Rolls-Royce powering Lockheed's LCSs

Jan. 17, 2011 at 11:53 AM
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RESTON, Va., Jan. 17 (UPI) -- Rolls-Royce says it has won its largest naval surface ships contract with an award to supply gas turbines and waterjet propulsion systems to the U.S. Navy.

The systems are for use in 10 Littoral Combat Ships.

The company said it is supplying propulsion equipment on the first two Lockheed Martin vessels and the new award extends that with one firm order and options for a further nine ships of the same design.

"We are delighted that the Lockheed Martin design has been selected for an additional 10 vessels in the LCS program," said Andrew Marsh, Rolls-Royce, president-Naval. "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 ships, designed to operate in combat zones close to the shore, 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, the company said. The MT30 is derived from Rolls-Royce aero engine technology and has the highest power density of any marine gas turbine -- a key factor in naval propulsion in which delivering a high power output in a compact space is essential.

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

Additional contract details weren't disclosed.

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