Fairbanks Morse Defense Tests High-Speed Engine for US Navy’s LUSVs


Published Apr 4, 2023 1:41 PM by The Maritime Executive

Fairbanks Morse Defense (FMD), a portfolio company of Arcline Investment Management, has been contracted to provide and test one nForcer high-speed engine to qualify for the Navy’s large, unmanned surface vessel (LUSV) platform. To qualify, the engine must perform for a minimum of 720 hours in a land-based test environment without human intervention. Testing will begin in Q3 2023.

“The LUSV platform has unprecedented power and propulsion requirements, which means that the Navy needs a power-dense engine with a reliable track record,” said FMD CEO George Whittier. “While the nForcer is the most power-dense high-speed engine on the market, this award will drive incremental design improvements to support extended unmanned operations in a marine environment. It’s an extraordinary example of the numerous technological solutions offered by FMD that align with the distinctive needs of the LUSV program.”

The FY 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) requires a 720-hour demonstration of critical systems for the LUSV platform. The engine’s low lube oil consumption, which supports 90-day unmanned mission intervals, enables the engine’s extended operation.

FMD launched the nForcer, FMD’s first high-speed engine, earlier this year. It will be available with 12, 16, or 20 cylinders and includes a 175-millimeter bore for mechanical or electric propulsion for onboard power generation. The engine operates at 1,800 – 2,000 RPMs and has a power output rating of 1,740 – 4,400 kW, making it one of the most power-dense high-speed engines available for maritime use. 

FMD anticipates that the nForcer engine will be ready to integrate with U.S. Naval platforms within the next two years.

Offered by FMD and serviced worldwide, the company’s proven marine technology is engineered for excellence to ensure reliable operation, extended asset lifecycles, and minimal downtime. In addition to delivering power and propulsion systems, FMD has repeatedly been selected by the Navy and Military Sealift Command to provide mission-critical marine technology, turnkey services, and OEM parts throughout the vessel.

About Fairbanks Morse Defense (FMD)

Fairbanks Morse Defense (FMD) builds, maintains, and services the most trusted naval power and propulsion systems on the planet. For more than 100 years, FMD has been a principal supplier of a growing array of leading marine technologies, OEM parts, and turnkey services to the U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard, Military Sealift Command, and Canadian Coast Guard. FMD stands ready to rapidly support the systems that power military fleets without compromising safety or quality. In times of peace and war, the experienced engineers, sailors, and technicians of FMD demonstrate our commitment to supporting the mission and vision of critical global naval operations wherever and whenever needed. FMD is a portfolio company of Arcline Investment Management.

To learn more, visit www.FairbanksMorseDefense.com.

The products and services herein described in this press release are not endorsed by The Maritime Executive.