The Navy issued a Request For Information (RFI) earlier this month seeking industry information on the propulsion system for its next-generation destroyer, the DDG(X).

The Navy plans to succeed the Arleigh Burke

-class Flight III destroyer with a new hull DDG(X), while starting with the baseline combat system capabilities of the Flight III ships. One major change, beyond a different and larger hull to fit future weapons and systems, is the plan to use an Integrated Power System (IPS) like the Zumwalt-class destroyers. 

The DDG(X) hull will feature improved space, weight, area, power and cooling margins to accommodate various future capabilities, including directed energy laser weapons. 

An RFI issued May 12 is seeking information from electric power and propulsion equipment manufacturers to support the design and development of the propulsion system component of the IPS for DDG(X).

The notice said the Navy conducted a DDG(X) IPS industry day in August 2021, with a key theme of the Navy’s intent to use non-developmental technologies for IPS to reduce risk, “since the risk of integration and control of IPS elements into the unique DDG(X) configuration needs to be reduced through land-based testing to minimize discovery during ship construction and activation.”

The USS Zumwalt (DDG-1000) at the start of its journey from Bath, Maine to its homeport of San Diego in 2018. (Photo: U.S. Navy)

Last September, the Navy issued an RFI for DDG(X) IPS, with responses helping the Navy refine early design considerations for the system.

“The Navy’s path forward will be to conduct market research to gain greater understanding of the industrial base capabilities by reviewing the responses submitted to this RFI,” the notice said.

The Navy added it ultimately intends this RFI’s responses to possibly lead to issuing subcontracts under the DDG(X) shipbuilding partners to support the development of EPS specifications. General Dynamics’ [GD] Bath Iron Works (BIW) in Bath, Maine and HII’s [HII] Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Miss., build the current class of destroyers and are expected to share production of DDG(X) as well.

The Navy identified BIW as the lead for EPS work specifically.

“The trade space remains open to all technology solutions that can meet the EPS key performance criteria and [Not To Exceed] values within the defined parameters provided by this RFI.”

The EPS vendor-furnished information will inform the collaboratively-developed EPS procurement specification issued by BIW.

“It is the intention for the shipbuilder (BIW) to then competitively select EPS vendor(s) in a full and open competition to complete nonrecurring engineering, build, and deliver the EPS to the Navy’s Land Based Test Site for testing and inclusion in the eventual DDG(X) baseline. It is the intention to source an EPS solution (motor, motor drive, etc.) from a single vendor,” the notice said.

Responses are requested by June 12. While the Navy said it would accept submissions after that date, later responses have less timely Navy feedback or may not contribute to Naval Sea Systems Command’s planning process.