Thrustmaster of Texas Inc. reports that it has been awarded a contract by shipbuilder Fincantieri Marinette Marine (FMM) for the design, development and manufacture of the auxiliary propulsion unit (APU) on the U.S. Navy’s future FFG-62 guided missile frigate, now known as the Constellation class.
Thrustmaster will be supplying the complete APU package consisting of the 1MW retractable azimuthing thruster, controls, prime mover electric motor, variable frequency drive and steering and retraction power unit. The APU package will be designed and built to MIL-STD-901E Grade-A shock qualification.
Thrustmaster’s auxiliary propulsion unit is designed and manufactured at Thrustmaster’s Houston, Texas facility. This new contract provides long term job stability for Thrustmaster’s 130 employees and the selection represents a strong reinvestment in and commitment to the American industrial manufacturing base by the U.S. Navy and Fincantieri Marinette Marine.
The Constellation class program is the second U.S. Navy vessel class to be outfitted with Thrustmaster’s APU technology. The LCS Independence variant vessels are equipped with an 850 HP APU.
The ability to operate the vessel at slow speed while providing extreme maneuverability and the enormous fuel savings that the Thrustmaster APU have delivered to the LCS Independence variant vessels will be a great complement to the frigate program, although its primary function is to provide a back-up means of propulsion in the event of failure of the main propulsion system.