Gas Turbines Powering Navy, Coast Guard Newbuilds

By Jack Burke30 August 2017

GE’s Marine Solutions said its LM2500 family of aeroderivative marine gas turbines were selected to power two newbuild surface vessels for U.S. Navy and Coast Guard programs.

Two LM2500+ gas turbines will power the Bougainville (LHA 8), the U.S. Navy’s newest multi-purpose amphibious assault ship. Construction is expected to begin shortly according to shipbuilder Huntington Ingalls Industries. GE LM2500+ gas turbines also power first-in-class USS America (LHA 6) and Tripoli (LHA 7). Tripoli was launched on May 1; it will be christened in September. The LHA ships use the same LM2500+ gas turbine hybrid electric propulsion system as the U.S. Navy’s USS Makin Island (LHD 8) amphibious assault ship. Thanks to this unique propulsion system, the U.S. Navy expects to see fuel savings of more than $250 million over the course of the ship’s life cycle, GE said.

The LM2500 marine gas turbine is a simple-cycle, two-shaft engine that offers 33 600 shp. Derived from GE’s CF6-6 aircraft engines, the LM2500 consists of a gas generator, a power turbine, attached fuel and lube oil pumps, a fuel control and speed governing system, associated inlet and exhaust sections, lube and scavenge systems as well as controls and devices for starting and monitoring engine operation.

The LM2500 is GE’s most widely-applied gas turbine, used by 33 navies worldwide. Possible applications for the LM2500 include patrol boats, corvettes, frigates, destroyers, cruisers, cargo/auxiliary ships and aircraft carriers. The LM2500 is also available as a military generator set.

Separately, a GE LM2500 engine in a combined diesel and gas turbine propulsion system will power the U.S. Coast Guard’s ninth National Security Cutter (NSC). All ships in the NSC Legend class feature the same LM2500 gas turbine system. Kimball (NSC 7) was launched by Huntington Ingalls Industries in Pascagoula, Mississippi, USA on March 4; the keel for sister ship Midgett (NSC 8) was authenticated on Jan. 27.

GE marine gas turbines can be applied in a variety of propulsion configurations so naval architects have the design flexibility to best match speed, endurance and mission payload requirements. The LM2500 family of marine gas turbines is manufactured at GE’s Evendale, Ohio, USA factory.

The U.S. Navy is GE’s largest marine gas turbine customer, taking delivery of over 700 LM2500 family of engines that operate aboard surface combatants such as frigates and destroyers.  Globally, more than 1,450 GE gas turbines log over 15 million hours serving 35 navies on 600 naval ships for 100 military ship programs ranging from cruisers, patrol boats and corvettes to frigates, amphibious ships and aircraft carriers.

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