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Interview

`GE Marine has Long Been a Trusted Supplier to the Turkish Naval Forces!`

On the occasion of the IDEF ‘21 Fair, Defence Turkey created an opportunity to have an exclusive interview with GE Aviation/Marine Marketing Director George AWISZUS to get first-hand information on the international presence of GE Marine in the marine propulsion systems sector, the major international programs that GE Marine is currently involved in and GE Marine’s approach to Turkey as a market for the sale of its products. We also took the opportunity to ask him about the current activities of GE Marine in the Turkish market regarding the on-going modernization & procurement programs as well as on the position of Turkey within the goals of the company in the EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa) market.

Issue 110

Defence Turkey:  How would you best describe GE Marine? Could you please provide some key facts about the company for our readers? 

George AWISZUS: GE Marine is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of marine propulsion products, systems and solutions including six aeroderivative gas turbines ranging from 6,100 to 70,656 shaft horsepower/4.6 to 52.7 megawatts. The LM2500 family — the base LM2500 (25.1 MW), LM2500+ (30.2 MW) and the LM2500+G4 (35.3 MW), ISO ratings— as well as the LM500 (4.6 MW), all offer quick start capabilities, easy on-board maintenance, and an outstanding worldwide fleet performance of greater than 99% reliability and 98% availability. GE also offers the LM6000 gas turbine that can provide up to 52.7 MW for higher power needs.

The marine gas turbine family shares an extensive pedigree with GE’s reliable industrial aeroderivative turbines. There are over 5,400 aeroderivative gas turbines operating worldwide, logging more than 150 million hours in marine, power generation, and oil and gas.

GE has the world’s most experienced marine gas turbines:

40 world navies

633 naval ships

115 naval ship programs

1,500 engines delivered or on order

>16 million operating hours

86 engines on 47 commercial vessels

Defence Turkey:  Where do you see the strong points of GE Marine and how does it differ from its competitors? 

George AWISZUS: Let’s talk about what GE offers our customers and the benefits of our engines. For example:

GE offers six engines to choose from to employ the right amount of power. LM500, LM2500, LM2500+, LM2500+G4, LM6000PC, LM6000PG 

Demonstrated reliability (99%) and availability (98%) achieved by proven designs coupled with in-situ maintenance upgrade capability averting the need to remove engines

GE offers customers nine (and growing) service depots globally

The LM2500+G4 gas turbine with our lightweight composite module is 33% more power dense than the competition

Defence Turkey: What could you tell us about the international presence and market position of GE Marine in the Military Gas Turbines and Commercial Gas Turbines sectors?

George AWISZUS: GE is pleased to be onboard serving 40 global navies. The benefit to our naval customers is that there is a large fleet of GE Marine gas turbines on every continent to provide navies interoperability and support either onshore or afloat. Separately, GE has nearly 90 gas turbines operating in commercial marine applications ranging from fast ferries, high speed yachts, to cruise ships and floating oil production platforms.

Defence Turkey: GE's Global Marine business offers customers the latest advances in gas turbines, diesel engines, electric drives and dynamic positioning solutions to support global growth in the marine industry. What are the major international programs that GE Marine is currently involved in, in the Military Gas Turbines sector? What key geographical markets are your next targets?

George AWISZUS: GE Marine is very active in Turkey due in large part to our relationships with shipyards and other key in-country partners. Programs include the MILGEM corvette and the DIMDEG fleet oiler replenishment ship. This relationship has expanded to exports to Pakistan and Ukraine of MILGEM ships as well. 

Defence Turkey: GE Marine has been selected to power the US Navy's new Constellation Class of Frigates and secured a contract to provide shipbuilder Fincantieri Marinette Marine with a GE LM2500+G4 aeroderivative marine gas turbine to power the Navy’s first frigate of the class FFG-62. With this order the LM2500+G4 engine will enter the US Navy service for the first time. Can you elaborate on the importance of this award, delivery schedule and how does the LM2500+G4 engine differ from its competitors?

George AWISZUS: With the US FFG 62 award, the LM2500+G4 (rated at 37 MW ISO and 30.5 MW Navy standard day - NSD) is used in 39 marine applications (mainly on FREMM frigates) and growing and 664 industrial applications.

The 30.5 MW (NSD) rating continues GE’s philosophy of providing power options. This engine, in particular has, shown to be well received by the marketplace. The LM2500+G4 is >90% common to the LM2500 base model; the staging is the same but with the addition of a zero-stage compressor blisk.

The LM2500+G4 uses GE’s new lightweight composite module. Benefits include [1] 33% more power dense than the competition and [2] enables all three LM2500 gas turbines models to be the same length providing maximum flexibility.

The FFG-62 frigate also includes GE’s proven gas turbine electric start system and other auxiliary systems.

Defence Turkey:  Can you elaborate on how the LM6000 industrial gas turbine engine is giving it an edge over its competitors? How many LM6000 engines have been delivered so far? 

George AWISZUS: GE Marine has a marinized LM6000 module that has been designed for shock and has been certified to 41.6 MW by Lloyd’s and RINA; can provide up to 52.4MW.

There are over 1,380 industrial LM6000 engines fielded in mechanical drive and generator set applications.

Defence Turkey: How is the evolution of naval power changing the company’s approach to marine propulsion? Could you elaborate on the targets of your company in the Military Gas Turbines sector? What kind of new products do you see a demand for in the coming years in the naval propulsion systems sector?

George AWISZUS: GE sees these trends in the naval market and is prepared now:

Full electric drive ships: There are a number of new ships, particularly destroyers, announced with full electric drive as the propulsion system of choice. The United States Navy’s DDG(X) and the Republic of Korea Navy’s next-generation KDDX Destroyers are amongst those that have selected full electric drive. That’s because of the need for electric power and margin for present and future sensor and weapon systems. Globally, GE Marine partners with our sister company GE Power Conversion. GE Marine offers customers reliable gas turbine generator sets and GE Power Conversion is the leading provider of electric motor and drive systems. This GE team also can provide integration expertise so that the benefits of electric drive propulsion can be fully realized. For example, for the ROK Navy, GE is offering a full electric drive propulsion system similar to the United Kingdom’s Type 45 destroyer+. The ROK Navy full electric system will feature full GE equipment: a LM2500 Gas Turbine married to a generator together with propulsion motor and drives. GE is the only company that can provide the breadth of full electric products along with integration.

Proven: High reliability and availability (low maintenance): There is renewed emphasis on selecting a propulsion system that is reliable and doesn’t require a ship to return to port for maintenance or be tied up for long periods of time. GE’s gas turbines have unmatched reliability thanks to the horizontal top casing and modular design that enables a significant amount of maintenance work to be performed onboard the ship at minimal expense.

Unmanned Surface Vessels: Worldwide, several navies are exploring unmanned surface vessels that are low cost, about the size of a corvette or smaller, that have high endurance, and are able to carry numerous payloads. Gas turbines, specifically GE’s 4.6 MW LM500 Gas Turbine is an attractive solution given the ship is unmanned and requires no maintenance while on mission and has a high density.  

Alternate fuels: Although there are no current naval ship program requirements, gas turbines inherently have the capability of burning alternate fuels. These include natural gas, Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG), Marine Gas Oil (MGO) and other bio-synthetic paraffinic kerosene blends. 

Defence Turkey: What can the industry expect to see on the horizon as new products and services from GE Marine? 

George AWISZUS: GE continues to invest and offer new products to advance our technology infusion.  [1] GE’s new lightweight composite gas turbine module provides best-in-class power density, saving over 6,000 pounds of weight, reducing acoustic and thermal heat transmission, and increasing accessibility by allowing for large and lighter access doors. [2] GE’s electric starter systems yield significant weight savings versus hydraulic systems.

Defence Turkey: What can you tell us about GE Marine’s approach to Turkey as a market for the sale of its products? How many of GE Marine’s military gas turbines are in use on Turkish Naval Forces naval platforms?

George AWISZUS: Currently, GE has delivered or has on order 31 LM2500 Gas Turbines onboard 18 ships for Turkey. Programs include the BARBAROS, GABYA and ISTIF Frigates, the ADA Class (MILGEM) Corvettes and the DIMDEG Fleet Oil Replenishment Vessel.

Defence Turkey: What can you tell us about the current activities of GE Marine regarding the on-going modernization/procurement programs (such as ISTIF Class Frigate, PN-MILGEM, LCAC, Turkish Type Fast Patrol Boat, TF-2000 Air Defense Warfare Destroyer and DIMDEG (Fleet Replenishment Ship) of the Turkish Naval Forces Command? In 2020 you secured contracts for the delivery of LM2500 gas turbines to power PN-MILGEM Corvettes and DIMDEG (TCG Derya, 2x). Can you elaborate on their delivery schedules?

George AWISZUS: As a trusted in-country partner, GE’s philosophy is to provide in-country support from build to delivery to lifetime maintenance of GE engines and gas turbines. That’s why GE and TUSAS Engine Industries, Inc. have partnered in Turkey for many years and continue to work together to discover other opportunities for TEI to play a critical role in supporting the Turkish shipbuilding industry in partnership with GE Marine. 

GE Marine has long been a trusted supplier to the Turkish Naval Forces. In fact, all of Turkey’s MILGEM multi-purpose corvettes are powered by a GE LM2500 and two diesel engines in a combined diesel and gas turbine (CODAG) configuration. Additionally, 24 LM2500s operate aboard the Turkish Navy’s BARBAROS and GABYA Class Frigates, and two LM2500 engines will power the DIMDEG, Fleet Replenishment Ship currently under construction.

The GE LM2500 and LM500 Gas Turbines are ideal for the Turkish Naval Forces’ new TF-2000 and Fast Attack Craft programs, respectively. In fact, Turkey’s next generation TF-2000 combat frigate has many characteristics common to a destroyer that has a 7,000-ton displacement and a mission that includes anti-air warfare. Thus, a propulsion system based on two GE LM2500 engines in a combined diesel or gas turbine (CODOG) arrangement is an ideal fit for such a high-capital ship. This twin GE LM2500 arrangement offers the best reliability and survivability and is consistent with the world’s destroyers that all use a minimum of two gas turbines per ship.

Turkey’s other new ship, the Fast Attack Craft, is expected to operate in coastal and offshore environments at high speeds. GE’s power dense LM500 Gas Turbine is the best propulsion solution for this new ship. The proven LM500 engines have logged significant experience in high-speed naval vessels such as the ROK Navy’s Gumdoksuri Patrol Boats: the 570-ton PKX-A Boats, and the smaller, 200-ton PKX-B Ships. Each of these ROK Navy Patrol Boats can attain speeds over 40 knots.

Defence Turkey: Have you received any LM2500 orders for the TCG ISTANBUL/ISTIF Class Frigates so far? If yes, when would you deliver it to STM for installation on the TCG ISTANBUL?

George AWISZUS: We are in the proposal stage.

Defence Turkey: According to GE Marine’s website the LM2500+ delivers up to 20% more power compared to the LM2500 at a simple-cycle thermal efficiency greater than 39%. The LM2500+ has the same high availability, reliability and higher efficiency (lower SFC) than the LM2500. So, in the light of this information, I wondered why the Turkish Naval Forces did not choose the LM2500+ instead of the LM2500 (especially for the DIMDEG), what can you say about this?

George AWISZUS: GE offers our customers options to meet the amount of power desired. 

Defence Turkey: Can we have your personal comments on the position of Turkey within the goals of the company in the EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa) market?

George AWISZUS: GE will continue to serve our Turkish customers as well as our partnerships for local manufacture and support of our GE’s gas turbines. This is why we are pleased with the TEI MOU. We have successfully used a similar in-country business model with other GE global service providers in the ROK, India, Japan and with GE Avio Engines in Italy.  

Defence Turkey: Thank you for sparing your valuable time for our readers