January 18, 2022
The Type 45 Destroyer, Daring (or 'D') Class, is the UK Royal Navy's state-of-the-art air defense destroyer. The class not only provides a step change in military capability, but also truly represents a landmark in power and propulsion with GE’s integrated, full electric power and propulsion.
Enabling the backbone of naval air defense
The Type 45 Anti-Air Warfare Destroyers will provide the back bone of the Royal Navy's air defenses for the first half of the 21st century, replacing the ageing Type 42.
With state-of-the-art radar, weapons and electric propulsion she is billed as 'The world's most advanced warship'. Six of the class are built; the first of class, 'Daring', was launched in 2006 followed by the next five ships: Dauntless, Diamond, Dragon, Defender and Duncan.
With demanding mission scenarios a wide range of speed profiles and deployment of energy-hungry mission and defense systems, the challenge was to bring a novel and integrated approach to provision of power across the ship’s systems.
The Decision-Making Process
A decision conference to review the various propulsion systems proposed for the Type 45 was undertaken by the by the UK MOD with GE's Power Conversion business and other UK industry. The review compared the COGAL (Combined Gas and Electric) system with more classical fits as well as Integrated Full Electric Propulsion (IFEP).
The direct drive IFEP with fixed pitch propellers was selected as the best option in terms of through-life costs, performance and risk, recognizing the fact it would be by far the highest power, most compact, militarized IFEP package to go to sea.
High Power, Integrated Full Electric Power & Propulsion With a 4.16kV system and GE’s full electric propulsion fitted to a front-line combatant, integrated full electric propulsion (IFEP) has truly arrived in the naval arena.
- GE’s IFEP electric propulsion system is connected to four prime movers: two large-advanced cycle gas turbines powering 21MWe alternators and two 2MWe diesel generator sets.
- GE’s complete Ship’s Electric Grid for propulsion and on-board power is provided by Power Conversion's Advanced Induction Motors (AIM) and VDM25000 P\WM Converters providing 40MW of highly compact propulsion power without the use of heavy and bulky transformers or gearboxes.
- The power and propulsion system is operated from the Ship'sPlatform Management System via the Electric Power Management System (EPMS), supplied and fully integrated with the power system by Power Conversion.
- The two main HV switchboards are separated in the vessel and each connects 50% of the generation, propulsion and services in a symmetrical architecture.
A well-coordinated set of de-risking events formed part of Power Conversion's delivery under the Type 45 Contract. This included full power characterization of the propulsion system in a back-to-back test undertaken in 2004 in Power Conversion's factory, and a comprehensive PMS/EPMS combined test.
Integration testing included a complete, full scale and load half ship set of equipment at Power Conversion's land-based Marine Power Test Facility.
HMS Daring undertook her first sea trials in July 2007 and with an initial design target of 28 knots, the ship soon comfortably exceeded 30 knots and was proven to reach top speed in little over two minutes from a standing start, an outstanding performance for a ship of this size.
Enabler of the ship’s mission:
- Although not the highest power IFEP ship at sea, Type 45 is by far the highest power relative to the ship's displacement – 40MW at just 7,500 tonnes. In comparison, a high-power, contemporary cruise liner, such as Queen Mary 2, has a power to weight ratio around 0.5MW/1000 tonnes; Type 45 has a ratio of 5.5MW/1000 tonnes, more than ten times higher, even at full military specification.
- In GE’s Ship’s Electric Grid, all main power is generated and managed at a substantial 4.16kV, which also forms the input voltage to the propulsion converters, removing the need for propulsion transformers.
Increased vessel safety:
- High redundancy a tall levels, quiet and shock-capable electrical drive trains. Physical separation configured to suit layout and survivability, connected only by electrical network.
- Enhanced availability, reliability and maintainability: Inherently robust power and propulsion plants.
Flexible, Frugal and Futureproof:
- 50% larger than the Type 42 Destroyer it replaced, but uses 45% less fuel.
- Through-life cost savings in fuel and maintenance, due to running optimum number of prime movers at optimum loadings to match power demand.
- Lowest number of installed prime movers compared with mechanical or hybrid.
- Easily adaptable to changing mission profiles, and future integration of low/zero emission power sources.
- Large amounts of installed electrical power can accommodate significant future increases in combat system loads such as weapons and radar with minimal impact.