GE Power Conversion to provide power and propulsion systems for US National Security Multi-Mission Vessels

According to a press release published on November 23, 2020, GE’s (General Electrics) Power Conversion business has been awarded a $40 million contract to supply the power and propulsion systems for two U.S. National Security Multi-Mission Vessels (NSMVs). This new class of purpose-built ships will be used primarily to provide cadets with at-sea training on operational vessels.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Artist rendering of U.S. National Security Multi-Mission Vessel. (Picture source Business Wire)

GE was selected as the single-source vendor (SSV) for the ships’ propulsion system, which includes the integration of the diesel engines, generators, switchboards, transformers, main propulsion drives, propulsion motors, and auxiliary support systems. While prior training vessels used steam propulsion plants, the new ships will have an all-electric system, enabling students to be trained on the latest technology being used in the commercial marine industry.

“GE Power Conversion is honored to be selected to provide the power and propulsion systems for the two National Security Multi-Mission Vessels (NSMVs) and are equally honored to be partnering with the U.S. Government and MARAD on these vessels,” stated Gagan Sood, CEO, GE Power Conversion North America. “We will bring our long history and strong expertise to ensure the US Government and MARAD are training cadets on the latest technology available.”

In addition to introducing cadets to the work of a merchant mariner, the ships also will serve critical national security interests, including missions in support of humanitarian assistance and disaster relief throughout the world. Cadets may also benefit from learning about and working with the latest electric ship systems, gaining valuable insights in how electrification is impacting ship performance and emissions. It is an opportunity to get practical experience of GE’s electric ship technology, learning in a real, safe environment.

The NSMV (National Security Multi-Mission Vessel) is designed to provide a state-of-the-art training platform that ensures the U.S. continues to set the world standard in maritime training. The ship is outfitted with numerous training spaces to include eight classrooms, a full training bridge, lab spaces, and an auditorium. The new ships will accommodate up to 600 cadets and instructors and provide comprehensive, instructional spaces and a full training bridge. The vessels have roll-on/roll-off (RORO) capabilities and container storage capacity as well as a helicopter landing pad, enabling them to support humanitarian aid or disaster relief if needed. The NSMV will be powered by Cummins Inc. using Wabtec’s latest 16V250 Series diesel engines, which meet the EPA’s stringent Tier 4 emission standards without using urea-based after-treatments.

In addition to being an educational platform, this vessel is a highly functional national asset. Designed to fulfill numerous roles, the NSMV can effectively support the federal response to national disasters such as Hurricanes Maria and Harvey. The vessel will have state-of-the-art hospital facilities, a helicopter landing pad and the ability to berth up to 1,000 people in times of humanitarian need. Alongside its humanitarian capacities, the NSMV has a roll-on/roll-off ramp and container storage allowing it to provide aid to damaged ports.

The US Department of Transportation’s US 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 NSMVs will replace current training ships at the State Maritime Academies.