The Marine Corps Systems Command is evaluating alternative propulsion systems to achieve high water speed for the future USMC Amphibious Combat Vehicle (ACV). A gas turbine engine is one of the propulsion systems evaluated. The primary risk of operating a gas turbine engine in the ACV is power loss due to the ingestion of marine contaminants such as saltwater mist in the air, saltwater spray generated from the vehicle operation, green water wash caused by the operation of the vehicle in the surf zone or in rough seas, and hard particles such as sand present in the marine environment.
The Auxiliary Ships and New Acquisition Support Branch (Code 425) of the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Philadelphia Division conducted a study to assist the Marine Corps Systems Command in assessing the feasibility of using a gas turbine engine as a propulsion system on future USMC ACVs. The study was focused on developing and testing a gas turbine intake solution for the ACV that can remove saltwater from the intake airstream of the notional 3,000 horsepower ACV engine.
Code 425 developed a two-part solution for the intake of the ACV. The first part of the solution is the Combustion Air Protection Shroud (CAPS) located at the entrance of the engine intake and designed to protect the ACV engine from green water wash by elevating the intake above the ACV deck. The second part of the solution is a gas turbine intake filtration system located downstream of the intake shroud and designed to remove marine contaminants that enter the intake shroud.
A reduced-scale model of the CAPS was designed by Code 425 in conjunction with Gibbs & Cox and tested at the Davidson Laboratory High Speed Test Basin at the Stevens Institute of Technology to determine the optimum extension height of the CAPS to protect the engine intake. This paper covers the design and testing of the CAPS. The results showed that a 2.67 ft. tall CAPS with selectively closeable air intake louvers is sufficient to keep out saltwater from the ACV gas turbine engine.