LONDON — The South Korean Navy will use a Rolls-Royce engine to power a new batch of frigates being built by Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering.
The British-based engine supplier said June 26 it had secured an order for its MT30 gas-turbine power plant for the first of what is expected to be an eight-strong fleet of frigates known as the FFX Batch II program. A company spokesman declined to put a value on the contract win as final negotiations are still underway ahead of an expected signing of the deal by the end of July.
It’s the first time Rolls-Royce has secured an order for the MT30 in Asia and the first time the power plant has been ordered for a warship in a single engine installation rather than a pair.
The Batch I frigates ordered by the South Koreans used twin LM2500 engines provided by General Electric.
The MT30 has previously been used only in larger warships with the engine already powering the U.S. Navy’s Freedom-class littoral combat ship. It has also been selected by the British Royal Navy for two new aircraft carriers and the U.S. Navy’s DDG-1000 Zumwalt-class destroyer.
The order marks a debut for a new compact installation designed by Rolls-Royce to take the MT30 into the smaller ship market.
The engine will be built and tested in the U.K. and shipped to South Korea in mid-2014 where Hyundai Heavy Industries will integrate the power plant into the new smaller enclosure design, which includes air inlets, exhausts and ancillary equipment, before installation in the warship.
The South Koreans are using a hybrid power design featuring the MT30 and an as-yet unselected diesel engine.
Andy Marsh, president-naval at Rolls-Royce, said the MT30 was becoming the engine of choice on the world’s most advanced naval ships “where demand for power is increasing as more navies choose all-electric ships with sophisticated on board systems.”
The spokesman for Rolls-Royce said the company was also bidding for the contract to provide propellers and other equipment for the FFX Batch II program.