Rolls-Royce partners HAL for state-of-the-art MT30 warship turbines - Broadsword by Ajai Shukla - Strategy. Economics. Defence.

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Tuesday 4 May 2021

Rolls-Royce partners HAL for state-of-the-art MT30 warship turbines

Seven major ship types have chosen propulsion solutions based on the Rolls-Royce MT30 turbine


By Ajai Shukla

Business Standard, 5th May 21


Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and Rolls-Royce signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on Tuesday to establish a support system in India for the highly regarded Rolls-Royce MT30 marine engines.


The HAL-Rolls-Royce partnership will provide packaging, installation, marketing and services support for the MT30 engine, creating a business case for the Indian Navy to consider using the engine for powering and propelling its warships.


The Indian Navy, one of the world’s major warship builders, has not used the MT30 for even a single warship. Most Indian frigates and destroyers are propelled by Ukrainian Zorya turbines or by American General Electric LM-2000 gas turbines.


The MT30 engine, however, powers the world’s most sophisticated warships. It gives the US Navy’s Littoral Combat Ship, USS Freedom, the ability to move at 40 knots, or 75 kilometres per hour.


It also powers the US Navy’s all-electric Zumwalt class destroyers and propels the Royal Navy’s two new aircraft carriers: Her Majesty’s Ship (HMS) Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales.


The British government has been actively lobbying New Delhi to power the Indian Navy’s second indigenous aircraft carrier (IAC-2), called INS Vishal, with the same MT30-based power configuration that drives the two Royal Navy carriers. With the Indian Navy having abandoned the option of nuclear power to drive INS Vishal, the UK government has been underlining the similarity of the IAC-2 with the two British carriers.


Like the two British carriers, for which Rolls-Royce has already tailor-made a propulsion package INS Vishal will be a 65,000 tonne vessel that embarks 55-60 aircraft.


Rolls-Royce points out that seven major ship types have chosen propulsion solutions based on the MT30 turbine. These include South Korea’s Daegu-class frigates, the Royal Navy’s Type 26 City-class frigates, the Australian navy’s Hunter-class and the Canadian navy’s Surface Combatant programmes.


“The Italian Navy’s future flagship, the Landing Helicopter Dock will be powered by two MT30s. Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force’s new 30FFM frigates will also be powered by MT30,” states the Rolls-Royce’s website.


Rolls-Royce is famous for its aerospace and land system engines, but the company’s marine engines division is also a major money earner. So far, Rolls-Royce and HAL have collaborated mainly in building the Adour aero engines that power the Jaguar fighter and Hawk advanced jet trainer.


 “Rolls-Royce has a shared history of successful collaboration with HAL in defence aerospace, and we are proud to strengthen our valued partnership to work together for the MT30 naval gas turbine,” said Tom Bell, President, Rolls-Royce Defence 


The two companies had announced new partnerships in the aerospace sector at the Aero India 2021 show in February, including a MoU to establish an Authorized Maintenance Centre at HAL for Adour Mk871 engines to support international military customers and operators.

1 comment:

  1. Sir,

    HAL do not have any experience to produce Marine Gas turbine. But BHEL do produce gas turbines for electricity generation. BHEL should be chosen as partner not HAL.
    Best regards,
    Parthasarathi Dasgupta.


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