The Royal Saudi Navy has awarded a contract to EnPro Industries company Fairbanks Morse for the acquisition of new diesel engines to power its four latest frigates.
The deal forms part of the Saudi Naval Expansion Program II, which has been continuing for more than a decade at a cost of approximately $20bn.
Fairbanks Morse will be responsible for supplying eight Colt-Pielstick diesel engines for integration on-board the ships as part of the deal.
Each frigate will be equipped with two 16-cylinder Colt-Pielstick PA6B sequentially turbocharged (STC) diesel engines, which will enable the ships to generate more than 12MW of propulsion power.
Fairbanks Morse Marine Segment director Andrew Smith said: “Fairbanks Morse has proudly built military-grade diesel engines for over seven decades from our manufacturing headquarters in the US.
“We’re pleased to have been selected for this project that will expand our global footprint, while creating jobs that impact the local economy.”
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The eight newly ordered engines will be manufactured in the US from early next year and are set to be delivered in September 2020.
Work on the engines will be carried out at Fairbanks Morse’s production facility in Beloit, Wisconsin.
The project is expected to help generate a number of new job opportunities for workers in the country.
Fairbanks Morse’s Colt-Pielstick PA6B diesel engines are said to offer improved fuel efficiency, while ensuring increased reliability and safety.
The US State Department previously approved a possible foreign military sale (FMS) of four Multi-Mission Surface Combatant ships to the Saudi Navy for an estimated cost of $11.25bn in October 2015.
The vessels are a variant of the Freedom-class Littoral Combat Ships (LCSs) that are currently in service with the US Navy.
A US State Department notification read: “The proposed sale will provide Saudi Arabia with an increased ability to meet current and future maritime threats from enemy weapon systems.
“The Multi-Mission Surface Combatant ships will provide protection-in-depth for critical industrial infrastructure and for the sea lines of communication.”