Navy Launches Green Hornet

Navy Launches Green Hornet

The Navy intends to deploy an energy efficient “Great Green Fleet” carrier strike group consisting of ships powered either by nuclear energy or biofuels with an attached air wing of fighter jets fueled entirely by biofuels. The “green” strike group was part of an ambitious energy efficient agenda that will include a radical restructuring of the way the Navy and Marine Corps awards industry contracts, laid out today by Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, at the Naval Energy Forum in McLean, Va.

The Navy conducted the initial tests yesterday of a biofuel powered engine for a new F/A-18 “Green Hornet,” Mabus said. He vowed the new plane would fly within three years. Hybrid electric power systems using biofuels will power the sensors, weapons and other electronic systems onboard the green strike group’s surface combatants. The strike group will demonstrate local operations by 2012 and will be fully operational by 2016.

Mabus said the Navy and Marine Corps intend to reshape their approach to awarding shipbuilding and weapons contracts to favor companies that provide the most energy efficient products. From now on, he said, lifetime energy consumption costs and the “fully burdened cost of fueling and powering” all ships, planes, weapons and buildings will be a “mandatory evaluation factor” used in awarding contracts.


“We’re going to hold industry contractually accountable for meeting energy targets and system efficiency requirements,” Mabus said. “We’ll also use the overall energy efficiency and the energy footprint of a competing company as an additional factor in acquisition decisions.” All new surface combatants will be built from the ground up with energy efficient systems installed, he said.

The Navy also plans to convert its fleet of 50,000 commercial vehicles at its many bases to electric and hybrid power by 2015. By 2020, half of all the service’s shore-based installation energy use will be powered by alternative fuels as well as solar, wind and geothermal sources. While readily acknowledging that biofuel prices are high, Mabus said prices will go down as biofuel production increases and that the military’s shift to greater biofuel use will incentivize more biofuel production.

Improvements to the traditionally fueled F/A-18 engines will increase the fuel efficiency of each aircraft by three percent, Mabus said. Those improvements will not only allow the planes to fly further on the same tank of fuel but could potentially save 127,000 barrels of fuel per plane per year.

While Mabus said the Navy and Marine Corps have an obligation to do something today to reduce their impact on the environment, the Navy is particularly mindful of rising fuel costs as oil prices climb above $70 a barrel. To fill the 450,000 gallon fuel tank on the Navy’s DDG-51 destroyer today costs $643,000, said RADM Phillip Cullom, who heads the service’s Task Force Energy. That’s an improvement over last summer’s $1.8 million cost to fill the destroyer’s tanks when oil prices soared above $100 per barrel.

Additional fleet-wide energy saving initiatives include tests of a new anti-fouling coating to be applied to ship’s hulls and the installation of stern flaps on amphibious ships intended to increase fuel efficiency, Mabus said.

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I think this is great. I am little sceptical on the “green” agenda, it sounds like the Navy is mainly spinning its agenda of energy independence to the current administration. Both are virtuous endeavors, but the latter should be the greater priority. Fortunately the two are not mutually exclusive in this instance and that the Navy can accomplish two signifiant things at once.

An interesting idea for sure, the improved fuel efficiency part for the F/A-18 sounds like a great improvement. I just wish the Navy could get the funding for a new fifth generation fighter to serve as the “high end” counterpart to the F-35C.

It seems that by virtue of the inherent large “real estate” offered by ships that the US Navy can take a lead on this, however other services are a bit more pressed to follow their example. Land vehicles will have less space to accomodate these engines and other devices needed to adopt this “green” approach. Having said that I hope the Army/Marines really push for this since they’re the services that MOST stand to gain in terms of effectiveness and increasing their force protection due to less vehicles being on the road.

ANyway back on topic, I wish the Navy much success and kudos for having this strategic vision of incorporating fuel efficiency as a variable in the cost of what a weapon costs.

This is a great way to make our military much more lethal and effective. I don’t really care what guise they do this under, but having an energy independent navy (and military for that matter) gives us an enormous advantage in any conflict. Not only that, but the technologies that defense contractors will develop to be used in these ships, jets and vehicles will find their way into the commercial industry as well.

As long as it doesn’t affect the lethal efficiency of our military at all, I suppose the fuel efficiency pursuit is ok. But buying into the green movement smacks of girly-man engineering.

The Navy conducted the initial tests yesterday of a biofuel powered engine for a new F/A-18 “Green Hornet,”
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More ethanol subsidies coming right up.

The Navy also plans to convert its fleet of 50,000 commercial vehicles at its many bases to electric and hybrid power by 2015. By 2020, half of all the service’s shore-based installation energy use will be powered by alternative fuels as well as solar, wind and geothermal sources.
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Are renewable truly ready for the military? This stuff still isn’t ready for the challenge on the mainland, and we are already forcing it on the military, becuase the military has to follow orders, whether it works or not.

If using less fuel to do the same job is girl-man, then I’m all for it.

That said, there is nothing girly man about green energy. It’s intelligent.

Respectfully,

Daniel Russ
Civilianmilitaryintelligencegroup​.com

I think its cool. This is a step forward to green energy.

GO NAVY!

Not a lot new here, just repackaged info. Couple of things,
– Change to the legacy F-18s is to fly higher in controlled airspace. No change in the aircraft, merely changing equipment to make the FAA (and equivilent civilian air control agencies) happy. The plane could always fly that high, it just couldn’t regularly use the airspace. This was announced months ago.

- Ditto new anti-fouling paint. Its being tested now and was announced months ago. Good antifouling paint helps in a variety of ways beyond fuel savings (more speed, less cleaning, potentially longer time between docking, potentially lower noise) and the Navy has been updating its materials for litterally its entire existance.

- Stern flaps have been studied for years. Issue has always been that the hassle of stern flaps (more hydraulics, more complexity when docking, weights at the extreme end of the ship, etc), vastly outweigh the fuel savings that are only derived at higher speeds (stern flaps are used to reduce squatting). When you add the cost of retro-fitting, not sure it will make sense.

@Alex,
I don’t envision the Navy hauling biofuels (or synthetic fuels for that matter) all the way around the world to run the fleet unless they absolutely have too. Most of the fuel is going to be sourced somewhere nearby if possible, it is a lot cheaper that way. We would need a lot more tankers than we have now for that.

@atacms
The biofuels the USN and USAF has been testing in jet engines will work fine in Army vehicles with no changes. It is basically just a different mix that is still JetA1/JP5/JP8. When the navy speaks of hybrid drive, they are talking integrated electric drive (DDG1000) or slow speed electric drive (LHD7). No batteries or other super high tech stuff, only better efficiency from your normal engines that will use “biofuel” that looks just like DFM or JP5.

@Drake1
No ethanol here, they are using a biodiesel like product mixed with JET A1. JP5 and JP8 is basically Jet A1 with some additives.

So does this mean that F-18 exhaust will smell like french fries like the exhaust from some of these biodiesel cars running around :) As stated before, if it doesn’t hurt the military’s mission, than I all for it.

I think the military wants to be more intedepenant from foreign oil.. and i think this is the right step.

Ya i wondered about the smell myself… haha i actually like the smell of jet fuel in the morngin though.. ahha

I think the Obama Administration wants to use the military as test bed for this technology, with an eye for touting various prototypes produced from it, (such as the green Hornet) to push for domestic adoption of similar technologies. If it actually works, I’m all for it, but you can’t deny the political component of this initiative.

Well i think this was thought up way before obama’s administration.. well atleast on the air force side… been in the works for years! i suspect the navy side has been working on this for awile too, atleast planning it.….

Great to try new methods, especially with the savings of 127,000 barrels per year. When they start favoring contracts for “energy efficiency” however, that becomes scary. If this process slows our logistics speed, it will have a ripple affect on our maintenance turnaround. This would be fine for a “rag” squadron, but I find it unlikely our sea squadrons/battlegroups will transition as fast as the author is contending.

Survivalists, off gridders, patriots in America are in grave need of super-insulation, information technologies and applications! We wish to conserve oil, feed the nation, this way! Can the U.S. Navy Labs help us out! We appreciated the short blurb ( clandestine) depleted Uranium batteries and the fantastic light weight 400 hz super-generators by the “Patriot” in your name! Can’t find the site on Google anymore! Howcum? Please “dribble down” any technologies that can help save oil and make for better support for you by survivors, off-gridders as we stand tall for you and your work!

It’s been a long time coming. Glad to see the Navy is leading the way as usual…

It always take people with vision to drag the nay sayer into a better approach. Seems like some in this forum would still perfer a coal burning navy.

Deltaflot i like my french fires i hope it does smell like french fires

omg! im a crazy beast

sup dude

umm if u think going green is girly-man engineering then you got issues

it is time for a all nuclear navy

Aside from green energy , I think it would be cool if we make/modify the hornets engine the same speed capacity as the F-22 and F-23.

Hrmm…I wonder what sort of emissions this will produce? Does it take more Biofuel to do this than regular fuel? Will the new engine propel the F/A-18 to it’s current level?

Tanamount to admission that the oil shortage problem looms large on the horizon and a reason all Americans must think Electric — cars and electric bullet train networks such as Europe and China have up and running for basic survival. Yankee Doodle — there goes your Chevrolet!

Soooo, 3% of annual use = 127,000 BARRELS (typically 55 gal each) of fuel a year per plane?!?!? that’s almost 7,000,000 gallons. If that’s the case, that would mean the plane uses well over 210,000,000 gallons per year.

Can’t be true, can it? They must have meant gallons per year, per plane., which still puts it at an astronomical amount of fuel burned per plane.

Soooo, 3% of annual use = 127,000 BARRELS (typically 55 gal each) of fuel a year per plane?!?!? that’s almost 7,000,000 gallons. If that’s the case, that would mean the plane uses well over 210,000,000 gallons per year.

Can’t be true, can it? They must have meant gallons per year, per plane., which still puts it at an astronomical amount of fuel burned per plane.

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