Fairbanks Morse said Nov. 10 they are providing generators for electric power aboard the unnamed America-class amphibious assault ship LHA-9.

The company will start building a Ship Service Diesel Generator (SSDG) in 2021 and is set to start delivery to LHA-9 shipbuilder Huntington Ingalls Industries [HII] in Pascagoula, Miss., in 2023.

While the company did not disclose the contract value, it was awarded on October 20. A company spokesperson told Defense Daily Fairbanks Morse expects the engines will be assembled, tested and shipped in a staggered fashion in 2022, with final shipment occurring in 2023.

The future USS Tripoli (LHA-7) amphibious assault ship sailed in the Gulf of Mexico for four days during four days of builder’s sea trials in July 2019. (Photo: Huntington Ingalls Industries)
The future USS Tripoli (LHA-7) amphibious assault ship sailed in the Gulf of Mexico for four days during four days of builder’s sea trials in July 2019. (Photo: Huntington Ingalls Industries)

Fairbanks Morse said the SSDG will be a diesel engine-driven electrical power generation system, like its predecessors USS America (LHA-6), USS Tripoli (LHA-7), and USS Bougainville (LHA-8).

The generator provides ship service power and drives two induction-type auxiliary propulsion motors that power the ship’s propeller drive shaft.

The company explained this kind of hybrid-electric propulsion system uses a gas turbine engine and an electric motor powered by the diesel generators.

“The electric motors propel the ship at speeds up to around 12 knots and the generators also produce power for the ship’s electrical services,” Fairbanks Morse said in a statement.

“In a globalized world with growing demand for energy, we are proud to continue our partnership with the U.S. Navy and Huntington Ingalls Industries to ensure the highest standards of critical power support at sea and to help America’s service men and women carry out their missions at home and abroad,” Fairbanks Morse CEO George Whittier said in a statement.

“We are proud to continue our partnership with the U.S. Navy and Huntington Ingalls Industries to ensure the highest standards of critical power support at sea and to help America’s servicemen and women carry out their missions at home and abroad,” Whittier added in a separate statement.

LHA-9 will be the fourth America-class LHA and the second one configured as a Flight 1 Amphibious Assault Ship Replacement.

Last year Navy officials said LHA-9 was delayed to 2024 due to afford ability and budget issues, but they were looking to buy it earlier to avoid a seven-year break in building the ships. The FY 2020 defense authorizations bill then added $650 million to incrementally fund LHA-9, but the Trump Administration reprogrammed those funds to pay for the border wall project (Defense Daily, Feb. 13).

In May, the Navy awarded HII a $187 million contract to procure long-lead time materials for LHA-9 (Defense Daily, May 1).

Then in June, the Navy awarded HII another $146 million undefinitized contract action to further procure long-lead time material (Defense Daily, June 18).