security Multi-Mission Vessels (NSMVs), calls for five new ships designed to serve as a world-class training platform at sea for up to 600 cadets and support humanitarian assistance and disaster relief missions in times of need.

Last week, the first vessel in the program, NMSV 1, aka Empire State VII, was launched as tugs helped float the vessel out dry dock and to its new berth for the remainder of construction. The vessel is planned to be delivered to SUNY Maritime College in 2023.

This week, Philly Shipyard held a keel laying ceremony for the NMSV II, aka Patriot State, marking the loading of the first grand block into the building dock. The second NSMV is scheduled to be delivered to Massachusetts Maritime Academy in 2024.

“We are proud to host Massachusetts Maritime Academy for the Patriot State’s keel laying ceremony, which continues a long-standing shipbuilding tradition where the first prefabricated block – known as the keel – is lowered into the building dock and coins are placed as a gesture of good luck in the construction and life of a ship,” said Steinar Nerbovik, President and CEO of Philly Shipyard. “This milestone event gives us the chance to reflect on the continued success of the NSMV program as well as the future of maritime education in Buzzards Bay.”

MARAD selected TOTE Services to be the vessel construction manager (VCM) for the NSMV program in May 2019 to ensure the utilization of best practices in commercial ship construction. As construction manager, TOTE awarded Philly Shipyard the contract to construct up to five NSMVs.

The initial award included the first two vessels in the program (NSMVs I and II). The next two were ordered in January 2021, followed by the fifth this past April. Deliveries are scheduled to take place starting next year through 2026 in the order of SUNY Maritime College, Massachusetts Maritime Academy, Maine Maritime Academy, Texas A&M Maritime Academy and California State University Maritime.

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.

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