31 Jul '13, 8pm

The Electric Warship

The Electric Warship

In another break from the U.S. Navy’s usual designs, the Zumwalt ’s propellers and drive shafts are turned by electric motors, rather than being directly attached to combustion engines. Such electric-drive systems, while a rarity for the U.S. Navy, have long been standard on big ships. What’s new and different about the one on the Zumwalt is that it’s flexible enough to propel the ship, fire railguns or directed-energy weapons (should these eventually be deployed), or both at the same time. That’s because the 78 megawatts from its four gas-turbine generators can be directed through the ship’s power-distribution network wherever it’s needed. The presence of such a tightly integrated power-generation and distribution system has led some to call the Zumwalt the U.S. Navy’s first “all-electric ship.”

Full article: http://spectrum.ieee.org/aerospace/military/the-electric-...

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