Fairbanks Morse

Fairbanks Morse engines to power future USS John L. Canley

US-based engine manufacturer Fairbanks Morse recently delivered four FM 6L48/60CR engines to General Dynamics NASSCO in San Diego for Military Sealift Command on the USS John L. Canley (ESB 6).


The ship is the sixth in the US Navy’s Military Sealift Command expeditionary transfer dock (ESD)/expeditionary sea base (ESB) program and is designed to serve as a mobile sea base that provides access to critical infrastructure for the deployment of forces and supplies.

According to Fairbanks Morse, the engines will reduce operational costs through fuel efficiency, improved performance and lower emissions.

“We are proud to once again deliver American-made power and propulsion systems that support critical operations for the U.S. Navy’s global missions,” George Whittier, Fairbanks Morse CEO, commented.

“Our common rail technology solution … will generate significant cost savings for the U.S. Navy over the operational lifetime of the engines.”

Specifically, the four FM 6L48/60CR engines are rated at 6,480 kW and will deliver a total of 25,920 kW of installed power. The engines utilize common rail technology to deliver high fuel efficiency throughout the ships’ operational conditions.

Common rail technology uses a high-pressure header, high-pressure pumps, electronically controlled fuel delivery, electronic governing system and an advanced control system to deliver precise amounts of fuel throughout all engine operations. This results in improved performance, increased fuel efficiency and lower emissions.

The future USS John L. Canley

In November, the US Navy revealed the name of the ESB 6. The newbuild will honor Medal of Honor Recipient Marine Corps Sergeant Major (Retired) John L. Canley.

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General Dynamics NASSCO started construction on ESB 6 in June 2020 and is also contracted to build ESB 7.

Fairbanks Morse plans to begin construction on engines for ESB 7 later this year.

ESB class ships are used for a wide range of military operations and may support multiple operational phases. Among these are air mine counter measures (AMCM), counter-piracy operations, maritime security operations, humanitarian aid and disaster relief missions and U.S. Marine Corps crisis response.