National Security Multi-Mission Vessel

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Proposed design for the National Security Multi-Mission Vessel from 2017 promotional images.
Class overview
Name: National Security Multi-Mission Vessel class
Operators: U.S. Maritime Administration
In service: 2022 (Est.)
Planned: 5
General characteristics
Type: Training Ship/Troopship
Length: 524.5 ft (159.9 m)
Beam: 88.7 ft (27.0 m)
Draft: 21.4 ft (6.5 m)
Installed power: 15,700 kW
Propulsion: 4 engine diesel electric, single shaft
Speed: 18 knots (33 km/h; 21 mph)
Range: 11,000 nmi (20,000 km; 13,000 mi) at 18 knots (33 km/h; 21 mph)
Complement: 600 cadets, 100 officers, staff, crew (training); 1000 (disaster relief)

The National Security Multi-Mission Vessel (NSMV) is a United States Maritime Administration (MARAD) proposed ship designed as training vessels for the US maritime academies. The vessels will also be equipped to provide emergency humanitarian relief in areas affected by natural disasters such as hurricanes.[1] In March 2018 the US federal budget included funding for the NSMV project and the new ships are expected to enter service in 2022.[2]


The US maritime academies train future officers and engineers for the US merchant fleet. An integral part of this training is annual voyage at sea aboard a training vessel. Much of the year the vessels are laid up, and as US government owned ships they can be activated and deployed to provide housing for disaster relief workers.[3] As of 2018 the current vessels were aging. The newest was almost 30 years old and oldest, Empire State, was 56 years old and had an antiquated steam power plant. The ships also fail international emission standards and this has impacted their training itineraries. MARAD provides the training ships and in 2015 initiated a program to develop a purpose-built ship design that would combine the training and disaster relief missions.[4] This dual purpose led to the class name of the design as National Security Multi-Mission Vessel. [3]

Design Considerations[edit]

In 2015 the Herbert Engineering Corp. of Alameda, CA began work on a preliminary design for what became the NSMV.[5] The ship dimensions would have to fit the existing mooring berths at the service academies. The design team visited three of the academies to learn of their training requirements. While primarily a training ship, the vessels would also be equipped for disaster relief. These included a Roll-on/Roll-off side ramp, container space and crane, and a helipad.[6]

Project Status[edit]

As of February 2018 the design stage was in Phase 3 of development and in sufficient detail to present to shipyards for construction bidding.[6] A construction contract was expected to be awarded to a shipyard in the second quarter of 2019.[7] In late March 2019 proposed federal budget reductions would cut the allocated amount per ship from $300M to only $205M. This reduced amount would require abandonement of the NSMV design and a complete redesign for a smaller ship.[8]


  1. ^ "NSMV Concept Design Presented to MARAD". Herbert Engineering Corp. Retrieved May 5, 2018.
  2. ^ "Budget Deal Includes New Training Ships for U.S. Academies". Maritime Executive. March 23, 2018. Retrieved May 5, 2018.
  3. ^ a b van Rynbach, Eugene (October 3, 2017). "Designing the New National Security Multi-Mission Vessel". Retrieved 5 May 2018.
  4. ^ Tyler, David (May 31, 2015). "Federal officials ponder new training ships for state academies". Retrieved 5 May 2018.
  5. ^ "Herbert Engineering Corp. - Representative New Building Projects". Retrieved 7 May 2018.
  6. ^ a b Eugene Van Rynbach (February 21, 2018). The Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers (PDF) (Speech). Alameda, CA. Retrieved 7 May 2018.
  7. ^ Philly Shipyard 2018 Annual Report (pdf) (Report). 2018. p. 8. Retrieved March 22, 2019.
  8. ^ Myers, Jim (29 March 2019). "Commandant: Coast Guard Approaching Tipping Point". The Waterways Journal, Inc. Retrieved 24 April 2019.

External links[edit]