Philly Shipyard lays keel for third NSMV training ship

Written by Nick Blenkey
NSMV keel laying group shot

Philly shipyard ceremony celebrated the third keel laying of an NSMV vessel in 18 months.

The National Security Multi-Mission Vessel (NSMV) training ship program is rolling right along. On May 1, Philly Shipyard hosted a keel laying ceremony for the third of the five new purpose built, state-of-the-art training vessels it is building for America’s state maritime academies. This third vessel is scheduled to be delivered to Maine Maritime Academy in 2024.

“Today, we reached another great shipbuilding milestone for our shipyard and the NSMV program as a whole,” said Steinar Nerbovik, president & CEO of Philly Shipyard. “At the moment, we have three vessels taking shape in our docks and a fourth being fabricated in our production shops. We wish the Maine Maritime students good luck with final exam week and look forward to welcoming the cadets in a few weeks to see the progress on their new ship and to tour our yard. I want to thank everyone involved in this project as we continue on this exciting new build process.”

“Today we celebrate the third keel laying of an NSMV vessel in 18 months, demonstrating the efficiency and success of this unique construction management program that is helping recapitalize our nation’s maritime training fleet at academies from coast to coast,” said Jeff Dixon, president of TOTE Services, which was selected as MARAD’s vessel construction manager (VCM) for the NSMV program in May 2019.

In April 2020, TOTE Services awarded Philly Shipyard a contract to construct up to five NSMVs. These ships will be owned and operated by MARAD.


While the NSMV program addresses the issue of MARAD’s aging training vessels, the Ready Reserve Force fleet is also aging. In testimony on the MARAD budget request back in March, Maritime Administrator Ann Phillips noted that, in the FY 2023 NDAA, MARAD was directed to develop a Roll-On/Roll-Off ship design for the construction of 10 new vessels for the NDRF to begin construction in 2024. In response to this directive, she said the RRF program is documenting the necessary actions to rapidly implement a limited shipbuilding program. Modeled after the NSMV program, this shipbuilding effort would leverage commercial practices and utilize a vessel construction manager to speed deliveries. At this time, MARAD activity is limited to developing the implementation plan and the requirements for a conce

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