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“Most Powerful” Marine Gas Turbine Installed

U.K.’s largest aircraft carrier receives two MT30 gas turbines to help power propulsion, weapons, navigation systems

Posted on January 25, 2013

Rolls-Royce has completed the installation of the first of two 36 MW MT30 gas turbines into the U.K. Royal Navy’s new aircraft carrier, the HMS Queen Elizabeth, at Babcock’s Rosyth shipyard in Scotland. The other vessel in this class is the HMS Prince of Wales.

The company said the MT30 is the world’s most powerful marine gas turbine and two will be installed in each ship, providing two thirds of the 109 MW needed to power the 65 000 tonne vessels.

The power generated will meet the aircraft carrier’s demand for energy, which includes the propulsion motors, weapons and navigation systems, as well as the entire low voltage requirements for lighting and power sockets.

The MT30 is derived from the Rolls-Royce Trent 800 aero engine that powers the Boeing 777 aircraft, with around 80% of the parts being the same. The MT30s are installed as part of a gas turbine alternator (GTA) that also includes an alternator and gas turbine enclosure weighing a total of 120 tonnes. The four GTA packages (two per ship) are assembled by Cullum Detuners of Heanor, England.

The installation involved lifting the MT30 gas turbine and associated ancillary equipment in the enclosure onto the ship structure. With the enclosure in place, the alternator was then hoisted into place.

The turbine currently powers the U.S. Navy’s Freedom Class variant of the Littoral Combat Ship, will power the new DDG-1000 destroyers, and was recently selected for the Republic of Korea Navy’s new FFXII frigate.

Modular production of the MT30 begins on the same production line as the Rolls-Royce Trent aero engines in Derby, England, before the modules are assembled into the marine configuration and tested and certified at the Rolls-Royce facility in Bristol, England.