GE gas turbine to power versatile patrol ship's hybrid drive

MARCH 3, 2016 — GE's Marine Solutions will provide the LM2500+G4 gas turbine that will power the Italian Navy's new Pattugliatori Polivalenti d'Altura (PPA) multipurpose offshore patrol ships.

The ships' hybrid electric propulsion system also will use GE's shock-proof MV3000 drives and a GE-designed electrical network of motors as part of the propulsion system.

Avio Aero, a GE Aviation business headquartered in Italy, will have the design responsibility for the gas turbine package. 

The PPA's MV3000 drive developed by GE's Marine Solutions will drive the electric motor to rotate the propeller in low speed operations.

The hybrid motor and drive also can act as the generator to power equipment onboard the vessel, such as weapons and sensors. While conducting disaster relief operations, the PPA will be able to provide up to 2MW of power to the shore. GE drives can convert the frequency of the electricity generated to 50 or 60 hertz, allowing smooth shore connection whatever the location. 

"We are excited to be part of a project that will continue to modernize and strengthen the Italian Navy's surface fleet," said Tim Schweikert, President and Chief Executive Officer, GE's Marine Solutions. "Our contract includes an order for one LM2500+G4 as well an option for six more LM2500+G4s. The ship's flexible and unique hybrid propulsion plant will feature small gearbox mounted-motors for low speed operations, two propulsion diesels for mid-speed service and the gas turbine to reach more than 31 knots. We will also be responsible for the electrical system integration of the hybrid system."

CODLDAG configuration Italian Navy PPA 2 16

The 132.5 m multipurpose offshore patrol ship is a highly flexible vessel with the capacity to serve multiple functions ranging from patrol with sea rescue capacity to Civil Protection operations and, in its most highly equipped version, front line fighting vessel.

There will be different combat system configurations: starting from a "soft" version for the patrol task, integrated for self-defense ability, to a "full" version, equipped for a complete defense capability.

The vessel is capable of  deploying high-speed vessels such as RHIBs  and will have a speed of more than 33 knots according to vessel configuration and operational conditions.

It will be able to supply drinking water as well as electricity to shore. Two modular zones at the stern and center of the ship will allow it to embark various types of containerized operating/logistic/residential/healthcare modules. The stern area can take up to 5 TEU of these units and the central zone up to 8 TEU.

The PPAs will be built at Fincantieri's Integrated Shipyard of Riva Trigoso and Muggiano, with delivery of the first vessel of the class set for 2021

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