March 29th 2018

The government spending legislation approved last week includes $300 million for SUNY Maritime to build a new National Security Multi-Mission Vessel to replace the EMPIRE STATE VI.

SUNY Maritime President Rear Adm. Michael Alfultis told the college community in a letter that the new vessel will be delivered in time for the 2022 summer sea term.

“After many years of work, our dreams of having a new, purpose-built ship to educate and train the nation’s future mariners has come to pass,” he said.

“Hundreds of Maritime College faculty, staff, alumni and supporters advocated replacing EMPIRE STATE VI through several letter-writing campaigns. I thank you for playing your part in getting us to this exceptional day in Maritime’s nearly 150-year history.”

The current training ship was built in 1962 and converted in 1989. Of the six training ships in America, EMPIRE STATE is the oldest and has been in service the longest.

The National Security Multi-Mission Vessel (NSMV) will be an entirely new class designed specifically for training purposes.

The first NSMV, which will be called EMPIRE STATE VII, will have standard berthing for more than 700 people and up to 1,000 for as long as two weeks in times of humanitarian need.

The ship will have roll-on/roll-off capability and container storage, with a cargo crane and a side ramp for self-loading.

The vessel will also feature hospital facilities, a helicopter landing pad, eight classrooms, a full training bridge, lab spaces and an auditorium.

For propulsion, it will be equipped with stern and bow thrusters and a flap-type rudder to allow it to moor without help from tugs.

SUNY says the first NSMV will cost about $350 million to build.

“This news would not have been possible without the consistent staunch support of our elected officials, especially Rep. Joe Crowley, Sens. Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, and the rest of the New York delegation, as well as the dedication of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao and SUNY Chancellor Kristina Johnson,” Alfultis said.

“SUNY Maritime is known for its world-class ability to churn out talented mariners by the boatload, but they need a new, world-class vessel to continue to do that into the future,” Schumer said.

“This $300 million investment for a new training vessel will help better train the students of SUNY Maritime and steer them toward an even more successful future.”

“This funding is an important investment to repair and replace the training vessel at SUNY Maritime so that our mariners continue to have the training facilities they need,” said Gillibrand.

“I was proud to fight for these funds to be included in the Omnibus legislation because our mariners deserve the most up to date equipment and training facilities to learn the latest and most efficient technologies.”