U.S. Maritime Administration Seeking a Construction Manager for New National Security Multi-Mission Vessel

An illustration of the new National Security Multi-Mission Vessel. Credit: U.S. Maritime Administration

The U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD) today issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) seeking a   construction manager to deliver the new National Security Multi-Mission Vessel (NMSV) to replace the Empire State VI as SUNY Maritime College’s training ship.

The RFP specifically solicits for a Vessel Construction Manager (VCM), which will be responsible for contracting with a qualified shipyard that will ensure on time and on budget delivery as well as upholding commercial best practices.

The NMSV will be of an entirely new class and designed specifically for training purposes, as well as to provide response during national disasters.  

“A new multi-mission vessel built by an American Shipyard will not only create new jobs, but help train the next generation of American mariners and contribute to disaster relief,” said U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao.

For the past several years, MARAD has been working with Alameda, California-based Herbert Engineering on the design of the new NSMV, the details of which were released last year.

As a training platform, the NSMV will feature multiple instructional spaces, eight classrooms, a full training bridge, labs, and an auditorium, and have space for up to 600 cadets for training at sea. 

The NSMV will also be available to support federal government efforts in response to national and international disasters, such as hurricanes and earthquakes. In this role, the vessel will be equipped to support major federal relief and response efforts with hospital facilities, a helicopter landing pad, and berthing for up to 1,000 first responders and recovery workers. It will also feature a roll-on/roll-off ramp and a crane to facilitate container storage to provide support even at damaged port facilities.

The first NSMV has been estimated to cost approximately $350 million, with delivery to the Maritime Administration expected in 2022.

A total of $300 million in federal funding to support construction of the first NSMV was included in the $1.3 trillion U.S. government spending bill signed by President Donald Trump back in March. 

The 2017 National Defense Authorization Act directed MARAD to “provide for an entity other than the Maritime Administration to contract for the construction of the NSMV.” 

“The U.S. shipbuilding and repair industry is vital to the economic strength and security of our nation,” added Maritime Administrator Mark H. Buzby, “and this project will demonstrate that American shipbuilding remains the global standard of excellence.”

Maritime College’s current training ship, Empire State VI, was built in 1962 and later converted to serve as a training ship for Maritime College students in 1989. Of the six training ships in America, Empire State is the oldest and has been in service the longest.

Note: An earlier version of this story incorectly stated the RFP sought a shipyard, not a Vessel Construction Manager responsible for contracting a shipyard.