360 degree Azimuth thrusters are for main propulsion and steering of displacement vessels. They are available from 75 to 10,750 HP (55kW to 8.0MW) to replace conventional propulsion and rudder steering systems to perform both the propulsion and steering functions. Azimuth thrusters are used when enhanced maneuverability is required in applications such as dynamic positioning, ship escort and ship docking services. Azimuth thrusters are available in Z-drive configuration with direct diesel engine drive or in L-drive configuration for electric or hydraulic drive from overhead.
The propeller rotates 360 degrees around the vertical axis so that the thruster can perform both the propulsion and steering duties for a vessel, or positioning for a semi-submersible rig, drillship or FPSO.