A new Chinese 20MW generator for warships includes advanced integrated electric propulsion (IEP) technology that would power high energy weapons, including electromagnetic railguns and lasers.
It could also be used to power catapult launch system in aircraft carriers. The IEP will store and release high amounts of electrical energy required for power-intensive applications such as railguns and lasers.
The generator was developed by government-owned China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC). In a statement last week, the company said it put China’s most powerful ship-use turbo generator unit into actual use for the first time. It is said to be four times more powerful than the country’s current generator units and is reportedly on par with the most advanced generator units developed by the U.S. and European nations.
CSSC did not, however, reveal what kind of ship the new generator unit was installed on. The unit’s designation also remains undisclosed.
The U.S.Navy’s Zumwalt guided missile destroyer uses two 36-megawatt generator units, which allows it to reach a top speed of 30 knots at a displacement of 15,000 tons. So, China’s frigate having a displacement of 5,000 to 6,000 tons will need two 20-megawatt generator units and its 10,000 ton-class Type 055 destroyer would require three to four.