Light off

Air Warfare Destroyer (AWD) Alliance has conducted the main engine light-off (MELO) aboard the first of three Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN) Hobart-class destroyers, HMAS Hobart.

The light-off involved the start of one of the main engines that will accelerate the ship’s propellers.

The vessel’s large 5,650kW Bravo V16 Propulsion Diesel engine was started in an engine room, which is located deep below the main superstructure of the ship.

"The diesel engine will drive the port-side propeller, while the other Bravo propulsion diesel will drive the starboard propeller."

The diesel engine will drive the port-side propeller, while the other Bravo propulsion diesel, which is schedule to be started in the coming weeks, will drive the starboard propeller.

This set of engines will power the destroyer to cruise at low speeds. The other two gas turbines, that will be used to power the vessel during high-speed operations, are yet to be incorporated into the destroyer.

The main propulsion engines were built by Spanish firm Navantia.

Four additional diesel generator engines, which are fitted on-board to cater to the ship’s electrical power, have already been commissioned and are currently undergoing parallel testing.

After the completion of MELO in the coming months, the propulsion engines will be connected to the propellers and ‘dock trials’ will be conducted, in which the engines turn the propellers while the ship remains roped to the dock.

Built based on the Navantia-designed F100 frigate, the AWD destroyers will be used in support of law enforcement operations, serve as defence aid to the civil community, collect environmental data, and undertake rescue and diplomatic missions.

The warships will be armed with an Aegis combat system that includes SPY-1D(V) radar, Mk41 vertical launch system (VLS), and an open architecture (OA) combat system as well as feature advanced sonar systems, decoys and surface-launched torpedoes.

Image: MELO conducted on-board AWD alliance’s Hobart destroyer. Photo: courtesy of Air Warfare Destroyer Alliance.