Global Combat Ship Ultra-Quiet Hybrid Electric ASW Frigate

GE technology delivers an extremely low noise signature, with high shock performance and action damage tolerance. The Type 26 Frigate Global Combat Ship combines proven commercial technology with advanced military features to deliver state-of-the-art performance with the reliability of a mature solution.


Customer need
The UK Royal Navy has commissioned a new anti-submarine warfare (ASW) City Class frigate-a multi-role vessel for global combat and peace-keeping operations with a flexible ‘mission space’.

A key challenge was to achieve the required, intense naval performance requirements, including an ultra-low noise signature and demanding shock levels, within the tight space, weight and efficiency constraints of this type of platform. As with all marine applications, de-risking the equipment was also a crucial consideration.

A second but important challenge – the Type 26 design selected is part of the Global Combat Ship family, proposed for and selected by the Royal Australian Navy and Royal Canadian Navy for their next generation frigate programs and a total plan for 32 ships to date. Commonality and affordability, but the ability to customize and adapt a hybrid electric architecture with different partners would also be a significant consideration in the electric ship architecture. 


A hybrid electric propulsion system was selected,where the vessel operates on GE’s electric propulsion for high efficiency but uses a direct engine drive for top speed.
GE drew on its extensive experience from previous frigate, naval and commercial marine programs, and used advanced modelling and innovative design features, to deliver a highly robust electric ship system.

  • Electric propulsion supplied by GE’s Compact Induction Motorsand SeaPulse LV drives.
  • ‘Stealth’ type technology propulsion – ultra-low acoustic signature.
  • GE patented noise-quieting technology built directly into the electric motors themselves.
  • Equipment de-risking through one shaft load and scale, integrated power and propulsion system testing located at GE’s world-leading Marine Power Test Facility (MPTF) in the UK.
  • Test and emulation plan identified over 300 real-life scenarios that the ship will encounter on op’s to ‘stress-test’ systems ahead of costly sea trials.

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  • Unprecedented levels of quietness combined with excellent shock performance.
  • The entire solution is also designed to withstand faults, can be easily isolated from sources of power in the event of action damage
  • Local control capability – a crucial feature for a combat ship.
  • Military capability with commercial ship mindset.
  • Design for maintainability.
  • Comprehensive test and trials to fully prove the entire system working together, not just its separate equipment elements – a unique advantage that has made GE the supplier of choice for marine customers around the world.