Rolls-Royce has been selected by Lockheed Martin to provide MT30 gas turbine engines and waterjets for up to two ships of the Littoral Combat Ship program (LCS), the next generation of US Navy warship.
LCS is being designed and built to improve the US Navy's operational capability in the littorals, or coastal waters. Rolls-Royce's selection as the engine and waterjet provider for the Lockheed Martin ships leaves it well positioned for the program.
The Lockheed Martin ship design incorporates two Rolls-Royce MT30 marine gas turbines driving four Rolls-Royce high-speed waterjets. The first vessel is due to be launched in December 2006 by Lockheed Martin. General Dynamics will also construct up to two ships for the same class. Both designs will then be subject to further evaluation by the US Navy before production orders are placed. The overall number of ships currently projected for the Class is a total of 57.
"LCS is the next generation warship and we're delighted to help power the future for the US Navy in its defense of the homeland," said Patrick J. Marolda, President of the Rolls-Royce naval marine business in North America
. "In addition to the MT30 gas turbine, this win introduces large waterjets and other advanced technology products in support of US Navy objectives."
Dr. Saul Lanyado, President of the Rolls-Royce marine business, said, "The selection of MT30 represents another important milestone for our business in North America. We are already providing the MT30 for the US Navy's DD (X) destroyer program demonstrator. We are also looking forward to displaying our capabilities as a propulsion system integrator in addition to our ability to manufacture world-class propulsion products."
The 36MW MT30 is the most powerful, cost-effective and efficient marine gas turbine on the market today. The engine has 80 percent commonality with the Trent 800 aero engine, and is an example of the Rolls-Royce strategy of investing once in new technologies and using these many times. The Trent 800 has won a market-leading 44 percent of the Boeing 777 program and has achieved more than five million flying hours since entering service in 1996.
In addition to its gas turbine capabilities
, Rolls-Royce is a world-leader in the research, development and manufacture of high-power waterjets. Currently, several hundred Rolls-Royce waterjets are used in North America by commercial and naval vessels including the X-Craft, the US Navy's experimental high-speed catamaran and the 11 metre Ridged Inflatable Boat used extensively by Special Operations Command.
Rolls-Royce operates in four global markets -- civil aerospace, defence aerospace, marine and energy. It is investing in technology and capability that can be exploited in each of these sectors to create a competitive range of products.
The success of these products is demonstrated by the company's rapid and substantial gains in market share over recent years. The company now has a total of 54,000 gas turbines in service worldwide. The investments in product, capability and infrastructure to gain this market position create high barriers to entry.