GE Power Conversion systems chosen for NSMV

Written by Nick Blenkey
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NSMV [Image: Herbert Engineering & MARAD]

GE’s Power Conversion business has been awarded a $40 million contract to supply the power and propulsion systems for the first two National Security Multi-Mission Vessels (NSMVs) on order at Philly Shipyard.

The U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD) plans to contract for a total of five NSMVs, with power systems contracts estimated at more than $100 million. The first two vessels are scheduled to enter service in 2023 and 2024.

The diesel-electric NSMVs will replace the current steam-powered training ships at the state maritime academies.

As we reported earlier, the ships will each have four Wabtec 16V250 Series main engines divided between two engine rooms. The Wabtec engines, which meet EPA Tier 4 emission standards without using urea-based after-treatment will be integrated into generator sets by Cummins.

GE’s single-source vendor (SSV) contract includes the integration of the diesel engines, generators, switchboards, transformers, main propulsion drives, propulsion motors, and auxiliary support systems.

TOTE Services is the project’s vessel construction manager. TOTE Services chose Philly Shipyard for construction of up to five NSMVs, with South Korea’s DSEC providing the ships’ detail naval architecture design.

DSEC, in turn, awarded the power systems contract to GE, with GE’s Korea team providing global support during the bidding process.

“This project award is the culmination of global collaboration within GE, with the Republic of Korea team working closely with DSEC, and the U.S. team supporting Philly Shipyard,” said Steve Mankevich, who led Power Conversion’s U.S. team on the project.

With more than 100 electric and hybrid references with 15 navies globally, GE is one of the top electric propulsion providers to navies around the world.

“We are proud to be selected for this project and will strive to ensure success by offering proven commercial technology that will de-risk the overall program,” Mankevich said. “We’re the recognized experts, and our knowledge and competence absolutely set us apart.”


The U.S. Congressional Pennsylvania delegation pushed hard for U.S.-based manufacturers such as GE to be used in the ships’ construction. The V250 series diesel engines for the NSMV fleet will be manufactured at Wabtec’s Grove City, Pa., plant, while the R&D, engineering, and manufacturing of GE’s Power Conversion equipment will be located out of GE’s facility in Pennsylvania.

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