GE: A World Leader in Naval Electric Drive Power and Propulsion

Left: GE LM2500 aeroderivative marine gas turbine. Right: GE Power Conversion’s Advanced Induction Motor (AIM).

GE’s gas turbine and electric drive power and propulsion systems are proven to meet the most demanding needs of world navies. At the MADEX International Marine Industrial Defense Exhibition, GE is highlighting its power and propulsion capabilities as they apply to two new, proposed Republic of Korea (ROK) Navy programs: the KDDX destroyer and the CVX aircraft carrier.

“GE is the only company in the world that offers a full spectrum of gas turbine and electric drive propulsion solutions including mechanical drive, hybrid electric drive or integrated full electric propulsion. Together, GE Aviation Marine and GE Power Conversion have provided naval power and propulsion systems for 41 navies onboard 755 ships,” says Kris Shepherd, Vice President, General Manager, GE Aviation Marine, Evendale, Ohio. “To date, GE has supplied the ROK Navy with 155 marine gas turbines for 91 ships. Our longstanding in-country partner, Hanwha Aerospace, co-manufactures the engine components for the ROK’s naval and industrial gas turbines and assembles, tests, and provides service support of GE naval engines in country,” Shepherd added.

For the 6,000-ton ROK Navy’s KDDX destroyer, GE has proven solutions for the two considered propulsion configurations: integrated full electric propulsion (IFEP) or hybrid electric drive (HED). GE’s IFEP system would be nearly identical to the United Kingdom’s Type 45 destroyer and would leverage other successful electric ship systems GE designed for the United Kingdom Royal Navy’s Queen Elizabeth class carrier and the United States Navy’s Zumwalt destroyer. GE’s HED system would use the 3.4 MW shock-tested motor designed for the U.K. Type 26 frigate and Royal Australian Navy and Royal Canadian Navy Global Combat Ship programs. Both propulsion systems would use dual GE gas turbines to meet commonality, reliability, survivability and efficiency needs.

“GE has the world’s leading, proven solutions for both IFEP and HED systems which are available now to support the KDDX program. We believe that there are noteworthy benefits with an IFEP solution since it can easily accommodate energy demand growth for future weapons and radar systems,” says Andy Cooper, U.K. Managing Director of GE Power Conversion. “Powered through GE’s flexible electric grid on the ship, IFEP provides other advantages including greater operational and mission flexibility, and better energy management and energy efficiency,” Cooper stated.

GE’s IFEP solution uses fourth generation advanced induction motors, shock-proof drives, and a GE generator – coupled to a reliable GE LM series gas turbine – to provide a low-risk, fully compliant solution. The KDDX IFEP solution, using GE’s advanced electric ship architecture and electrical system integration expertise, is a natural first step as the ROK Navy progresses to a scaled-up IFEP system on the larger CVX aircraft carrier.

MADEX highlights

During MADEX, GE highlights include these power and propulsion capabilities and recent product enhancements that benefit the ROK Navy KDDX and CVX aircraft carrier programs:

Proven, mature products

  • GE is the only company with appropriate naval electric drive expertise, operating with 14 navies around the world. GE can supply proven, advanced technology electric ship propulsion equipment.
  • GE is the world leader in naval IFEP solutions and can leverage past programs, including the U.K. Royal Navy Type 45 destroyers and Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers, as well as the United States Navy’s DDG 1000. Similar technology is being considered for the U.S. Navy’s Large Surface Combatant DDG(X) program.
  • GE’s IFEP solution offers superior operational flexibility and fuel economy, power for future mission systems’ growth and optimal survivability/redundancy by using, two flexible, right-sized gas turbines.
  • For nearly 30 years, GE has supported the U.K. Royal Navy with HED technology; collaborations include the pioneering Type 23 class in the 1990s and now the HED system for the Type 26 City class ships and Global Combat Ship.
  • GE serves worldwide navies with over 1,500 delivered engines and provides 95% of the commissioned propulsion gas turbines in the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard combatant fleet.
  • GE has 10 gas turbine service and support depots worldwide, including one in the ROK.

Korea industrial capability

  • Since 2011, Hanwha has been manufacturing engine components, assembling, testing, and providing service support of GE Aviation Marine naval engines in the ROK.
  • GE engines have significant local content and are serviced locally, thus negating the need to ship gas turbines overseas.
  • Hanwha partners with GE Power Conversion to offer ship electric drive equipment and support.
  • GE works extensively through both its ROK and global teams with the ROK shipbuilding sector on both commercial and naval ship programs, contributing GE expertise in managing, delivering and helping to de-risk major, innovative programs.

Technology investment

  • Complementing its design and engineering capabilities is GE’s Marine Power Test Facility. This is the only commercial, land-based facility in the world capable of full-scale, full-load test and emulation of integrated navy systems and ship architectures.
  • GE’s power-dense marine gas turbines offer best in-class reliability with low lifecycle costs. Compared to its steel predecessor, the new gas turbine module offers a weight reduction of over 2,000 kilograms, elimination of corrosion, is 60% quieter, and has wall temperatures that are -3 to 10 degrees Celsius cooler.
  • GE’s range of digital solutions, including its Connectix Operations+ suite, provides enhanced asset performance management, supporting improved asset health and energy efficiency.

Worldwide support

  • By using a GE engine, the ROK Navy will have superior interoperability with forward-deployed U.S. Navy surface combatants in the Pacific theater, and with other common allies.
  • GE’s LM2500 gas turbine brings quick start capabilities, easy on-board maintenance, and an outstanding worldwide fleet performance of up to 99% reliability and more than 98% availability.
  • GE’s split casing compressor and power turbine design allows for in-situ maintenance, often making a gas turbine removal unnecessary; navies save millions of dollars a year and weeks/months of ship unavailability.