US Navy X­Craft with mtu Drive System: High Speed for Catamaran Sea Fighter FSF-1

Posted on September 12, 2005

The US Navy recently took acceptance of the new Catamaran Sea Fighter (FSF-1), also known as the X-Craft.
  • Speeds of over 50 knots in tests
  • Combined diesel engine or gas turbine drive
  • In diesel operation ranges of 4,000 sea miles

The US Navy recently took acceptance of the new Catamaran Sea Fighter (FSF-1), also known as the X-Craft. In tests at high sea in June, the catamaran accelerated to speeds of over 50 knots — an outstanding performance for the test ship which is 80 meters long and weighs 960 tonnes. It was built by Nichols Brothers Boat Builders on Whidbey Island, Washington. The ship is equipped with a state-of-the-art integrated drive system from MTU Detroit Diesel.

mtu supplied the main drive components for the X-Craft, including the engines, the gas turbines modules and transmission and the monitoring and control system. Two mtu 16V 595 diesel engines and two GE LM 2500 gas turbines are integrated into a combined drive system that can use both diesel engine and gas turbine drives (Combined Diesel or Gas turbine, CODOG). This is a new first for the US Navy, which has previously only used gas turbines or pure-play diesel propulsion.

The drive system provides the ship with high speeds, while also ensuring excellent range and endurance. With the diesel engines, the X-Craft has a range of 4,000 sea miles at a travel speed of 20 knots. The main drive components are integrated via an mtu RCS-5 CODOG/WJ remote control system which includes a three-axial joystick control system. mtu also supplied the entire MCS-5 type 2 ship automation system communicating via a fiber-optic high-speed databus. “For 25 years, mtu has been supplying integrated drive systems for large high-speed ships“, said Bernd Brendel, Manager of the Military Ships unit at MTU Detroit Diesel. “The US Navy was very impressed with our know-how and experience, which were particularly required for this project, which is why we were selected. In the matter of integrating combined drive systems, there is simply no other company that can compete with the experience and total product value offered by MTU Detroit Diesel.“ In addition to the drive system, MTU Detroit Diesel also supplied the four diesel generator aggregates powered by S60 mtu engines responsible for providing electricity on board the X-Craft.