Rolls-Royce to Power Ten Littoral Combat Ships for the US Navy

Dépèche transmise le 17 janvier 2011 par Business Wire

Rolls-Royce to Power Ten Littoral Combat Ships for the US Navy

Rolls-Royce to Power Ten Littoral Combat Ships for the US Navy

RESTON, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Rolls-Royce, the global power systems company, will supply gas turbines and waterjets for ten of the US Navy’s Littoral Combat Ships (LCS) – the Group’s largest ever marine naval surface ship contract.

“The Rolls-Royce equipment, including the MT30 gas turbines and waterjets, combine to give an effective and efficient propulsion system perfectly suited for these innovative, highly-maneuverable, state-of-the-art ships.”

Designed to operate in combat zones close to the shore (littoral waters), each LCS will be equipped with two Rolls-Royce MT30 gas turbines powering four large waterjets, enabling the vessels to reach speeds in excess of 40 knots. At 36 megawatts, the MT30 is the world’s most powerful marine gas turbine. Combining this power with Rolls-Royce waterjets makes the LCS highly maneuverable, able to operate in shallow waters and to stop and accelerate quickly.

Rolls-Royce is already supplying propulsion equipment on the first two Lockheed Martin vessels and today’s announcement extends this with one firm order and options for a further nine ships of the same design.

Andrew Marsh, Rolls-Royce, President - Naval said: “We are delighted that the Lockheed Martin design has been selected for an additional ten vessels in the LCS program. We have worked closely with Lockheed Martin and other partners throughout the design, build and sea trials of the first vessel, USS Freedom, and are making good progress on the second ship, Fort Worth, which is more than 80 percent complete and remains on cost and on schedule.”

“The Rolls-Royce equipment, including the MT30 gas turbines and waterjets, combine to give an effective and efficient propulsion system perfectly suited for these innovative, highly-maneuverable, state-of-the-art ships.”

The MT30 is derived from Rolls-Royce aero engine technology, building on over 45 million hours of operating experience and reliability. It also has the highest power density of any marine gas turbine - a key factor in naval propulsion where delivering a high power output in a compact space is essential. The MT30 is the latest development of Rolls-Royce marine gas turbines, and has also been selected for the UK Royal Navy’s new Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers and the US Navy’s DDG-1000 Zumwalt class destroyer program.

The waterjets are among the largest produced by Rolls-Royce and can pump water at a combined rate of 25,000 gallons per second – enough to fill an Olympic style swimming pool in 25 seconds.

In addition to gas turbines and waterjets, a significant range of Rolls-Royce equipment is specified in the Lockheed Martin design, including shaftlines, bearings and propulsion system software.

Notes to Editors

1. Rolls-Royce, a world-leading provider of power systems and services for use on land, at sea and in the air, has established a strong position in global markets - civil aerospace, defense aerospace, marine and energy.

2. As a result of this strategy, Rolls-Royce today has a broad customer base comprising more than 600 airlines, 4,000 corporate and utility aircraft and helicopter operators, 160 armed forces, more than 2,000 marine customers, including 70 navies, and energy customers in nearly 120 countries, with an installed base of 54,000 gas turbines.

3. Rolls-Royce employs 39,000 skilled people in offices, manufacturing and service facilities in 50 countries. The Group has a strong commitment to apprentice and graduate recruitment, and to further developing employee skills.

4. In 2009, Rolls-Royce invested £864 million on research and development, two thirds of which had the objective of further improving the environmental aspects of its products, in particular the reduction of emissions.

5. Annual underlying revenues were £10.1 billion in 2009, of which about half came from services revenues. The firm and announced order book stood at £58.4 billion at 30 June 2010, providing visibility of future levels of activity.

6. The Marine business of Rolls-Royce employs 8,000 people in 34 countries with the main manufacturing centers being in the UK, the Nordic countries, the United States and increasingly Asia.

7. Rolls-Royce is a world leader in marine solutions, providing products, service and expertise to more than 30,000 vessels in the offshore, merchant, naval surface and submarine markets. It designs ships and its product range includes propulsion systems featuring diesel engines and gas turbines, propellers, thrusters and water jets. Rolls-Royce also provides maneuvering and stabilizing systems and deck machinery. Around 30 per cent of Marine turnover is derived from service support activity, with a global network of sales and service offices in 34 countries. Rolls-Royce equipment is in service with more than 70 navies.

8. Providing power from 3MW to 36MW, Rolls-Royce has one of the broadest ranges of marine gas turbines available in the world. Rolls-Royce has delivered more different engine models to more different navies of the world than any engine manufacturer.

Waterjets - Key Facts

Since the early 1970s, waterjets have become an increasing part of the marine propulsion mix. Initially designed for small inshore vessels, they have come a long way since their early beginnings, and now power some of the world’s most advanced commercial and naval ships. Rolls-Royce is a world leader in waterjet propulsion, designing and manufacturing an extensive range suitable for small patrol craft, up to some of the worlds’ largest waterjets, used in naval craft and high-speed ferries.

Water jets differ from conventional propeller propulsion in that they offer higher speeds, improved acceleration and increased maneuverability. Water jet powered vessels can also operate in shallower waters, thanks to a lack of equipment protruding beneath the hull. This makes them idea for landing craft or rescue boats.

In naval applications, the reduced noise and vibration, combined with the higher speed makes water jets an increasingly popular choice for anti-submarine vessels.

The waterjet has many advantages over a propeller:

  • The Rolls-Royce range of waterjets have very high pump efficiency, providing either: higher speeds with the same power, or; substantially lower fuel consumption at a constant speed and lower power.
  • At a constant rpm, Rolls-Royce waterjets absorb approximately the same power regardless of the ship’s speed. The engine cannot be overloaded, which means fewer breakdowns and increased lifecycle.
  • Waterjets produce less vibration and noise than propellers. At speeds over 20 knots, vibration and noise levels can be reduced by more than 50 per cent.

How waterjets work

Waterjets comprise three main components: the inlet duct; the pump, and the steering nozzle / reversing bucket.

The pump (driven by a diesel engine or gas turbine) draws in water from the inlet duct (in the hull of the vessel), and discharges the water at high velocity through the steering nozzle. Inside the pump is a bladed impeller, which compresses and pressurizes the water. The force that is created when the water leaves the pump generates propulsive thrust and propels the vessel through the water.

For steering, the jet of water leaving the pump’s nozzle is deflected to one side or the other, producing a side force to turn the vessel, often turning on a very tight axis. Stopping or reversing a vessel is made easy too. Hydraulically controlled reversing buckets can be deployed quickly to force the water flow backwards, in a similar way to the reverse thrust on aircraft jet engines.

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