GE Delivers Last Propulsion Motors for RN’s Aircraft Carriers Under Construction

GE reports that it has delivered the last of eight propulsion motors for aircraft carriers Queen Elizabeth and the Prince of Wales that are under construction for the United Kingdom’s Royal Navy. The two vessels, each with a length of 280 meters and a displacement of 65,000 tons, will be the largest warships in the world to use fully electric propulsion systems.

GE secured to contract to supply its Advanced Induction Motor (AIM) technology for integration in to the Integrated Full Electric Propulsion (IFEP) systems for the new Queen Elizabeth class (QEC) carriers in 2008. The IFEP comprises all shipboard electrical power generation and propulsion systems and features

AIM is said to increase fuel efficiency plus high levels of survivability. According to the U.K.’s Ministry of Defence, the 65,000-ton QE class warships, with their advanced propulsion system, are expected to consume no more fuel during typical routine operations than the much smaller (22,000 ton) predecessor CVS class carriers. Over their lifetime of 25 years or longer, the two QEC carriers will achieve significant economic, environmental and operational benefits including greatly improved autonomous operation.

The all-electrical power and propulsion approach improves ship survivability by decoupling the placement of the turbines and the generators from the propellers’ mechanical drive. Power generation and propulsion equipment is instead distributed across several independent compartments rather than concentrated into a single space or small number of spaces.

The QEC’s propulsion system is consistent with a growing trend among the world’s leading navies to use GE’s electric propulsion technology,’ said Paul English, marine vertical leader for GE Energy Management’s Power Conversion business. ‘They include the Royal Navy’s Type 23 frigates and Type 45 destroyers, the U.S. Navy’s LDH8 and Zumwalt destroyers and the French Navy’s Mistral class, among others.’

Naval Today Staff, September 21, 2012