Vericor Power Systems has upgraded three Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) LCAC craft with new and improved Full Authority Digital Electronic Control (FADEC) engine control units bringing added reliability, operational flexibility and enhanced maintainability to the fleet. The other three craft will receive their new units later this year.
The JMSDF LCAC craft are very similar to the US Navy versions. The US Navy craft began receiving new FADEC units in 2010 and Vericor has since delivered more than 270 units. “Our team has done a terrific job getting these units into service with the Japanese Navy where the benefits will be realized immediately” saidShannon Rogers, Vericor VP of Programs and Aftermarkets “The feedback from the three crafts in operation has been all positive”.
The new Vericor units are lighter and smaller than their predecessor units and bring a host of new features. Prominent among these features is improved load sharing between engines. Each LCAC craft has four Vericor gas turbines and in a drive train unique to this craft, the two engines on each side share load responsibility for both the large propulsion fans and the lift fans that inflate the craft’s cushion. With load sharing capability now designed in, the engines can do a much better job of allocating their power to these two load devices.
Another feature of this next generation control is a comprehensive diagnostic capability. The new design offers real time data monitoring and fault analysis. This improvement paid dividends immediately with the JMSDF when they were able to reduce routine trouble shooting that would have taken 8 hours to a few minutes. This ability will greatly enhance the operational readiness of the Japanese fleet.
The LCAC craft operate in one of the most arduous environments, in a virtual constant haze of sea salt and spray. The gas turbine engines that Vericor supplies are proven day in and day out in this challenging operating atmosphere. The new FADEC units will help the Vericor engines deliver their power more effectively and with even higher reliability.