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US Navy canceling program to turn gas-guzzling destroyers into hybrids
By: David B. Larter
16 hours ago
WASHINGTON — The Navy is canceling a program to install fuel-efficient hybrid electric drives in 34 destroyers, leaving only one destroyer with the technology, the Navy confirmed in a statement.
Citing “department priorities,” the service requested $6.3 million for 2018 to finish the installation on the destroyer Truxtun, but has zeroed out funding in 2019 and in the out years. The service has spent about $52 million on the program to date. The whole program was expected to cost $356.25 million, according to the Navy’s FY2017 budget submission.
“Based on the Department’s priorities, President’s Budget 2019 removes funding from Hybrid Electric Drive program in FY 2019,” said Lt. Lauren Chatmas in a statement. “There are no further procurements or installations planned beyond DDG-103 in the Future Years Defense Program.”
The Navy will use Truxtun as a test bed to see if the technology pays off in the long run, Chatmas continued.
“Installation on DDG-103 is in progress and when installation is complete, operational usage of HED on DDG-103 will be monitored and evaluated to determine the effectiveness of HED. This will inform future decision on the fielding of HED.”
The program developed with L-3 was designed to switch power to the drive shaft, which turns the ship’s propellers, from the main LM2500 gas turbine motors to the ship’s electrical generators at speeds below 13 knots. At those speeds the ship could perform night steaming, ballistic missile defense or anti-submarine operations, but not keep up with the speedy carriers.
As the program began to materialize and development progressed, a number of problems began to materialize, according to a former Navy official who spoke on background. Foremost among them was the intense electrical load that running the drive system on the ship’s two running generators was putting on the ship.
Destroyers have three generators, two of which run while a third remains in standby, which rotates through while generators are down for maintenance or in case of an emergency. Running the electrical motor that turned the shaft while also running the ship’s power-hungry radars and related systems maxed out the capacity of those generators.
“At that point you are a light switch flipping on away from winking out the whole ship,” the official said.
Furthermore running the generators at that load wasn’t exactly as fuel efficient as they had hoped it would be.
Those issues, while valid, could probably have been solved through engineering, said Bryan Clark, a retired submarine officer and analyst with the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments.
To Clark, canceling the program seems a bit shortsighted, given the potential for the technology to make a real difference in fuel efficiency in future ships and classes.
“If it’s a money thing, that’s one thing,” he said. “If it’s either this or invest in over-the-horizon anti-surface weapons, well OK. But if it’s this or another science and technology or research and development program — one of the major challenges we have is figuring out how to be more efficient at certain profiles. That would be worth knowing.”
BAE Systems, Cammell Laird and BMT team-up to deliver additional Type 45 power generation
21 March 2018
The UK Ministry of Defence has appointed an alliance team led by BAE Systems to deliver its Type 45 Power Improvement Project (PIP).
BAE Systems joined with shipbuilding and conversion specialist Cammell Laird and naval design and technical support expert BMT to win the contract, and today signed a charter on board HMS Diamond along with representatives from the Royal Navy and MoD to celebrate the alliance.
The project will improve resilience in the Royal Navy’s Type 45 Destroyer power and propulsion system by replacing the existing two diesel generators, fitting an additional diesel generator and modifying the high voltage system on each ship. The alliance has drawn on each member’s expertise across the defence and commercial sectors, and draws on proven power and propulsion capability and over 30 years of unique Type 45 design, build and support experience.
David Mitchard, Managing Director, BAE Systems Maritime Services, said: “We are immensely proud to support the Royal Navy’s Type 45 fleet whether at home or on deployment around the world. By combining the collective knowledge, experience and skills of BAE Systems, Cammell Laird and BMT we are demonstrating our commitment to present a robust technical solution with an innovative commercial alliance. Our aim is to rapidly restore command confidence in the power and propulsion system of the Type 45 fleet, demonstrate value for money and safeguard vital skills for future generations of warship support.”
Jeremy Berwick, Managing Director, BMT Defence and Security, said: “We firmly believe in the power of teamwork and this agreement sets the seal on the coming together of three highly complementary partners to form the very best team. We look forward to working with our partners to deliver a fresh, lean and rapid solution for the Royal Navy.”
Linton Roberts, Managing Director, Cammell Laird, said: “Cammell Laird is delighted and proud to have been selected to undertake the Type 45 Power Improvement Programme in partnership with BAE Systems and BMT. This highly collaborative approach is very much in line with the Government’s National Shipbuilding Strategy by maximising the effectiveness of the complementary expertise and experience of each partner. The Ministry of Defence has driven a challenging competition for this contract, and we are confident that our Alliance will deliver a very innovative technical solution to the Royal Navy.”
The scope of the PIP competition was split into two lots, comprising major procurement, design and integration of the solution, and the physical installation and replacement of equipment onboard the Type 45 vessels. The BAE Systems-led team competed in and won both lots, with work set to begin immediately.
The installation and replacement of equipment is planned to take place at Cammell Laird’s shipyard in Birkenhead, Merseyside, before a series of harbour and sea trials will enable the ships to return to their home at Portsmouth Naval Base, where they will return to Royal Navy operations supported by BAE Systems.
The Type 45 fleet is supported by BAE Systems at home and overseas. The Type 45 destroyers are the United Kingdom’s most advanced air defence warship and resolving the power and propulsion issues will allow the Royal Navy to carry out its full range of operations to protect UK and NATO interests anywhere around the world, with confidence in the power and propulsion system.
BAE team to deliver power improvement for Type 45 destroyers
Richard Scott, London - Jane's Navy International
22 March 2018
An industry team led by BAE Systems has been contracted by the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) to embody a major power generation upgrade for the UK Royal Navy’s (RN’s) six Type 45 air defence destroyers.
The so-called Power Improvement Project (PIP) implementation will see the ships’ two existing 2 MW diesel alternators removed and three 3 MW diesel alternators introduced to increase electrical-generation capacity on board. The BAE Systems team – which also includes Cammell Laird and BMT Defence Services – was selected ahead of a rival bid from Babcock.
The Type 45 PIP forms part of a wider initiative, known as Project Napier, intended to address systemic shortfalls affecting the Type 45 integrated electric propulsion (IEP) system. Operating experience has highlighted a lack of resilience and redundancy in the current power and propulsion arrangement, in large part attributed to the poor reliability of the Rolls-Royce WR21 gas turbine alternators (GTAs), two of which are fitted in each ship. The two Wärtsilä 12V200 diesel generators alternators currently installed as part of the IEP system are primarily intended to provide power for harbour services and ‘blackout’ recovery, and not designed to perform as true backup generators in the event of GTA failure.
To add greater resilience to the power and propulsion system, the PIP has been established with the objective of changing the original IEP architecture by installing upgraded diesel generators to increase the electrical generation capacity so that the system can deliver cruise speeds (covering the major part of the Type 45 operating profile) on diesels alone. The WR-21 GTAs will remain to provide boost power as necessary but will be used much less often.
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GE Verifies Benefits of New Lightweight LM2500 Marine Gas Turbine Enclosure: Comparison Testing Reveals Weight, Noise Reduction
MONDAY 9TH APRIL 2018
NATIONAL HARBOR, MARYLAND (April 9, 2018) – GE’s Marine Solutions announces it has successfully completed the acoustic attenuation and weight comparison testing between its new lightweight composite LM2500 gas turbine module and the steel enclosure. The results verified a 2,500-kilogram weight reduction and a significant improvement in noise attenuation—60% quieter—when compared to its steel predecessor.
“The tests compared the noise and weight of the steel enclosure to the novel one piece composite design. Results verified that the new carbon fiber provides a significant reduction in the wall weight and noise, which is vital on weight- and size-constrained surface combatants,” said GE’s Brien Bolsinger, Vice President, General Manager, Evendale, Ohio.
“By using lightweight composites, life cycle costs associated with rusting steel components are eliminated. The new design provides improved access to the engine, and with wall temperatures 25 to 50 degrees cooler, there is less heat rejected into the engine room. Yet most importantly, the new module offers sailors a safer, more comfortable environment,” Bolsinger added.
The United States Navy, General Dynamics Bath Iron Works and GE have collaborated on this new LM2500 enclosure. Also as part of this program, digital sensors and components such as transducers, heaters, and flame and ice detectors are being modernized. The first composite enclosure will be ready in 2019; initial applications are on the U.S Navy’s DDG 51 destroyers. A number of other U.S. and international programs are interested in this new enclosure.
The U.S. Navy plans to purchase up to 20 new FFG(X) frigates that are more lethal than the present Littoral Combat Ships. GE believes its LM2500 family of proven marine gas turbines are the right size to power this new frigate program (see a separate GE fact sheet on the FFG(X) program). With a GE gas turbine, the U.S. Navy has support worldwide whether onshore or at sea, and interoperability benefits with other U.S. Navy vessels and allies. GE has delivered gas turbines onboard 646 naval ships serving 35 navies worldwide, and provides 97% of the commissioned propulsion gas turbines in the U.S. Navy fleet.