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Leonardo’s second generation of hybrid electric ship propulsion systems

Leonardo DRS is building its second generation of Integrated Electric Drive (IED) and Hybrid Electric Drive (HED) propulsion systems, to be used by the U.S. Coast Guards Offshore Patrol Cutter, the Korean FFX frigates and the U.S. Navy FFGX ships.

Leonardos second generation of hybrid electric ship propulsion systems 925 001 IED and HED engines (Picture source : Leonardo DRS)

The HED are power-dense solutions that can be integrated but also either gear-mounted or shaft-mounted. These systems provide advantages in flexibility, modularity and commonality to the ships on which they are mounted. They also support requirements for fuel savings and growing power efficiency demands of the future ships.

A HED propulsion gives the ship more time on station, permitting it to re-fuel less often, and thus less time at risk alongside the replenishment tanker.

HED systems improvements include the possibility to switch the power generation equipment on and off as needed, additional redundancy on the drive shaft, the reduction of the total number of prime movers to maintain and also the reduction of wear and tear on the prime movers (less stressful conditions).

IED systems improvements include the possibility to eliminate controllable pitch propellers, the increased flexibility in locating the prime movers across the platform, the ability to send power where needed and the possibility to eliminate the controllable pitch propellers and their support systems.