Russian shipyard group United Shipbuilding Corp (USC) has introduced a low-noise, controllable pitch propeller (CPP).
The VRS-M propeller was originally designed to work with a 20MW engine of the type found on Russian Navy corvettes and frigates. It was developed at USC’s Zvezdochka Ship Repair Center, with the prototype built at the Vega Experimental Plant in Borovsk. During the project the company also developed the capabilities and systems required to begin mass production of the propeller, which it is now offering to commercial vessels.
USC said that, compared to similar propellers, its product boasts an extended service life. It is designed to offer high stability in emergency situations and the automatic locking function means that the propeller can still be operated even if the pitch adjustment system has been shut down. The design also prevents lubricating oil from leaking into the sea if the propeller is damaged.
The VRS-M boasts a simple maintenance procedure. Replacement propellers can be fitted when the vessel is afloat, in cases where it cannot be drydocked.
The new CPP design stands in contrast to the seven-tonne, six-metre diameter propellers that USC delivered to Korean-built gas carriers last year. The tankers were due to serve the Yamal LNG project in the Russian Arctic. Since 2017, USC has delivered 35 complete sets of propellers for the ABB thrusters on 13 vessels destined for Yamal LNG.