Navy Considering GE Composite-Material Enclosures for Destroyer Engines
By RICHARD R. BURGESS, Managing Editor
ARLINGTON, Va. — GE Aviation, builder of the LM2500 as turbine engines for the Navy’s Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers and other ships, has designed a lightweight enclosure for the engines that will reduce the weight and maintenance of the engines and reduce noise and corrosion in the ships’ engine rooms.
George Awiszus, military marketing director for GE Aviation, told Seapower at the Surface Navy Association national symposium that the new enclosure will replace a steel enclosure with one of composite material, which will reduce weight of the enclosure by about 50 percent.
The enclosure is designed to reduce heat and noise inside the engine room of a ship and to provide fire protection. The current steel enclosure is bolted together and has a heavy door subject to corrosion.
The new composite enclosure is seamless, increasing environmental protection of the crew. A lightweight door on the enclosure eases access for maintenance personnel and is not subject to rust. The new enclosures also will reduce life-cycle costs, Awiszus said.
Awiszus said GE is in formal discussions with the Navy and Bath Iron Works — the lead designer of the Arleigh Burke class — to install the new enclosures, with the goal of first delivery in 2019.