April 14 (UPI) -- The U.S. Coast Guard's new Offshore Patrol Vessels are to be equipped with hybrid electric drive systems from Leonardo DRS Technologies, the company announced on Thursday.
The U.S. subsidiary of Leonardo said Eastern Shipbuilding, which is constructing the vessels, has ordered nine such systems at a cost of $10.7 million.
"DRS is a pioneer in naval hybrid electric drive technologies and we are proud to be able to deliver these advanced systems to the Coast Guard's newest generation of ships," Dianne Howells, vice president of Leonardo DRS Surface Ships business unit, said in a press release. "Our Auxiliary Propulsion Systems will give the crews of these new ships operational flexibility when they need it, while significantly increasing cost savings in yearly maintenance and fuel."
The Leonardo DRS Technologies' auxiliary power system, when coupled to the main propulsion gearbox, allows the ship to operate quietly and efficiently during loitering operations.