The Office Of Naval Research awarded $9.2 million to General Dynamics Bath Iron Works to design and manufacture an advanced propulsion system for a technical demonstration vessel. Known as Advanced Hull Form Inshore Demonstrator (AHFID), the project directly supports the Navy's decision to implement electric drive in future naval combatants.
The AHFID award is the culmination of the Office of Naval Research technology symposium for Maine businesses and educational institutions held in Portland during June 1999. In the AHFID program, the University of Maine will be furthering the technologically driven advanced materials engineering. The propulsion motor will be housed in a pod fabricated with advanced composite materials designed by the University. The pod will contain embedded sensors that can calculate the performance of the propulsion motor, will be able to monitor the structural health of the composite materials.