EVENDALE, OHIO --- GE Marine's LM2500 gas turbines now power two Littoral Combat Ships built by Austal USA that were recently commissioned by the United States Navy: USS Tulsa (LCS 16) and USS Charleston (LCS 18). The powerful LM2500 gas turbines are “Made in America” at GE’s Evendale, Ohio, manufacturing facility, just north of Cincinnati, Ohio.
The commissioning for LCS 16 was held in San Francisco, California, on February 16; LCS 18 was commissioned March 2 in Charleston, South Carolina. According to a U.S. Navy press release, both of these sophisticated surface combatants are high-speed, agile, shallow draft and mission-focused. They are designed for operations in the littoral environment, yet fully capable of open ocean operations.
Sister ship, the future USS Cincinnati (LCS 20), recently completed acceptance trials in the Gulf of Mexico. Since USS Cincinnati is named for the city that is home to GE Marine’s headquarters, there will be a number of local festivities in late March to honor this new ship, including a GE crew ceremony, a tour of GE’s nearby engine manufacturing plant and a Cincinnati Reds baseball game. The ship’s commissioning will occur later this year.
GE will provide LM2500 gas turbines on LCS Independence variants up to LCS 38. All Independence variant LCS are powered by two GE LM2500 gas turbines arranged in a combined diesel and gas turbine configuration with two diesel engines.
“GE has a longstanding relationship with Austal and we are honored to be the recipient of Austal’s Innovative Supplier of the Year award for our new lightweight composite module,” said Mike Reale, Acting Vice President, General Manager, GE Marine. “Benefits of the module include walls that are 50% lighter than their steel predecessors, acoustics that are improved by 60%, lower lifecycle costs as well as improved access for sailors thanks to doors that are also 60% lighter.”
GE is the world’s leading provider of marine gas turbines for naval propulsion. GE’s reliable and proven gas turbines are being considered for the U.S. Navy’s LCS replacement, the FFGX frigate. Currently there are five, 16-month studies underway to explore the design for this 20-ship program. Separately, GE’s LM2500 family of gas turbines also is being considered for the U.S. Navy’s Large Surface Combatant program that will replace the DDG 51 destroyers.
The benefits of using GE gas turbines include:
-- GE provides 97% of the U.S. Navy’s propulsion gas turbines.
-- More than 1,200 GE LM2500 marine gas turbines operate globally, logging over 16 million hours for 33 navies.
-- GE gas turbines are proven at sea with >99% reliability and >98% availability.
-- GE’s global installed base and nine licensed depots worldwide ensure operability and support either on-shore or afloat.
-- GE’s split casing compressor and power turbine design allows for in-situ maintenance, making gas turbine removals unnecessary. Navies save millions of dollars a year and weeks/months of ship unavailability.
GE’s marine gas turbine business is part of GE Aviation and is headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio. GE is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of marine propulsion products, systems and solutions including six aeroderivative gas turbines ranging from 6,100 to 70,656 shaft horsepower/4.6 to 52.7megawatts. These gas turbines reliably operate the world over in some of the most arduous conditions in temperatures ranging from -40 to 120 degrees F/-40 to 48 degrees C.