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GE to Power the US Navy's Constellation-class Frigates

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

December 17, 2020

(Image: U.S. Navy)

(Image: U.S. Navy)

GE Marine will provide gas turbine engines and associated equipment for the Navy’s Constellation-class frigates being designed and built by Fincantieri Marinette Marine in Wisconsin.

“GE Marine brings a proven and reliable gas turbine that integrates perfectly in our combined diesel electric and gas turbine (CODLAG) propulsion system,” said Dario Deste, President and CEO of Fincantieri Marine Group. “Fincantieri has a decades-long relationship with GE, and we are proud to have these American-made gas engines on our U.S. Navy frigates.”

The GE gas turbine, LM2500+G4, has been in operation on Italian frigates built by Fincantieri for nearly a decade, but this will be the first U.S. Navy ship to utilize this particular gas turbine.

According to Kris Shepherd, Vice President, General Manager, GE Marine, “The FFG 62 marks the initial U.S. Navy use of the LM2500+G4 engine. To date, 37 LM2500+G4 gas turbines have been chosen for surface combatants and two for commercial marine ships, as well as more than 1,100 of these engines operating worldwide in industrial settings. The U.S. Navy will benefit from Fincantieri’s low-risk, proven ship design powered by GE’s reliable LM2500+G4 gas turbine.”

For Deste, it was important that the engines be made in the United States. The LM2500+G4 engine will be made at GE.’s manufacturing facility in Evendale, Ohio.

“We are making an American ship, so we want the best U.S. parts, components and systems available in these vitally important ships,” said Deste. “We are part of a global enterprise focused on designing, building and maintaining reliable and innovative ships. We have tremendous partners and suppliers who are with us for the lead ship and the many additional ships that we believe will follow.”

Fincantieri Marinette Marine was awarded the contract in April 2020 for the first-in-class FFG 62, the future USS Constellation. The initial $795 million contract with the Navy also has options for nine follow-on frigates, including the recently named USS Congress which will be the second Constellation class frigate. The total value of the initial contract and subsequent options is valued at approximately $5.5 billion for 10 ships.

The LM2500+G4 gas turbine for the new class of frigate is certified to a U.S. Navy rating of 30.3 MW (U.S. Navy standard day). GE will ensure the gas turbine and all associated auxiliary equipment is to specification and fully integrated with the propulsion plant.

The LM2500+G4 will be supplied in GE’s state-of-the-art composite gas turbine module. One of the most important design features of this new module is that it provides a safer environment and improved access for sailors. By using lightweight composites versus the steel enclosure predecessor, wall temperatures are 25oF to 50oF degrees cooler so there is less heat rejected into the engine room. GE also offers water mist fire suppression capability to the composite enclosure.

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