Power to Our (Naval) Elbow?

by Stuart Slade, Senior Naval & Marine Power Systems Analyst, Forecast International.

LM500 Ships Service Generator. Source: GE Marine

The last decade has seen the promise of a new generation of naval weapons and sensors.  The development of railguns and lasers has caused these weapons to slowly emerge from the pages of fiction and become an impending if not quite fully realized reality.  They are directed by equally new generations of active-array radars that provide a level of range and target discrimination that enables the long-sought defense against ballistic missile attack. These new systems have a major factor in common: they are all voracious consumers of electrical power. Continue reading

Major Expansion of U.S. Navy Amphibious Warfare Fleet?

by Stuart Slade, Senior Naval Systems Analyst, Forecast International.

LPD-17 – Source, US Navy

The decision to use the LPD-17 design as the baseline for the LX(R) has opened up a major discussion on the future size and composition of the U.S. Navy amphibious warfare fleet.  This decision resulted from the Navy’s determination that the Ingalls Shipbuilding production line for LPD-17s is now working so efficiently that another ship could be ordered to bridge the gap between LPD-17 construction and the start of the LX(R) program. As a result, lawmakers provided $1.8 billion for LPD-29, the 13th ship in the class, in the fiscal year 2017 spending plan.

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