Rolls-Royce has successfully completed factory acceptance tests for the South Korean Navy’s first MT30 gas turbine, which will power the navy’s FFX frigates.

The turbine underwent a week of rigorous performance tests at the Rolls-Royce test facility in Bristol, UK. The tests were observed by envoys from Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME), Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) and the Korea Institute of Machinery & Materials (KIMM).

"The MT30 is becoming the gas turbine of choice for many of the world’s major naval programmes."

Rolls-Royce naval president Don Roussinos said: "The MT30 is becoming the gas turbine of choice for many of the world’s major naval programmes, with its inherent reliability and power density driving its selection.

"The FFX II programme is significant in that it will be the first application for the MT30 outside of the UK and US markets, and also the first ship to use a single MT30, alongside diesels."

Rolls-Royce will now ship the turbine to HHI for integration into a steel enclosure that houses the air inlets, exhausts and ancillary equipment, before being installed in the vessel.

The engine’s capability to insert the maximum power into the smallest available space aboard the vessel makes it the world’s most power-dense marine gas turbine, the company claims.

Derived from Rolls-Royce aero engine technology, the MT30 generates approximately 36MW to 40MW and its high-power density is claimed to deliver the required power output for naval vessels in a compact space.

The MT30, which is already used on the US Navy’s Freedom-class littoral combat ships, will also power the US Navy’s DDG-1000 Zumwalt-class destroyer and UK Royal Navy’s latest Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers, as well as Type 26 frigates.

The Korean Navy’s FFX batch II programme involves the construction of eight vessels, with the first to be built by DSME.

Defence Technology