New water jets for Navy LCS

Feb. 8, 2013 at 1:05 PM
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ARLINGTON, Va., Feb. 8 (UPI) -- New water jets that move nearly 500,000 gallons of seawater per minute are to be outfitted on the U.S. Navy's fifth Littoral Combat Ship.

The power system, named the Axial-Flow Waterjet Mk-1, was developed by Rolls-Royce Naval Marine in collaboration with the Office of Naval Research and the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock Division.

The Navy said the density water jets, more powerful than any commercial product, will decrease rudder and propeller damage experienced on high-speed ships because of cavitation.

Four of the new water jets will be used on the future LCS Milwaukee and will enable the vessel to reach speeds of more than 40 knots, the Navy said.

The USS Milwaukee is under construction at the Marinette Marine shipyard in Wisconsin and will begin full-scale sea trials within the next two years, the Navy said.

"We believe these water jets are the future," said Ki-Han Kim, program manager in ONR's Ship Systems and Engineering Research Division. "Anything that we can do to keep ships ready to go will ultimately benefit our warfighters."

Lockheed Martin is under contract to produce 10 Littoral Combat Ships for the Navy and the Axial-Flow Waterjet Mk-1 could eventually be used by all of them, the Navy said.

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