LONDON — British engine-maker Rolls-Royce has made a breakthrough sale in Italy with the company’s MT30 gas turbine being selected to power a landing helicopter dock (LHD) set to be built for the Navy. Two of the MT30 engines will power the 20,000-ton warship due to be built by Fincantieri as part of a major program to upgrade the Italian fleet.
The sale is a consolation prize for the British engine maker, which lost out recently to rival General Electric for its LM2500 to power a fleet of multipurpose offshore patrol vessels being built by Fincantieri for the Italian Navy.
The US engine maker has dominated the Italian naval power market in recent years on the back of a deal supplying gas turbines for a fleet of FREMM frigates currently under construction for Italy.
Don Roussinos, the president of Rolls-Royce’s naval business, said he was “very pleased that the MT30 has penetrated another new market.”
The order comes at a time when Italy is driving through a major naval regeneration program. The Navy has secured funding for a new logistics support ship, six of the multipurpose offshore patrol vessels and the LHD.
Rolls-Royce is tilting at further equipment supply opportunities in the naval program.
Fincantieri signed a €1.1 billion (US $1.2 billion) deal to develop and build the LHD last year.
The MT30 engine is a marine derivative of the Trent 800, which powers the Boeing 777 airliner. The gas turbine deal makes Italy the fourth Navy to opt for the MT30 to power its warships.
The US Navy’s Zumwalt-class destroyers and Freedom-class littoral combat ship, South Korea’s Incheon-class frigates, and the Royal Navy’s 65,000-ton Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers and the yet-to-be-built Type 26 frigates use the engine.
Fincantieri is part of the Rolls-Royce-led team providing the power plant for the Type 26 frigate. The Italian shipbuilder will provide the packaging for the MT30 for at least the first three Type 26s to be built for the Royal Navy.
An MT30 has already been delivered to the Italian’s company’s Bari facility for integration of the packaging.