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U.S. Navy ships, being designed presently, employs an increasing number of power electronic power converters, particularly in ships with integrated power systems wherein all loads, including propulsion, are supplied through converters. Looking into future missions and capabilities and technologies leads to the conclusion that this trend is not very likely to change. A discussion of the historical approach to the design of U.S. Navy naval electric power systems offers insights into the effect of capabilities and technology on how such systems are designed. These insights indicate the need for a new, different approach to design, one that is mission-operations oriented and load-centric. Acknowledging some characteristics of power electronic power converters implies additional changes to how naval electric power systems are designed. Perhaps it is time to develop, then explicitly articulate a new design approach.