The U.S. Navy's biggest destroyer, the Zumwalt, will be the first American Naval ship to run off electric propulsion since a line of escort ships in the 1940s - and it will be powered by engines originally meant for commercial airliners.
Video of The Zumwalt being launched from dry dock.
The Zumwalt is the first of a planned three ships in a class of new guided missile Destroyers. The electric propulsion will come from modified Rolls-Royce Trent 800 engines, built for the Boeing 777-200, 777-200LR and 777-300. On planes, each Trent 800 provides 75,000-95,000 pounds of thrust.
Rolls-Royce says there are currently 220 aircraft flying with Trent 800 engines in service today. Rolls-Royce also builds the Trent 900 for the Airbus A380, and the Trent 1000 for the Boeing 787.
In this instance, the turbines themselves won't propel the ship, but they'll provide electricity for the ship's generators, which will generate 78 Megawatts of power - enough electricity for 10,000 homes. Yes, these engines will still run on jet fuel — in this case, it will be military grade JP-5 fuel. Naval author Norman Friedman says there will be plenty of power leftover for a rail gun, "down the road."