Page 36: of Marine News Magazine (June 2021)

Combat & Patrol Craft

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Multimission Vessels


The new NSMV training ships will better meet the maritime academies’ training needs while also providing the U.S. with ships that can support disaster response and other critical national needs. rent inland tender ? eet. The primary mission is continuing the USCG’s aids to navigation (ATON) services in six U.S. regions, e.g., inland waterways, Great Lakes and Alaska.

This is critical work. According to the USCG, the Ma- rine Transportation System (MTS) accounts for more than $5.4 trillion annually in U.S. economic activity. Inland ports and waterways are basic MTS components; how well they function, or not, is integral at individual locations and across the system. The CG’s MTS operations include setting, relocating and recovering buoys in navigable river channels as water levels change, constructing and repairing safety related structures, and speci? c abilities required to reach and operate in shallow or otherwise restricted waters.

The CG’s current inland tender ? eet includes 35 cutters and 27 barges. Average vessel age exceeds 54 years, vessels are working long past their 30-year design service life.

For the new commerce cutters, a multimission perspec- tive is central. The CG’s preferred alternative is for three classes of vessels. Design would maximize “commonal- ity between the three classes to reduce sustainment costs, training needs and other associated requirements,” the CG writes in its program announcement.

All three variants will be monohull ships, meaning self- propelled cutters instead of tug and barge con? gurations.

The river buoy tender and inland construction tender vari- ants will be acquired on one contract; these variants are expected to be common except for hull length, working deck layouts, and deck equipment, including the crane.

Again, ATON is the primary mission but the cutters will be capable of side and stern towing, or to be towed.

They will have capabilities for search and rescue, ports, waterways and coastal security and marine environmental protection, and have the ability “to quickly and effectively respond to emergencies such as environmental incidents and severe weather events.”

Because of their varied capabilities, built in and includ- ed from the start, these ships will be able to work 24-7.

Downtime with MMVs? Maybe, but not because they can’t do what needs to be done.

36 | MN June 2021

Marine News

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