Mercury release “stealth” outboard for US military

By: Media Release

Mercury has released a second “stealth” outboard, a unique OptiMax Diesel which has been developed exclusively for the U.S. Department of Defense.

Mercury Stealth

This spark-ignited, direct fuel injected, two-stroke has been designed to run on ultra-low-sulphur diesel, which is readily available around the globe.

In 1995 the Department of Defense decided that all petrol engines and petrol storage tanks had to be removed from U.S. naval vessels, following a ship crash which resulted in an explosive petrol fire.

To replace those petrol engines, the U.S. Department of Defense called for engines to be developed to operate on fuels that minimise fire hazards, are more economical and more efficient, and readily available in military situations.

In response, Mercury created the new 3.0 litre, V-6 OptiMax Diesel. Generating 175 horsepower at the propshaft, the new engine shares 95 percent of its components with the petrol version. This means only minimal additional training is required for maintenance.

The OptiMax Diesel boasts an advanced 3.0 litre powerhead which has been customised with a unique cylinder head designed specifically for combustion of diesel fuel. This is matched with high-performance cylinder liners for maximum horsepower and optimal running quality.

To ensure maximum practicality, OptiMax Diesel outboards are available in both right-hand and left-hand rotation.

Mercury’s first ‘stealth’ outboard has been in operation with the U.S. military for a number of years.

The 185 hp, 3.0 litre, V-6 OptiMax JP is a multi-fuel engine which can run on either JP5, JP8, kerosene or Commercial Jet A aviation fuels — the same "heavy" fuels used in military helicopters and jets.

Hundreds of the OptiMax JP engines were deployed on U.S. Army high speed combat craft during the Iraq war.

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