Steam Propulsion – Still Technologically Relevant
Authors: Rich Rogers
Abstract: While the focus of the symposium is on power systems for future Navy ships, it is important to remember the majority of combat striking power resides in two ships classes, CVNs and LHDs (due to the F-35B), powered by steam propulsion systems. When a Combatant Commander calls for a Naval strike it will come from a steam powered ship. Therefore, it is critical for the US Navy to invest in the modernization of steam propulsion systems.
Currently LHD-1/LCC-19 steam propulsion readiness (Ao) is approximately 80%. This is not due to boiler readiness which has improved to 97% over the last 5 years. The reduced Ao is due to obsolete ancillary equipment and a lack of critical spare parts in the steam propulsion system. In order to improve steam plant readiness the US Navy must fund and champion the Amphibious Steam Ship Safety/Readiness program and ensure there is a synergy between various Navy organizations as the Amphibious Steam Ship Safety/Readiness program is executed.
The paper and presentation would focus on the Amphibious Steam Ship Safety/Readiness program, LHD/CVN modernization technologies, and training improvements to ensure the continued combat relevance of these ships.