China adds turbo generators to warships to power high-energy weapons, state media says

China adds turbo generators to warships to power high-energy weapons, state media says

  • Its developer says the 20-megawatt units went into service ‘recently’ but does not specify which ships now have them installed
  • They will quadruple power-generating capacity on the vessels, making full electric propulsion possible

China has equipped its warships with advanced generators to power high-energy weapons like lasers and rail guns, according to state media.

Work on the 20-megawatt turbo generators was finished in 2018, and they went into service “recently”, according to their developer, the 704 research institute of the China State Shipbuilding Corporation.

Announcing the move on its WeChat account, the institute did not say which ships now had the generators installed, but it is believed they will be used to power the navy’s most advanced destroyers, such as the Type 055 guided-missile destroyer.

They will quadruple the power-generating capacity on the warships, making full electric propulsion possible. The generators will also be used for electromagnetic rail guns that can fire high-speed projectiles and laser weapons.

Li Jie, a naval expert in Beijing, said the turbo generators were crucial for the warships. “A powerful generator will mean all these high-energy-consuming systems can operate,” Li said.

Chinese scientists have made significant progress on an advanced integrated electric propulsion (IEP) system providing full electric power for the navy’s warships.