American Superconductor designs electric motor for DD(X) warship

Jan. 9, 2006
WESTBOROUGH, Mass., 9 Jan. 2006. American Superconductor Corp. (ASC) today announced that it has finalized a contract amendment with the U.S. Navy's Office of Naval Research (ONR) to build a propulsion motor for electric warships.

WESTBOROUGH, Mass., 9 Jan. 2006. American Superconductor Corp. (ASC) today announced that it has finalized a contract amendment with the U.S. Navy's Office of Naval Research (ONR) to build a propulsion motor for electric warships.

Under the terms of the amendment, the ONR has approved a $10 million increase to AMSC's contract to design and build a 36.5 megawatt (MW) high temperature superconductor (HTS) propulsion motor for electric warships. AMSC expects to deliver the motor to the Navy test facility in Philadelphia in September 2006.

As prime contractor, AMSC leads the design, manufacture and initial testing of the prototype 36.5MW HTS electric ship propulsion motor. The motor, which is sized for the Navy's future DD(X) ships, benefits from the successes achieved by AMSC in a recently completed ONR 5-MW HTS motor development and test program. AMSC and Northrop Grumman have already successfully completed the first two phases of the three-phase development process for the 36.5MW motor including successful preliminary design and detailed design reviews.

HTS motors are ultra-compact, measuring as little as one-third the weight and one-half the size of copper-based motors of the same power and torque rating, which means Navy ships could carry more fuel and munitions and could have more room for crew's quarters and weapons systems, and commercial ship owners and operators could carry more passengers and cargo.

In addition, HTS motors operate with higher fuel efficiency and are expected to have lower maintenance costs than their conventional copper counterparts. The substantial advantages offered by HTS ship propulsion motors are expected to be provided at a production cost equivalent to conventional motors of the same power and torque rating. For more information, see ion.cfm.

The amendment adds $10 million to AMSC's backlog, most of which is expected to be recognized as revenue in the company's fiscal year ending March 31, 2006. AMSC also expects an additional contract modification to be completed by ONR within the next few months, which will increase AMSC's backlog by an additional $7 million to $10 million.

Key AMSC team members include Northrop Grumman Marine Systems and Northrop Grumman Ship Systems. Northrop Grumman Marine Systems is responsible for the development of system requirements and specifications, design and manufacture of the motor drive and certain mechanical components and system integration and test. Northrop Grumman Ship Systems, a prime contractor for Naval shipbuilding programs, is developing a family of electric surface warships and assists in overall ship system integration and is providing the ancillary hardware.

The team assembled by AMSC also includes:
* Electric Machinery Co., Minneapolis, Minn.,
* BMT Syntek Technologies, Inc., Arlington, Va., and
* the Center for Advanced Power Systems at Florida State University.

The Office of Naval Research (ONR) sponsors science and technology in support of the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps. Founded in 1946, ONR today funds work at more than 450 universities, laboratories, and other organizations. From oceanography, advanced materials, sensors, and robotics to biomedical science and technology; from electronics, surveillance, and neurotechnology to manufacturing technology and information science; from advanced combat systems to other technologies for ships, submarines, aircraft, and ground vehicles- work ONR sponsored has produced the laser, the Global Positioning System, 50 Nobel prizes, and thousands of other discoveries and products used every day around the world.

Northrop Grumman Corp. is a $25 billion global defense company, headquartered in Los Angeles, Calif. Northrop Grumman provides technologically advanced, innovative products, services and solutions in systems integration, defense electronics, information technology, advanced aircraft, shipbuilding and space technology. With approximately 120,000 employees and operations in all 50 states and 25 countries, Northrop Grumman serves U.S. and international military, government and commercial customers.

American Superconductor Corp. (AMSC) is the world's principal vendor of high temperature superconductor (HTS) wire and large rotating superconductor machinery, and it is a world- leading supplier of dynamic reactive power grid stabilization products. AMSC's HTS wire and power electronic converters are at the core of a broad range of new electricity transmission and distribution, transportation, medical and industrial processing applications, including dynamic reactive power grid stabilization solutions, large ship propulsion motors and generators, smart, controllable, superconductor power cables and advanced defense systems. For more information, see

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