Electric and Hybrid Electric Ship Propulsion Systems

DRS propulsion motor and drive systems provide advantages in flexibility, modularity and commonality.


Greg Reed

DRS Maritime & Combat Support Group


+1 978 353 5118 

The benefits of integrated electric (full electric) or hybrid electric drive (gear-mounted or shaft-mounted motors) selections for ship propulsion include:

Efficiency and Emissions

  • Prime movers operate at most efficient, constant speed
  • Power generation equipment can be switched on and 
  • off as needed 
  • Controllable pitch propellers may also be eliminated


  • Flexibility in locating the prime movers across the platform
  • Additional redundancy on the drive shaft

Reduction in Noise and Vibration

  • For all-electric, elimination of the main reduction gear
  • Hybrid electric drive makes it possible to decouple the reduction gear 
  • Both benefit from prime movers running at a constant speed

Ship Architecture Flexibility

  • Ability to send the power where needed
  • No need to align prime movers with the shafting

Maintenance Reduction

  • Reduction of the total number of prime movers
  • Possible elimination of controllable pitch propellers and their support systems
  • Less wear and tear on prime movers as they are operated under less stressful conditions


Maritime capabilities by ship type

DRS Technologies provides a wide range of technologies and solutions to enhance combat readiness and augment shipboard operations and functionality from stem to stern.

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