Sea Jet

Happened across this pic:

The Advanced Electric Ship Demonstrator “Sea Jet” undergoes sea trials, Nov. 30, 2005, on Lake Pend Oreille in Bayview, Idaho. The 133-foot vessel is testing an underwater discharge water jet called AWJ-21, a propulsion concept with the goals of providing increased propulsive efficiency, reduced acoustic signature, and improved maneuverability over previous destroyer class combatants. U.S. Navy photo by John F. Williams

Murdoc’s gotta admit that he was unfamiliar with this DD(X) prototype. At least that’s what it looks like.

Found an aritcle in MarineLog which includes

An underwater discharge waterjet from Rolls-Royce Naval Marine, Inc., called AWJ-21, will be among the first technologies tested. It allows vessels to operate in shallow water with increased maneuverability and stealth.

Rolls-Royce also took the role of prime contractor for ship construction and system integration of the diesel/battery electric drive propulsion system.

The AWJ-21 is designed to increase ship speed, making hulls sleeker by working without rudders, shafts and propeller struts. Unlike conventional waterjets, the system works completely underwater, reducing noise and surface wake and improving stealth.

The lightweight and compact AWJ-21 allows ships to operate in shallow waters. Its integrated steering and reversing system improves maneuverability at low speeds. Pat Marolda, Rolls-Royce President–Naval, said: “This is a significant milestone in our development of an advanced waterjet technology which offers new parameters in performance, bringing real benefits to the U.S. Navy”.

Following demonstration of the AWJ-21, the RIMJET propulsor from General Dynamics Electric Boat will be installed in Sea Jet for evaluation. The RIMJET is a novel type of podded propulsion system that relies on a permanent magnet motor to drive the propeller.

Strategy Page also featured some pre-commissioning photos last fall. And a larger version of the photo in this post is available here.

Murdoc wants one.


  1. The AWJ-21 doesn’t happen to sound like a ‘Magma Displacement’ to passive SONAR operators, does it? ;)

  2. I bet these guys are making the motors We are going to an all electric and nucleur navy… Great pic!!!

  3. Is it just me, or does that thing look way too small to be a destroyer? I’m guessing it’s not a DD(X) prototype at all, but rather a technology demonstrator.

  4. Nicholas: Yeah, ‘demonstrator’ was more what I was going for. This appears to be far to small to for the open sea, and they’re testing it on a lake. I live in Michigan, so maybe the Coast Guard will get a couple of these little babies to patrol the Great Lakes. Time for a Regional War on Zebra Mussels…

  5. The Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) is a small specialised variant of the DD(X) family of future surface combat ships. LCS complements, but does not replace, the capabilities of DD(X) and CG(X). The Littoral Combat Ship will take advantage of the newest generation hull form and will have modularity and scalability built in. It focuses on mission capabilities, affordability, and life cycle costs. The LCS is an entirely new breed of U.S. Navy warship. A fast, agile, and networked surface combatant, LCS’s modular, focused-mission design will provide Combatant Commanders the required warfighting capabilities and operational flexibility to ensure maritime dominance and access for the joint force. LCS will operate with focused-mission packages that deploy manned and unmanned vehicles to execute missions as assigned by Combatant Commanders. LCS will also perform Special Operations Forces (SOF) support, high-speed transit, Maritime Interdiction Operations (MIO), Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR), and Anti-Terrorism/Force Protection (AT/FP). While complementing capabilities of the Navy’s larger multi-mission surface combatants, LCS will also be networked to share tactical information with other Navy aircraft, ships, submarines, and joint units. The Navy has discussed up to 60 ships, roughly up to $12 billion. The new trend in ship design Littoral Ships ….

  6. Sounds more like a single point of failure to put the propulsion and steering altogether. This is the same sort of thing that Cunard has on the new QM2 – and it has ‘minor’ damage to one of their units that forced a complete re-work of their extensive/expensive cruise plans;

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