$28.4M for LCAC Marine Turbine Engines
Vericor Power Systems, LLC in Alpharetta, GA received a $28.4 million firm-fixed-price contract for the manufacture, testing and delivery of 20 ETF40B marine gas turbine engines and 4 Pack-Up Kit spare engines for the Landing Craft-Air Cushion Service Life Extension Program. Work will be performed at Standard Aero Energy in Winnipeg, Canada under a 2005 partnership agreement, and is expected to be complete by December 2008. The contract was not competitively procured by the Naval Sea Systems Command in Washington, DC (N00024-06-D-4107).
The LCAC Hovercraft uses four engines per vessel (two engines for lift and two engines for propulsion), and these efforts are part of a larger program to refurbish the USA’s LCAC fleet…
As part of the USA’s effort to upgrade its LCAC hovercraft and keep them in service, the existing TF40B engines are being replaced by the Enhanced TF40B. ETF40B engines generate over 15% more power at Maximum Intermittent Power, and offer improved fuel efficiency with significantly reduced maintenance efforts. This was achieved through redesign of the compressor and turbine sections, boosting maximum horsepower output to 4,745 hp on a 100F day. This additional power allows execution of a majority of the craft’s operations at a lower engine rating point, extending component life significantly.
Other upgrades include anti-corrosion coating on compressor blades and vanes, strengthened compressor discs, improved bearings and seals, and added bleed air capacity for anti-icing. A Full Authority Digital Engine Control (FADEC) hooks into the Control and Alarm Monitoring System (CAMS) to ease maintenance, improve diagnostics capabilities and lower life cycle costs.
The overall effect of all these improvements is to double time between overhauls, from 2,000 hours to 4,000 hours.
To date, more than 400 TF40Bs have been delivered for the LCAC program, logging more than 300,000 hours under demanding conditions. This ETF40B contract follows a similar $26.4 million contract in May 2005 for 20 turbines. As of that date, 37 upgraded ETF40B engines had been delivered to the US Navy, with 6 upgraded LCAC Hovercraft in operation and several other vessels in the process of being upgraded.
A total of 91 LCACs were built between 1984-2001, and depending on their in-service dates they will require regular refurbishment, upgrades, and even life extension programs to keep them operational into the future.