Hybrid Propulsion News Release

We have a news release on the electric portion of the Offshore Patrol Cutter’s hybrid propulsion system. There is not a lot of specifics about the system, but it does provide a rationale for installation of this additional system in a ship that above all else is designed to be “affordable.” The news release is quoted in full below.

ARLINGTON, VA, April 13, 2017 ̶Leonardo DRS, Inc. announced today that it has been awarded a contract by Eastern Shipbuilding to provide hybrid electric drive systems for the U.S. Coast Guard’s new fleet of Offshore Patrol Cutters. The contract, for the first nine systems, is worth $10.7 million. Eastern Shipbuilding is the prime contractor and builder of these nextgeneration Offshore Patrol Cutters.

Under the contract, Leonardo DRS will provide its high-performance, permanent magnet motorbased Auxiliary Propulsion System. This integrated hybrid electric drive system provides capability for the ship to operate much more efficiently at slower speeds, increases mission duration capability, reduces emissions and provides emergency take-home capability in the event of a failure of the main propulsion diesel engines. When coupled to the main propulsion gearbox, the system allows the ship to operate quietly and efficiently during loitering operations while providing superior fuel economy for increased on-station operations and capability.

“DRS is a pioneer in naval hybrid electric drive technologies and we are proud to be able to deliver these advanced systems to the Coast Guard’s newest generation of ships,” said Dianne Howells, Vice President of Leonardo DRS Surface Ships business unit. “Our Auxiliary Propulsion Systems will give the crews of these new ships operational flexibility when they need it, while significantly increasing cost savings in yearly maintenance and fuel.”

The Auxiliary Propulsion System is designed and built by Leonardo DRS, a leader in naval hybrid electric drive propulsion technology. The system includes two of the most power-dense permanent magnet motors on the market today. They have significant advantages in size, weight, efficiency and performance over conventional electric induction motors and produce more torque from the same amount of supplied current. Their smaller footprint allows greater flexibility in engine room design and increased cargo space, and their simpler more rugged construction results in proven reliability and durability.

Using propulsion diesel engines at slow speeds adds significant wear and tear on the engines and increases the potential for coking/wet stacking. By adding this electric Auxiliary Propulsion System, the Coast Guard will have a built-in advantage of reducing not only fuel and maintenance requirements, but total lifecycle costs and increased safety for the fleet.

About Leonardo DRS Leonardo DRS is a prime contractor, leading technology innovator and supplier of integrated products, services and support to military forces, intelligence agencies and prime contractors worldwide. The company specializes in naval and maritime systems, ground combat mission command and network computing, global satellite communications and network infrastructure, avionics systems, and intelligence and security solutions. Additionally, DRS builds power systems and electro-optical/infrared systems for a wide range of commercial customers. Headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, DRS is a wholly owned subsidiary of Leonardo S.p.A., which employs more than 47,000 people worldwide. See the full range of capabilities at http://www.drs.com and on Twitter @drstechnologies. For additional information please contact: Michael Mount Senior Director, Public Affairs 571-447-4624 mmount@drs.com Twitter: @drstechnologies

3 thoughts on “Hybrid Propulsion News Release

  1. As you discovered that the DRS motors to be installed on the OPC are rated at 625HP and will be downrated to 450HP and not the 2,000 HP (1.5 MW) electric motors developed for backfitting to the AB FLT IIA. Disappointing but in line with keeping Eastern Shipbuilding ‘seaframe’ cost as low as possible at $264 million in line with Commandant Adm. Paul Zukunft’s policy on affordability.

    Coast Guard Cutter Procurement:Background and Issues for Congress
    Ronald O’Rourke Specialist in Naval Affairs March 20, 2017 p.16
    ” A January 16, 2015, press report states Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Paul Zukunft on Thursday [January 15] said that his staff is currently reviewing the requirements for its Offshore Patrol Cutter (OPC) with affordability in mind. The “biggest challenge that we’re facing right now is that this will not be affordable,” Zukunft said at the annual Surface Navy Association conference in Arlington, Va. “I’ve turned it back to industry … bring me a capable platform that is also affordable.” Zukunft, who became commandant last May, is doing more than leave it to industry to design and produce a new and affordable medium endurance cutter for the Coast Guard. He told Defense Daily after his speech that he directed his “staff do a deep scrub on every one of the line items and so there are some line items in there that struck me.” For example, he said, what is the required water pressure for firefighting? If the requirement is set too high, that affects “piping, it affects weight, [and] how big of a pump do you need.” Zukunft said it’s this level of detail that is being scrubbed to figure out what is needed. Zukunft describe[d] the requirements review as an “open dialogue” that is “fully transparent” with the shipbuilders competing for the 25-ship OPC buy free to weigh in.”

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

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