August 3, 2004

Navy certification for GE's LM2500+

GE Transportation's marine business received United States Navy certification for its LM2500+ aeroderivative gas turbine. The LM2500+ has been certified by the U.S. Navy for 35,000 brake horsepower (bhp) for mechanical drive applications.

The LM2500+ received the certification for use powering the U.S. Navy's eighth LHD and follow-on ships in the WASP (LHD 1) class of large-deck, multipurpose amphibious assault ships.

"The LHD 8 will be the first military application of the LM2500+, and we are very pleased with the achievement of this major milestone in the history of the LM2500 engine family. We believe the LHD program will pave the way for the use of the LM2500+ for a variety of future domestic and international naval programs," said Karl Matson, general manager, GE Transportation's marine business.

During the 500-hour testing regimen conducted at the GE Evendale, Ohio, manufacturing facility, no engine forced shutdowns were experienced. Other aspects of the test program included:

  • Engine was maneuvered from idle to full power;
  • 35% of the time the engine ran at 100% power;
  • Engine ran to internal temperatures associated with 100oF ambient temperatures (a standard Navy day);
  • Test emphasized cyclic stresses and high temperature effects; and
  • Test was followed by disassembly and inspection of major subassemblies.

The LHD 8 is being built by Northrop Grumman Ship Systems, Pascagoula, Miss., and will be powered by two GE LM2500+ gas turbines, coupled with GE main reduction gearing.

GE has supplied nearly 90% of the U.S. Navy's hardened and ground gearing for various applications over the past 20 years. The gearboxes for the LHD 8 were built at GE's state-of-the-art Lynn, Mass., plant. The LM2500+ gas turbines were manufactured at GE's Evendale facility.

The ship's hybrid electric drive system will have electric motors to provide propulsion power at low loitering speeds. The previous seven LHD ships, also designed and built by Northrop Grumman Ship Systems, were powered by steam propulsion systems. GE also supplied the last three ships' main reduction gears.

LM2500+ Commercial Success

The first marine LM2500+ entered service in 2000 aboard Celebrity Cruises' Millennium - the world's first gas turbine-powered cruise ship. That year also marked the first fast ferry application of the LM2500+ aboard Societe Nationale Maritime Corse Mediterranee's Corsaire 13000.

Today, the gas turbine is used aboard Princess Cruises' Coral Princess cruise ship in a COmbined Diesel And Gas (CODAG) turbine configuration with four diesel engine-driven alternators.    

The LM2500+ has been Det Norske Veritas-certified for three-and-a-half years. Currently there are more than 30 of these gas turbines in or slated for operation worldwide on various commercial fast ferries and cruise ships.


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