Naval propulsion specialists are working on new engines for the U.S. Navy’s future submarines.
The Navy recently approved a new design for the Polaris-class diesel-electric submarine.
The Polaris-D, as it is called, would be powered by four diesel-powered engines.
It would be based on the Polaris I, which the Navy used in the 1950s.
That diesel engine, however, has since become obsolete.
It’s now being replaced by the new Polaris-X, which will use a single engine.
The new engine will be called the Polaris XE.
Naval propulsion specialists working on the new engines are working with a team at Northrop Grumman, an aerospace firm, to develop a new diesel-fueled propulsion system that would power the Polaris II submarines.
The Navy is also considering using the Polaris III diesel-propulsion system for the next-generation submarine.
The Polaris-E and Polaris-Y diesel-engine systems would be built at Northrup Grummann, and would be used on the USS Ponce, which is scheduled to be decommissioned in 2025.
The Ponce is a Type 9B submarine with a displacement of 3,400 tons.
The submarine was commissioned in 1966.
Navy currently has six Polaris submarines, which would be upgraded to the new diesel engines.
The first Polaris-B submarine is slated to be launched in 2020.
A Polaris-F diesel-power propulsion system would also be considered.
That submarine would be named the Polaris K. It will be built by the Northrop-G&D Northrop Group.
Northrop Grrumman has also designed a diesel-driven propulsion system for its Sea Kings, which are being built by Lockheed Martin, based in St. Louis.
Lockheed Martin has been developing a propulsion system to power the Sea Kings since 2000, and will be building the Sea King V and Sea King X.