Naval Sea Systems Command and the Program Executive Office, Ships conducted alternative fuel testing of the Landing Craft Utility (LCU) 1600-class, Oct. 18, aboard Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek, Va.
The testing is the most recent in a series of alternative fuel maritime vehicle tests supporting the U.S. Navy's efforts to reduce petroleum using a 50/50 blend of hydro-treated renewable diesel, derived from algal oil and NATO F-76 fuel.
"This demonstration continues the proud tradition of leveraging emerging technology to decrease the energy footprint in our ships and craft," said Capt. Chris Mercer, program manager for amphibious warfare. "In 2010, we delivered USS Makin Island (LHD 8), introducing hybrid, gas turbine/electric drive technology with a projected savings of $250 million in fuel costs during the ship's life cycle."
During the alternative fuel test and trials, the LCU operated at full load, over a wide-range of engine speeds. Data was collected to compare traditional F-76 fuel performance to powering performance and engine parameters using the alternative fuel blend. The test also examined engine parameters, such as fuel consumption, exhaust temperatures and engine room temperatures. The test results verified the propulsion system is capable of producing output power similar to NATO F-76 fuel.
The LCU 1600-class was built in the 1970s to replace the World War II landing craft The 135-foot long displacement craft can carry 180 tons of equipment or 400 combat equipped Marines up to speeds of 12 knots. The LCU transports troops, equipment and sustainment to and from the shore and amphibious shipping or a seabase.
This initiative is one of many throughout the Navy and Marine Corps which will enable the Department of the Navy to achieve Secretary Ray Mabus' energy goals to improve our energy security and efficiency afloat and
ashore, increase our energy independence, and help lead the nation toward a clean energy economy.
Recent and upcoming maritime vehicle alternative fuel testing include ongoing Yard Patrol boat demonstration at the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Md.; Landing Craft Air Cushion demonstration scheduled for December at Naval Surface Warfare Center, Panama City; and Self Defense Test Ship - a decommissioned Spruance-class destroyer, ex-Paul F. Foster (EDD 964), reconfigured as a remote-controlled test and evaluation asset - demonstration scheduled for November.
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