The US Office of Naval Research has awarded General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems a contract to design and deliver an advanced permanent-magnet propulsion motor to be used on the US Navy’s large displacement unmanned undersea vehicles (LDUUVs).
Over the next 18 to 20 months, GA-EMS will design, build, and test the advanced permanent-magnet propulsion motor and deliver a complete motor system to ONR.
Characterization and testing of the motor system will be conducted by the Pennsylvania State University Applied Research Laboratory (PSU-ARL). PSU-ARL is a center of excellence supporting the US Navy and ONR for undersea propulsion modeling and testing. In 2015, ONR funded a successful year-long study with GA-EMS and PSU-ARL to assess the operating characteristics of the motor’s design.
“After completing a review of our motor’s capabilities and the applicability for undersea operations, we are very excited to take the next step to design and deliver a second-generation propulsion motor to ONR for further evaluation and eventual on-vehicle testing,” Rolf Ziesing, vice president of Programs at GA-EMS, said.
LDUUV is a new class of large-displacement unmanned undersea vehicles that will provide increased endurance, range and payload capabilities. The navy is designing the vehicle for intelligence, surveillance and mine countermeasure missions, and is based on a modular, open architecture that will allow the Navy to develop new mission sets for the craft.
According to the navy, the vehicle will be capable of being stowed, launched and recovered by multiple-host platforms, including littoral combat ships, Virginia-class submarines and Ohio-class guided-missile submarines.