Engine upgrade delivers more benefits than US Navy anticipated
The US Navy awarded Vericor two contracts totaling approximately $26,400,000 for the upgrade of twenty ETF40B engines. These engine upgrades are part of the US Navy’s Service Life Extension Program (SLEP), which includes the conversion and upgrade of approximately 76 vessels. Thirty-seven upgraded ETF40B engines have been delivered to the US Navy to date under this program. The LCAC Hovercraft uses four engines per vessel (two engines for lift and two engines for propulsion). There are currently six (6) upgraded LCAC Hovercraft in operation today being powered by ETF40B engines and several other vessels in the process of being upgraded.
Initially, the US Navy opted for the engine upgrade to extend the service life of the engine, boosting time between overhauls from 2000 hours to 4000 hours. However, they have realized additional benefits with the ETF40B including the ability to go further, deliver heavier payloads, and operate at higher sea states and in hotter ambient conditions.
Vericor’s production partner Standard Aero Energy located in Winnipeg, Canada will perform the upgrades and conversions. Work is scheduled for completion by July 2006.