Page 38: of Maritime Reporter Magazine (November 2001)
U.S. Navy: The Electric Shi weight distribution, increased redundan- cies and survivability, and better fuel efficiencies. As the USS Arleigh Burke (DDG-51) design manager, he pushed the advanced integrated electric propul- sion plant; as commanding officer of
Carderock Naval Ship Research and
Development Center, he believed elec- tric drive was one of several "technolo- gy clusters" that needed to be pursued.
That was 20 years ago-yet electric drive has not been installed in any major in- service or in-production Navy warship.
Meanwhile, perhaps mirroring the
Navy's mid- to late-19th-century experi- ence, other naval powers are investigat- ing the possibilities. For example, the
Royal Navy is installing electric drive in its Albion-class amphibious warships and has selected the advanced WR-21 intercooled and recuperative gas turbine.
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IED, and IPS for its next-generation
Type 45 destroyer.
As long as the focus remains on the hull. mechanical, and electrical (HM&E) aspects of specific ships, suc- cess will elude the Navy. But if it articu- lates what an all-electric Navy could be and puts programs and resources in place-for various future technologies and systems as well as IED and IPS- success will be much more likely. In short, it must embrace IED and IPS as catalysts for the wide-ranging, "leap- ahead" warfighting capabilities that
President George W. Bush and his advisors seek for the Navy.
In January 2000, then-Navy Secretary
Richard Danzig announced that the
Zumwalt destroyers would be built with
IED and IPS. A year earlier, he endorsed a Naval Sea Systems Command "Com- mon Integrated Electric Drive" report calling for a corporate approach to ensure that technologies developed for one platform type can be applied to other platforms. "Changes in propulsion systems are fundamental and of funda- mental importance," Secretary Danzig noted in his DD-21 announcement. "We are moving forward to embrace a tech- nology-electric drive technology-and the integrated power system that comes with it, to drive Navy ships." Thus, a lot hangs on the future of the DD-21.
To be sure, there remain hotbeds- maybe "rice bowls" is more apt-of inter- est in IED and IPS in and out of the
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Podded propulsion units and integrated stern propulsors will contribute signifi- cantly to wake reduction (which will help nullify advances in space-based multi- spectral sensors), overall propulsion effi- ciency, acoustic stealth, and maneuver- ability. (Photo courtesy Rolls-Royce) 38 Maritime Reporter & Engineering News