A hybrid electric-drive system will soon undergo testing that, if successful, could achieve significant fuel savings for the surface fleet. A Navy contract teams General Atomics and DRS Technologies to build the drive.
Glen Sturtevant, director of science and technology for the Program Executive Office/Ships and the Naval Sea Systems Command's Surface Warfare Directorate, explained that while the Navy pushes toward a long-term goal of completely integrated electric drive for new ships, the hybrid system represents a power-saving solution for the in-service Fleet.
The Navy awarded General Atomics a contract last July for the proof-of-concept effort to build and test the system and finalized the design by the year's end. The system will consist of a permanent magnet motor built by DRS, integrated with a motor drive, power converter, and system electronics provided by General Atomics.
The team will deliver the drive system to the Naval Surface Warfare Center Carderock Division's Philadelphia land-based site for testing in 2011. It will later undergo at-sea testing on board the Arleigh Burke-class Aegis destroyer Truxtun (DDG-103) in 2012.