Leonardo DRS to provide advanced hybrid electric drive technology for first USCG OPCs
Leonardo DRS, Inc. has been awarded a contract by Eastern Shipbuilding to provide hybrid electric drive systems for the U.S. Coast Guard’s new fleet of Offshore Patrol Cutters. The contract, for the first nine systems, is worth $10.7 million. Eastern Shipbuilding is the prime contractor and builder of these next-generation Offshore Patrol Cutters, the Company said in a press release.
Under the contract, Leonardo DRS will provide its high-performance, permanent magnet motor-based Auxiliary Propulsion System. This integrated hybrid electric drive system provides capability for the ship to operate much more efficiently at slower speeds, increases mission duration capability, reduces emissions and provides emergency take-home capability in the event of a failure of the main propulsion diesel engines. When coupled to the main propulsion gearbox, the system allows the ship to operate quietly and efficiently during loitering operations while providing superior fuel economy for increased on-station operations and capability.
“DRS is a pioneer in naval hybrid electric drive technologies and we are proud to be able to deliver these advanced systems to the Coast Guard’s newest generation of ships,” said Dianne Howells, Vice President of Leonardo DRS Surface Ships business unit. “Our Auxiliary Propulsion Systems will give the crews of these new ships operational flexibility when they need it, while significantly increasing cost savings in yearly maintenance and fuel.”
The Auxiliary Propulsion System is designed and built by Leonardo DRS, a leader in naval hybrid electric drive propulsion technology. The system includes two of the most power-dense permanent magnet motors on the market today. They have significant advantages in size, weight, efficiency and performance over conventional electric induction motors and produce more torque from the same amount of supplied current. Their smaller footprint allows greater flexibility in engine room design and increased cargo space, and their simpler more rugged construction results in proven reliability and durability.
Using propulsion diesel engines at slow speeds adds significant wear and tear on the engines and increases the potential for coking/wet stacking. By adding this electric Auxiliary Propulsion System, the Coast Guard will have a built-in advantage of reducing not only fuel and maintenance requirements, but total lifecycle costs and increased safety for the fleet.
About Leonardo DRS
Leonardo DRS is a prime contractor, leading technology innovator and supplier of integrated products, services and support to military forces, intelligence agencies and prime contractors worldwide. The company specializes in naval and maritime systems, ground combat mission command and network computing, global satellite communications and network infrastructure, avionics systems, and intelligence and security solutions. Additionally, DRS builds power systems and electro-optical/infrared systems for a wide range of commercial customers. Headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, DRS is a wholly owned subsidiary of Leonardo S.p.A., which employs more than 47,000 people worldwide.