Navy going hybrid electric
Destroyers in the Navy started off as coal-firing steamships, then from the 1920s through the 1970s were oil-fired steam turbines (although there were a series of nuclear-reactor steam turbined tin cans labeled as guided missile destroyer leaders in the 1960s which were later redesignated as cruisers)
Starting with the Spruance-class in the 1970s, the Navy went to (dual fuel capable) gas turbines, the current go-to for the fleet.
Now, the Navy will begin installing a hybrid electric drive (HED) system on 34 Flight IIA Arleigh Burke guided missile destroyers in a bid to lower the fuel costs of the ships.
This will see a HED motor installed is capable of turning the drive shaft and propelling the ship at speeds less than 13 kts. That speed range would work well with missions like ballistic missile defense or maritime security operations. For high speed, its back to the quartet of GE LM-2500 gas turbines.
Having a hybrid electric drive will mean more time on station in far off West Pac and South West Asia tours and less dependence on oilers. Afterall, it’s easier to load up a pallet of food by chopper to extend time at sea rather than 700 barrels of fuel.