Innovation in the OPC’s Propulsion System

When I first read this report from MarineLink, what I concentrated on was the generator capacity to be included in the Offshore Patrol Cutter (OPC), four 1,000 KW generators. Second time around I noticed reference to “Promas rudders,” and was curious enough to look it up and found it very interesting.

Here is a short pdf from Rolls-Royce explaining the claimed advantages of this system in terms of increased maneuverability, speed, and fuel economy.

They also claim decreased noise. Anything that improves the hydrodynamic efficiency of a ship probably also cuts down on its self noise, so it and the hybrid propulsion probably make the ship potentially a better ASW platform.

To Recap:

The two main diesel engines will be 16V 28/33D diesel engines, each rated at 9,763 bhp

There will have a hybrid propulsion system provided by DRS Power Technology with a pair of electric motors connected to the reduction gears. I assume these will be good for at least the ships’ designated cruise speed of 14 knots.

Since we know that DRS makes a 1500kW (about 2,000 HP) that is made to be connected to the reduction gear, so that seems a likely candidate for the motors to be used on the OPC. A pair would provide about 4,000 HP which should provide at least 14 knots.

5 thoughts on “Innovation in the OPC’s Propulsion System

  1. So, there are two versions, Promas for new construction and Promas Lite for fitting on existing hulls. Sounds like the technology has been around for several years if this was developed for ofshore vessels(PSV, AHTS, etc…….)

    My question is, will azipods and/or z-drives also be considered for the D/E drive system. The z-drive would have some advantages as far as maintenance and installation over the Promas system, imo.

    • Z-drive would provide more maneuverability but it is more complex than a straight shaft drive with these hydrodynamic enhancements.

      Azipods only work for pure electric drive. This being a hybrid would not work.

  2. Pingback: If They Ditch the LCS, Perhaps the OPC as Frigate | Chuck Hill's CG Blog

  3. The Vice Commandant has visited the plant that will make the engines for the OPC. https://www.marinelink.com/news/commandant-fairbanks426910

    An example of Fairbanks Morse’s latest developments is the Trident OP, a next generation opposed-piston engine set to be in December of 2017, and the first new engine the company has developed in 50 years.

    Fairbanks Morse has a long partnership with the USCG, having made the Opposed-Piston engines on the 378’ Hugh Endurance Cutters (WMEC) and the 140’ Icebreaking Tugs (WTGB). The recently awarded OPC program is the first time in 30 years that Fairbanks Morse has sold a new engine into the Coast Guard.

    For some reason this makes me a bit nervous, but we have been having a lot of unscheduled engine replacements on the FRCs and NSCs, so …

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