August 25, 2005
Navy takes wraps off electric ship demonstrator
The Office of Naval Research has taken the wraps of its Advanced Electric Ship Demonstrator (AESD) . It was named "Sea Jet" yesterday at the Naval Surface Warfare Center Carderock Division, Acoustic Research Detachment in Bayview, Idaho.
The 133-foot vessel will serve as a model representing a destroyer-size surface ship and will be launched on Lake Pend Oreille, Idaho, where it will be used for test and demonstration of various technologies.
The AESD hull form is based on the 5565 tumble-home hull tested early in the DD(X) program.
It was built by Dakota Creek Industries Inc., Anacortes, Washington in modules, which were then assembled in Idaho.
An underwater discharge waterjet from Rolls-Royce Naval Marine, Inc., called AWJ-21, will be among the first technologies tested. It allows vessels to operate in shallow water with increased maneuverability and stealth.
Rolls-Royce also took the role of prime contractor for ship construction and system integration of the diesel/battery electric drive propulsion system.
The AWJ-21 is designed to increase ship speed, making hulls sleeker by working without rudders, shafts and propeller struts. Unlike conventional waterjets, the system works completely underwater, reducing noise and surface wake and improving stealth.
The lightweight and compact AWJ-21 allows ships to operate in shallow waters. Its integrated steering and reversing system improves maneuverability at low speeds. Pat Marolda, Rolls-Royce President--Naval, said: "This is a significant milestone in our development of an advanced waterjet technology which offers new parameters in performance, bringing real benefits to the U.S. Navy".
Following demonstration of the AWJ-21, the RIMJET propulsor from General Dynamics Electric Boat will be installed in Sea Jet for evaluation. The RIMJET is a novel type of podded propulsion system that relies on a permanent magnet motor to drive the propeller.