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Key role for Rolls-Royce in Italian naval programmes.

Warship Technology: March 2017

Early 2017 saw Rolls-Royce achieve a significant milestone for the Italian Navy’s new Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD) multi-purpose amphibious vessel, to be built by Fincantieri, when it completed factory acceptance test for the vessel’s first MT30 gas turbine.


Rolls-Royce was selected to provide two MT30 gas turbines to power the 20,000tonne displacement, multi-purpose amphibious vessel. The LHD, which will be built at Fincantieri’s Castellammare di Stabia (Naples) shipyard before being set up and delivered at the company’s yard in Muggiano (La Spezia) is an important element within Italy’s Navy Act – a major investment programme to renew the Italian Navy’s fleet.


Don Roussinos, Rolls-Royce, president – Naval, said: “Successful completion of the factory acceptance test is a significant achievement for everyone involved in the LHD programme. Producing 36-40 megawatts the MT30 gas turbine is the world’s most powerful in-service marine gas turbine with the highest power density and will deliver a high power output in a compact space.”


The factory acceptance test, which has to be completed before the gas turbine can be delivered, was carried out at the Rolls-Royce test facility in Bristol. The engine was put through a week of rigorous performance tests, witnessed by representatives from Fincantieri and the Italian Navy.


The MT30 is derived from Rolls-Royce Trent aero engine technology and builds on more than 45 million hours of operating experience and ultra-high reliability. It is initially built as separate modules on the same build line as the Rolls-Royce Trent aerospace engines in Derby. It is then assembled at the company’s Bristol facility.


Rolls-Royce MT30s are also being installed in the UK Royal Navy’s new aircraft carriers HMS Queen Elizabeth and Prince of Wales and the Type 26 Global Combat Ship. They are also in service with the US Navy’s Freedom class Littoral Combat Ship, will power the US Navy’s Zumwalt class destroyers and the Republic of Korea Navy’s latest Daegu class frigate programme.


Rolls-Royce also recently secured a contract to supply engines and waterjets to power and propel two new high-speed vessels designed and built by Intermarine (Immsi Group) for the Italian Navy. The construction of two high-speed multi-purpose units (UNPAV) recently started at Intermarine’s Sarzana shipyard.


The vessels are in excess of 40m long with a breadth of 8m and are powered by three MTU 2000 series diesel engines connecting to three Kamewa S4 waterjets.


The UNPAVs will be used by the Operational Incursion Group (Gruppo Operativo Incursori or GOI), the Special Forces of the Italian Navy. The vessels will increase their capacity to strengthen maritime traffic control, combat human trafficking, undertake counter terror and anti-piracy operations and evacuate personnel from crisis areas.


The GOI is often called in to undertake sensitive and difficult tasks in crisis situations of strategic importance, responding decisively to urgent operational problems with dangerous political implications.
The collaboration between Intermarine and Rolls-Royce continues with minesweeper programmes, for which Rolls-Royce provides ‘super-silent’ stainless steel controllable-pitch propellers from Kamewa, driven by MTU engines designed to be anti-magnetic and highly shock resistant. Rolls-Royce will also provide Tenfjord type steering gear.