Propulsion system boosts submarine capability
China has conducted a trial run on the country's first permanent magnet propulsion motor for naval vessels, with experts saying that it marks a significant breakthrough in the country's naval vessel building industry, especially for the nuclear submarines.
The State-owned China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (CSIC), which is known for its aircraft carriers and the Jiaolong submersible vessel, made a statement on its official WeChat public account on Monday that the permanent magnet motor with a Chinese patent has been used on naval vessels docked at Sanya, South China's Hainan Province, the base of China's conventional and nuclear submarine fleet.
The statement said the vessel's propeller began to turn at 11 am on October 18, then reached the designated speed, which signified the success of the permanent magnet propulsion.
Although the statement did not disclose the type of vessels the motor was tested on, Chinese military experts say they believe the motor is specially designed for China's submarines and can substantially improve their performance in many aspects, especially by significantly reducing their running sound to the lowest possible level.
The new high-performance permanent magnet motors made from rare-earth materials avoid the flaws of traditional motors that work under the excitation principle, and can provide much greater power density, and can significantly reduce its working noise," Song Zhongping, a military analyst who previously served with the PLA Rocket Force, told the Global Times on Tuesday.
Back in May, Rear Admiral Ma Weiming, China's top naval engineer, in an interview with China Central Television, said that the navy was supplying its newest nuclear attack submarines with a "shaftless," rim-driven pump-jet, which was considered a revolutionary, low-noise propulsion system.
Ma said that the technology was ahead of the US and more efficient and suitable for high-speed nuclear submarines.