Rolls-Royce is under a new contract to supply MT30 gas turbine packages for the Type 26 Global Combat Ships, being built by BAE Systems for the U.K.’s Royal Navy. Rolls-Royce will begin manufacturing gas turbines and the surrounding steel packages for the first three ships, to be built by the program’s prime contractor BAE Systems.
Rolls-Royce did not indicate the value of its contract. The Global Combat Ship (GCS) currently carries an estimated cost of £250-350 million per ship ($390-545 million.)
The GCS is a frigate design and construction program for the British Ministry of Defence, initiated in 1998 to replace the Royal Navy’s thirteen previous-series frigates, Type 23, as well as for export to allied navies.
BAE Systems Maritime—Naval Ships earned the first development contract in 2010 for the Type 26 Global Combat Ship, and proceeded to the demonstration phase of the program in April of this year. Manufacturing is scheduled to begin in 2016, and the first Type 26 ship is due to be launched in 2022.
The ships are conceived as multifunctional vessels, for “versatile surface” combat, as well as minesweeping and anti-submarine anti-submarine warfare. The ships’ design is intended to allow the vessels to change roles and capabilities depending on the strategic circumstances.
“We are delighted to now move onto the production phase for the first MT30s for the Type 26 program, following the Design Development Agreement (DDA) phase where we have incorporated the Type 26 specific requirements into our compact package design,” observed Rolls-Royce president-Naval, Don Roussinos.
“The selection of the MT30, the most powerful marine gas turbine in operation today, for the Type 26 continues our long and successful history of developing and supplying gas turbines for the Royal Navy fleet,” he added.
The Rolls-Royce MT30 is a marine gas turbine (MT) engine modeled after the Rolls-Royce Trent 800 aerospace engine, which is installed in the Boeing 777, among other commercial aircraft. It has maximum power rating is 40 MW and minimum efficient power 25MW.
Earlier this year, Rolls-Royce installed the first MT30 in the Royal Navy’s new aircraft carrier, HMS Prince of Wales. The engine is in service with the U.S. Navy too, Rolls-Royce noted.
The manufacturer claims the MT30 is “the world’s most powerful in-service marine gas turbine and has the highest power density,” which is a critical factor in naval propulsion where it is essential to deliver a high power in a compact space.
Initially, the MT30 is built in separate modules on the same manufacturing line as the Rolls-Royce Trent aerospace engines in Derby, England. Subsequently, is assembled at Rolls’ plant in Bristol, England, where the engines will undergo testing before the first one is delivered to BAE in late 2016.