General Electric : Two New AOPS Milestones for the RCN

The Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) has achieved two new milestones in 2021 in meeting its mission to defend Canada’s interests at home and abroad, in all three oceans that border Canada. On June 26th HMCS Harry DeWolf was commissioned into service with the RCN, and during July 2021, the second of Canada’s AOPS, the future HMCS Margaret Brooke, was delivered to the RCN by Irving Shipbuilding Inc., builder of Canada’s warships. Earlier this year AOPS successfully completed all harbor and sea trials, highlighting the successful relationship between Irving Shipbuilding Inc. and GE Power Conversion, the Propulsion System Integrator (PSI) and supplier of the AOPS integrated power and electric propulsion system.

As a propulsion system integrator, GE Power Conversion defined the entire power and propulsion system from ‘fuel in, to thrust into the water’. GE combined skills from GE business units in the UK, France, the US, and Canada to integrate the complex system of equipment and software. To satisfy the RCN’s requirements for Polar Class 5 ice performance using commercially available equipment, GE selected the MV7000 variable frequency drive in combination with robust induction motor technology as the heart of the propulsion system. With four diesel generators, high voltage switchboards, and GE’s sophisticated power management and propulsion control technology, the entire system has met or exceeded all performance requirements whether in Arctic Ice or open water.

Regarding GE’s contribution to Irving Shipbuilding Inc.’s AOPS program, Irving’s President and CEO, Kevin Mooney commented: ‘Our AOPS build program has hit its stride, with two ships delivered, a third to be launched this fall, the fourth in our construction hall and we have cut steel for the fifth ship. As the program expands to an eight-ship order, the largest multi-ship program under Canada’s National Shipbuilding Strategy, we will continue to count on the strong leadership from within our own Irving team and from our key first-tier suppliers like GE Power Conversion. To be successful, shipbuilding, especially for multi-year multi-ship programs, really is a team activity where the shipyard and key suppliers work cooperatively to achieve their common goal for Canada. We are pleased to have GE in our team.’

The AOPS power and electric propulsion systems are part of a large user base. Other ice class vessels within this user base include South Africa’s SA Agulhas Antarctic research and supply vessel and the Chilean Antarctica ship now under construction by ASMAR. In a current US project, GE incorporates the same family of equipment in the U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD) National Security Multi-Mission Vessels (NSMVs). A total of five vessels are planned for the NSMV Class. GE’s contract as the NSMV Propulsion System Integrator (PSI) includes the integration of the diesel engines, generators, switchboards, transformers, main propulsion drives, propulsion motors, and auxiliary support systems.

‘Since contract award in 2012, GE’s entire AOPS team has focused on providing the most responsive support possible to our customer, Irving Shipbuilding Inc.’ said Gagan Sood, CEO, GE Power Conversion Americas. ‘As the sole Propulsion System Integrator with responsibilities to power the largest single ship class to be delivered under Canada’s National Shipbuilding Strategy so far, we are looking forward to earning similar responsibilities with Canada’s other shipyards to help build the future fleets of the Royal Canadian Navy and Canada’s Coast Guard.’

Irving photo

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