Philly Shipyard Cuts Steel for Maine Maritime's Next Training Ship

Welding on a previous vessel in the series (file image courtesy Philly Shipyard)

Published Jul 11, 2022 6:57 PM by The Maritime Executive

Philly Shipyard has cut first steel for Maine Maritime Academy's next training vessel, the future T/S State of Maine - the latest in a long line of ships to bear the name.

The ceremony Monday marks the next milestone for the Maritime Administration's National Security Multi-Mission Vessel (NSMV) training ship program, administered by TOTE Services. The five-ship series will supply new training vessels to SUNY Maritime, Maine Maritime, Mass Maritime, Texas A&M and Cal Maritime, replacing aging training vessels of the Ready Reserve Force. 

Like their predecessors, the NSMVs will be convertible for disaster-relief use, and they are built with a helipad, medical facilities, extra berthing and a ro/ro ramp to accommodate that mission. 

"We've reached a historic milestone with the cutting of steel for this ship," said TOTE Services president Jeff Dixon. "We're grateful for the widespread, bipartisan support the NSMV program has received."

MARAD awarded TOTE a contract to manage the vessel procurement program in May 2019. In April 2020, TOTE awarded the design/build contract to Philly Shipyard, which had recently run through the last of its commercial shipbuilding backlog. Philly rehired staff for the NSMV program, and it cut steel for the first ship in the series last month. All five vessels are funded, and NSMV is expected to support 1,200 jobs at Philly Shipyard for years to come. 

“Just over two years ago, we received the initial order from TOTE Services for two NSMVs which officially ended our production gap and breathed new life into our shipyard,” said Steinar Nerbovik, President and CEO of Philly Shipyard. “Today, we proudly cut steel on a vessel destined for the docks of Maine Maritime and add a third ship to the active production lines within our yard."

In partnership with Philly, South Korean naval architecture house DSEC oversaw the detail design for the series. DSEC - a major player in U.S.-built merchant ship design, with credits like Matson's Kanaloa-class and TOTE's Marlin-class - selected GE to build the NSMV's power systems and engines in the United States.