US Navy photo, USS Halsey (DDG 97)
The US Naval Institute reports that the Navy intends to put auxiliary electric motors, or hybrid electric drive (HED) system, on 34 Burke Flight IIA guided missile destroyers (DDGs), by adding an electric motors to a preexisting quill drives in the main reduction gear. Reportedly these will power the vessels at up to 13 knots.
These systems will not only save money when the ships are cruising slowly, they will also allow them to remain on station longer.
Although the typical diesel power plant on cutters is more efficient at low speeds than the DDG’s gas turbines, a HED should also be applicable to Coast Guard cutters. We do seem to spend a lot of time cruising slowly. It would also provide a redundant propulsion system as a backup if the main engines were disabled. I am hoping there will be something similar on the Offshore Patrol Cutter.