Surface Forces: January 12, 2000

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Britain's Royal Navy is reviewing bids from ALSTOM and Rolls-Royce to build a new Integrated Full Electric Propulsion system prototype. This will be a full-scale version of a possible new warship propulsion system, but it will be built on land. The idea is to prove that the system will work before investing millions of dollars in installing it in new warships. In theory, IFEP propulsion could be as revolutionary in naval propulsion as the change from sail to steam propulsion. The US plans to use what amounts to the same engine concept for the DD21 land-attack destroyers. In such a system, generators located at various points in the ship will provide electrical power which can be used by weapons, radars, sensors, and huge motors that drive the propellers. --Stephen V Cole

 


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