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U.S. Navy Commissions USS Makin Island

Posted on November 17, 2009

GE Marine reported that the United States Navy commissioned its new LHD 8 ship, USS Makin Island, in San Diego, California, U.S.A. The USS Makin Island is the first U.S. Navy amphibious assault ship to feature a hybrid propulsion system that relies on two LM2500+ gas turbines or two diesel electric propulsion systems, the company said.

Navy Secretary, Ray Mabus said that the vessel’s hybrid propulsion system -- amongst other overall ship design enhancements -- could be credited for helping save on fuel and maintenance costs. Noting its delivery voyage from the shipyard in Mississippi to San Diego, Mabus said that, "during that initial voyage alone, she saved close to US$2 million in fuel costs. NAVSEA estimates at today’s fuel prices the Makin Island will save US$250 million over the lifetime of that ship, and it doesn’t include reduced maintenance costs.”

Brien Bolsinger, general manager of GE Marine, Evendale, Ohio. said that while there were "more than 380 LM2500+s operating in industrial settings throughout the world," the USS Makin Island marked the first military marine use of this aeroderivative gas turbine.”

The propulsion system’s gas turbines and diesel electric propulsion system operate independently. The LM2500+ gas turbines, which provide a total of 52 199 kW, are used for high-speed service, propelling the vessel to more than 20 knots. The diesel electric propulsion systems provide 7457 kW and are used for low-speed operation. The ability to select the best mix of power plants to match the immediate mission requirements provides the opportunity for significant fuel savings and reduction in operating costs for the ship, GE Marine said. The USS Makin Island was constructed by Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding and the GE LM2500+ gas turbines were manufactured at GE’s Evendale facility.

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