(PITTSBURGH) — Expeditionary base mobile (ESB) 4, built by General Dynamics NASSCO and enabled by GE’s electric power and propulsion system, will be able to operate at a speed of 15 knots with an endurance of more than 9,500 nautical miles, GE Marine Solutions said in a March 24 release.
Approximately 80,000 tons (fully loaded) and 784 feet in length, with a beam of 164 feet — more than a third wider than most ships — ESB 4 is the second ship of this type to be outfitted as an expeditionary base mobile, formerly called the afloat forward staging base, and is an extremely stable platform for sea-base operations. It will be able to accommodate up to 250 personnel.
The new vessel will feature a 52,000-square-foot flight deck, fuel and equipment storage, repair spaces, magazines and mission planning. Additionally, there will be a hangar bay and flight deck capable of supporting MH-53E and MH-60 helicopters, with an option for future upgrades to support MV-22 tilt-rotor aircraft.
“There is a growing interest in full electric and hybrid propulsion solutions for naval applications, as they offer increased efficiency, flexibility and reliability while saving money over the lifetime of the ship,” said Adam Kabulski, director for naval accounts, GE’s Marine Solutions. “GE’s technical expertise, superior products and services enable the Navy to spend more of its valuable resources, time and money focusing on the core missions that are critical to our national defense.”
The ESB is part of a new class of vessels for the U.S. Navy that will support multiple missions such as air mine countermeasures, counter-piracy operations, maritime security operations, humanitarian aid and disaster relief missions and crisis response operations.
The vessel is scheduled to launch in mid-2017, and delivery of the vessel is slated for 2018.