Fairbanks Morse will supply the Ship Service Diesel Generator (SSDG) sets for the electric power generation system aboard the LHA-9, the U.S. Navy’s newest America-class amphibious assault warship. Landing Helicopter Assault (LHA) ships, built by Huntington Ingalls Industries, are the largest of all amphibious warfare ships, at 844 feet long and with a displacement of more than 44,000 tons, and take more than five years to build.
As with its predecessors (USS America LHA-6, USS Tripoli LHA-7, and USS Bougainville LHA-8), LHA-9 will be equipped with a diesel engine-driven electrical power generation system, which provides ship service power and also drives two induction-type auxiliary propulsion motors which power the ship’s propeller drive shaft. The hybrid-electric propulsion systems use a gas turbine engine as well as an electric motor powered by the diesel generators. The electric motors propel the ship at speeds up to around 12 knots, and the generators also produce power for the ship’s electrical services.
The U.S. Navy currently has a requirement for 38 amphibious ships, including 12 amphibious assault ships such as these LHAs. With tight budgetary constraints and an even more dire need for submarines, the production of the LHA-9 represents a critical addition to the nation’s global fleet. Fairbanks Morse engines are installed on roughly 80% of U.S. Navy ships that have a medium speed power application. The company has been providing the Navy with quality diesel engines for marine propulsion and ship service systems for over seven decades.
George Whittier, CEO of Fairbanks Morse, commented: “Marine engines and power generation for today’s high-tech armed forces requires manufacturing excellence and technical innovation that never fails. In a globalized world with growing demand for energy, we are proud to continue our partnership with the U.S. Navy and Huntington Ingalls Industries to ensure the highest standards of critical power support at sea and to help America’s service men and women carry out their missions at home and abroad.”