General Dynamics Electric Boat has received a $3.2m contract to continue development of the next phase of external electric actuators that can be used for submarine steering and diving planes. Electric Boat is a wholly owned subsidiary
of General Dynamics.
The development includes key innovative design features for external high- torque electric actuators that can be used to replace conventional hydraulic systems
for the planes. Studies have shown that if hydraulics are replaced by electric actuators, there is the potential for significant savings in installation and maintenance costs. In addition, the actuators would provide a cleaner and safer on-board environment.
The Naval Undersea Warfare Center awarded the Phase 2 contract to
Electric Boat under the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency/Navy
Tango Bravo Program. Electric Boat also is working on a concept for
shaftless propulsion under Tango Bravo.
The Tango Bravo program is focused on developing advanced technologies
that would meet stringent submarine performance requirements while reducing ship-acquisition and life-cycle costs and improving the warfighting capabilities and mission adaptability of future submarines.
Under the terms of the latest contract, Electric Boat will
develop and build a controller for the electric actuators; develop an energy storage system that provides the same level of system backup for electric actuators as stored oil pressure provides for the existing hydraulic system; and conduct endurance testing of the actuator built in Phase 1.