Italian Navy LHD gas turbine passes factory acceptance test

The first MT30 gas turbine that will be installed on the Italian Navy’s new Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD) multi-purpose amphibious vessel passed the factory acceptance test, Rolls-Royce announced on Thursday.

Rolls-Royce is in charge of providing two MT30 gas turbines to power the new 20,000 tonne displacement LHD, which will be built and launched at Fincantieri’s Castellammare di Stabia, Naples shipyard before being set up and delivered at the company’s yard in Muggiano, La Spezia.

The Italian LHD is built under a contract signed with Fincantieri and Finmeccanica in July 2015. The total value of the contract is over 1.1 billion euros, with Fincantieri’s share amounting to approx. 853 million euros and Finmeccanica’s to about 273 million euros. The delivery of the unit is scheduled for 2022.

The ship will be approx. 200 meters long with a maximum speed of 25 knots. It will be equipped with a combined diesel and gas turbine plant (CODOG) and will be able to accommodate over 1,000 people.

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.

“Producing 36 to 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 – an essential factor for naval propulsion,” Don Roussinos, Rolls-Royce, president – naval, said.

The MT30 is derived from Rolls-Royce Trent aero engine technology and builds on over 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 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 USS Zumwalt class destroyers and the Republic of Korea Navy’s latest Daegu Class Frigate programme.