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The US Coast Guard has entered into a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with British diesel engine innovator, Cox Powertrain. The CRADA will evaluate and test the advantages, disadvantages, required technology enhancements, performance, costs and other issues associated with diesel outboard engine technology.

There a been a big swell of interest in diesel outboards since NATO introduced its single fuel policy, with the military and naval forces of member countries keen to phase out petrol-fuelled outboards in favour of cleaner diesel alternatives.

“As well as posing a more environmentally acceptable alternative to petrol-fuelled engines, the swap to diesel could result in 20-25% less fuel consumption and subsequently increased vessel range for more complex and time-consuming missions,” commented Cox Powertrain’s Business Development Manager, Joel Reid.

As the first high powered diesel outboard to be developed for marine application from the ground up, the CXO300 impressed the British Ministry of Defence’s (MoD) Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) so much that it agreed to provide Cox Powertrain with invaluable technical assistance in further developing the CXO300 for marine use in addition to £2.5 million of funding. The MoD’s involvement in developing the CXO300 has led to interest from the US Coast Guard and the US, Dutch, Swedish and Australian navies.

The CRADA between the US Coast Guard and Cox Powertrain will begin with a test schedule for which Cox will provide and install two of their diesel outboard engines onto a selected Coast Guard boat platform. The Coast Guard Research and Development Center in New London, Connecticut will outfit the platform with the necessary instrumentation to monitor power, speed and fuel consumption and a Coast Guard field unit will operate the boat for performance testing over a six-month period to collect information on reliability, maintenance requirements, and availability data.

LT Carlon F. Brietzke, Project Manager in the US Coast Guard’s Surface Branch, said, “This is a great opportunity for the Coast Guard to explore ways to leverage the latest diesel engine technology to further Coast Guard missions. We look forward to working with Cox Powertrain and the rest of our CRADA partners as we investigate this emerging technology.”

Cox Powertrain is in the final development stages of its diesel outboard engine, the CXO300, which is the first diesel outboard to be designed specifically for professional marine applications. Combining the company’s patented Opposed Piston Diesel (OPD) technology with more conventional leg gear and controls, the CXO300 has game changing potential for commercial, military and civil applications, offering a significantly reduced weight and package size, compared to conventional inboard diesel.

Communiqué de COX Powertrain, 13/02/2017

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