The City of Baltimore held Fleet Week in October to celebrate the region's rich maritime heritage, and its role in defending the nation. Baltimore has long been home to one of the East Coast's most vital maritime ports. The Port of Baltimore handles 11 million tons of cargo every year, including break-bulk, containers, and automobiles. In addition, it is a major tourist attraction with Baltimore's Inner Harbor welcoming millions of tourists each year. Over a dozen U.S., Canadian, and British warships provided guided tours and demonstrations to thousands of residents at the event.
The USNS City of Bismarck, like its sister Spearhead-class ships, is designed to provide rapid intra-theater transport of military equipment and personnel. With its aluminum, twin-hull catamaran shell, and four powerful MTU 20V8000 M71L diesel engines, the ship can reach speeds between 35-45 knots, while carrying company-sized Marine Corps units and vehicles for naval re-supply, drug interdiction and humanitarian assistance operations.
The USNS Bismarck requires a shallow draft (less than 15 feet) while carrying a payload of up to 600 tons of equipment and personnel at a range of 1,200 nautical miles. To carry out its mission one of the most important factors in selecting propulsion equipment is weight. In particular, ship designers required an air compressor to provide the ship's starting air for the four diesel engines with a relatively light-weight and compact configuration.
For this integral role, Military Sealift Command selected Sauer Compressors' Mistral Series WP22L air compressor. It provides the ship's starting air by filling high-pressure air receivers rapidly. Like most Sauer Compressor models, the WP22L is designed to operate in the harshest Navy environments and meets all MILSPEC ratings for use on U.S. Navy vessels.
For the Military Sealift Command's Spearhead-class T-EPF program, Sauer USA designed and built WP22L air compressor packages and also maintains them. These two-stage, air-cooled air compressors are rated for 24/7 continuous duty, using direct-drive for optimum efficiency and lower maintenance intervals.
Headquartered in Stevensville, Maryland, just 35 miles from Baltimore on Kent Island in the Chesapeake Bay, Sauer Compressors USA, Inc. is the primary supplier of high and medium-pressure air and gas compressors for the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Coast Guard. With air compressor packages on the Navy's aircraft carriers, amphibious transports, guided missile frigates, destroyers, littoral combat ships, and submarines, the company's air compressors are deployed around the globe.