GE works with GD and US Navy on improving LM2500 gas turbine

GE’s Marine Solutions announced recently that the LM2500 gas turbine Module Modernization Program (MMP) that the company undertakes with General Dynamics Bath Iron Works and the United States Navy was now underway.

The goal of the MMP, as GE said, will be to inject updated technology into the gas turbine module system and reduce enclosure weight by approximately 50%, with the base structure excluded.

According to the company, the U.S. Navy is GE’s largest marine gas turbine customer with over 350 LM2500 engines in operation across multiple programs including DDG-51 Arleigh Burke, LCS-2 Independence and LHA-6 America-class ships.

Products developed under the MMP will be introduced to the U.S. Navy’s DDG-51 program starting with Flight III.

The modernization program focuses on composite initiatives including the enclosure, inlet barrier wall and inlet screen. The MMP also targets gas turbine and package sensors to improve condition monitoring and manufacturability.

As GE explains, all bolted joints between the walls and roof panels will be eliminated in the composite enclosure to improve noise attenuation and simplify assembly. The composite enclosure will feature improved entry points via the addition of an access panel to the inlet plenum, enlarged rear access panels and improved top access hatch design (see diagram below). The company says these enhancements will significantly reduce the weight of the door and the hatch and will improve ingress/egress, especially in the nose-down orientation on board ship.

GE’s Brien Bolsinger, vice president, general manager, Evendale, Ohio, said: “For the MMP, the infusion of new technologies will improve the manufacturing and maintainability of the LM2500 marine module, all the while reducing module weight, noise, radiated heat – and most importantly – life cycle costs.”

“The new marine module will meet global naval requirements, including Mil 901D shock. Once available in 2018, this lightweight design can easily be applied to LM2500 family gas turbines used by other international navies,” he added.

Detailed design for MMP products is ongoing, with extensive fire testing on subcomponents planned for 2016. The prototype enclosure is expected to be complete in April 2017, and full scale fire, shock, noise and vibration testing is planned to be completed mid-2018. The new composite enclosure will be available by the fourth quarter 2018, the company said.