With introduction of the Spruance Class Destroyers, gas turbines have been used to power both destroyers and frigates. However, to achieve maximum crusing range, high efficiency propulsion systems are required. The scope of this paper is limited to a basic description of propulsion plant configurations, using gas turbines as prime movers. These systems serve as candidates for U.S. Navy ship propulsion. Comparisons are limited to fuel loading, because of its impact on ship design. Although annual fuel consumption is a more accurate measure of fuel efficiency, it requires a specific ship design. This is beyond the scope of this paper. Of the systems considered, the maximum reduction in required fuel loading (for a specific cruising range) was 20%. To achieve optimum efficiency, cross-connect ability (for a two propeller shaft system) is essential. Potential cross-connect methods include mechanical, electrical and steam features. The first two are described in this paper.

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