Siemens Marine Solutions has been commissioned by the Spanish shipyard Navantia S.A. to equip two new multi-functional supply ships with pod propulsion units and power supply equipment. The final customer is the Australian navy which intends to use the two ships to improve the range of its amphibian deployment capabilities. To this end, the ships (LHDs - Landing Helicopter Docks) will be equipped with up to twelve helicopters. Both ships will be built in Ferrol in the north-west of Spain and the final equipment will be installed at the Tenix shipyard in Australia. The order is worth some $67.5m.
Siemens is responsible for all the electrical propulsion and power supply equipment for the two ships. The main propulsion systems consist of two pod propulsion units per ship, each with an output of 11 MW, the associated converters and electronic control units, the medium-voltage switchgear and the generators for producing electricity. The propulsion pods, which are located outside the ship's hull and can be turned, make the ship extremely maneuverable and are characterized by high efficiency as well as low noise and vibration levels. The fact that the pods are fitted outside the ship's hull also increases the ship's transport capacity and allows a more flexible design of the engine room and stern.
“Both ships for the Australian navy are replicas of an LHD that Navantia is currently building for the Spanish navy”, said Heinz Waschin, who is responsible for navy business at Siemens Marine Solutions. This ship was launched in Ferrol, the north Galician shipyard location, in spring 2008 in the presence of the King of Spain. In addition to the system engineering and project management, the order includes commissioning of the equipment supplied.