Meet the new National Security Multi-Mission Vessel
Currently, the nation’s sea services get their officers through federal military academies to include Annapolis, the USCGA at New London and the USMMA at Kings Point. Then, of course, there is ROTC and the five state maritime academies (SMAs), the latter of which are geared to supplying merchant officers though do produce lots of Naval and Coast Guard reserve officers as well.
The thing is, while the USNA has a fleet of YPs and the whole Navy to send mids to, and the USCGA has the square rigger Eagle, the SMAs are using recycled training ships on their last legs, which doesn’t really train merchant officers to conn state of the art seagoing vessels that use minimally-manned diesel-electric plants and are geared to Ro/Ro operations. That is about to change.
The new National Security Multi-Mission Vessel program, funded through U.S. Maritime Administration, will see at least five new training ships for the SMAs (plus maybe one for Kings Point?) that will be able to tap in to respond to natural disasters and emergency sealift as needed and the first, for SUNY Maritime College in New York, has been funded at $300 million. Currently, SUNY sends cadets out on two 45-day and one 90-day cruise during their four years at the institute.
The NSMV design is for diesel-electric drive ships with berthing capacity for up to 600 cadets, or 1,000 persons when the MARAD-owned vessels are deployed on emergency relief efforts, as training ships were after hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria in 2017. Additionally, SMA vessels were used in the aftermath of Katrina and Rita in 2005.
Length o.a.: 159.85 m (524.5 ft.)
Beam: 27 m (88.6 ft.)
Draft: 6.5 m (21.4 ft.)
Design service speed: 8 knots/15% sea margin
Cruising Speed: 12 knots
Propulsion: Diesel Electric
Propulsion engines: 4 x Diesel Generators
Total installed Power: 15,680 kW
Propellers: 1 propeller, fixed pitch
Rudders: 1 flap type rudder on centerline
Fuel: Single fuel – marine gas oil (MGO), max Sulfur content 0.1%
Bow Thruster: retractable combi type – tunnel thruster in up position, azimuthing thruster in down position, “Take Home” source of power, 1450 kW
Stern Thruster: Tunnel type, 890 kW
Fuel Consumption: 60 tons/day @ 18 knots, 26 tons/day at 12 knots
Fresh Water (including sanitary water): 35 gal/day per person for 700 = 93 tons + 5 tons Ship Service FW = 98 tons/day
Fuel range: About 11,000 nm range @ 18 knots design speed with 10% remaining fuel
Food & Stores: 60 days food storage for 700 persons, 297 sq. m. (3,200 sq. ft.) reefer provisions, 240 sq. m. (2,580 sq. ft.) dry provisions
Propulsion motors: 2 x 4,500 kW propulsion motors. Motors in separate watertight compartments.
Electric Power: 6,600 V main power generation, 440 V ship service electric power, 120 V lighting and accommodations
RoRo deck: RoRo space aft with a length of about 40 m (130 ft), width inside framing of 24 m (80 ft), clear height of at least 4.7 m (15.3 ft). The usable deck area is about 1,000 sq. m. (10,700 sq. ft.). Suitable for about 10 x 40 ft trailers with 26 autos or about 49 autos/light trucks.
Total container capacity: about 64 TEU for two high.
Crane: 1 x Jib Boom type with 35 MT SWL x 24 m outreach
RoRo ramp: 20 ft. wide watertight wide side ramp with 40-ton capacity