Thursday, February 22, 2024
Maritime Propulsion

April 3, 2023

FMD's New High-speed Engine to be Tested for US Navy’s LUSV Platform

(Image: Fairbanks Morse Defense)

Fairbanks Morse Defense (FMD) announced it has been contracted to provide and test one nForcer high-speed engine to qualify for the Navy’s large unmanned surface vessel (LUSV) platform. To qualify, the engine must perform for a minimum of 720 hours in a land-based test environment without human intervention. Testing will begin in Q3 2023.

“The LUSV platform has unprecedented power and propulsion requirements, which means that the Navy needs a power-dense engine with a reliable track record,” said FMD CEO George Whittier. “While the nForcer is the most power-dense high-speed engine on the market, this award will drive incremental design improvements to support extended unmanned operations in a marine environment. It’s an extraordinary example of the numerous technological solutions offered by FMD that align with the distinctive needs of the LUSV program.”

The FY 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) requires a 720-hour demonstration of critical systems for the LUSV platform. The engine’s low lube oil consumption, which supports 90-day unmanned mission intervals, enables the engine’s extended operation.

FMD, a portfolio company of Arcline Investment Management, launched the nForcer, FMD’s first high-speed engine, earlier this year. It will be available with 12, 16, or 20 cylinders and includes a 175 millimeter bore for mechanical or electric propulsion for onboard power generation. The engine operates at 1,800 – 2,000 RPMs and has a power output rating of 1,740 – 4,400 kW, making it one of the most power-dense high-speed engines available for maritime use.  

FMD anticipates that the nForcer engine will be ready to integrate with U.S. Naval platforms within the next two years.