The United States Navy has developed a facility to support full scale testing of gas turbine propulsion systems. The first site at this facility is based on the gas turbine propulsion system for the newest class of surface combatants, the USS Arleigh Burke (DDG 51). The plant consists of two LM 2500 gas turbines, combined with a newly designed reduction gear, and supported by a gas turbine generator for electrical power.

This paper describes the design of the propulsion plant, and gives special emphasis to propulsion and electrical testing. The digital control system, and multiplexed communications system is described. Preliminary component, system and full scale integration test results are presented and discussed. The paper includes lessons learned from the installation of the propulsion train and the electrical systems. Finally, a brief description of the machinery control system software maintenance process, and our initial experiences with large scale software integration testing will be given.

This paper reaffirms the value of full scale systems integration testing. It also points out the fundamental role that electronics, computers, and software play in marine gas turbine systems.