The gas turbines aboard the Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN) new air warfare destroyer (AWD) Hobart have been commissioned. “This is a huge achievement for the project that everyone should be proud of,” said Michael Clements, Test and Activation (T&A) Manager.
In preparation for the engines’ commissioning, a production team undertook the load-out of the gas turbine engines onto the ship, followed by integration, alignment, cable and pipe testing and flushing of the supporting systems. The systems are then handed over to the test and activation team, who energize and set-to-work the systems in collaboration with the vendors, in preparation for the engines to be started for the gas turbine light off (GTLO).
“This is one of the most powerful machines in the world, and starting it up is immensely exciting for everyone involved,” said Greg Hatsitsopanidis, Propulsion Team Lead, T&A.
With the propulsion T&A team consisting of eight people, expertise is drawn from all five of the specialist T&A teams including, auxiliary, electrical, controls and heating ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) to ensure the successful and safe start of the gas turbines.
With the successful commissioning of Hobart’s gas turbine engines, the team will continue to work toward preparing the ship for sea trials in September.
The RAN’s AWD destroyers are based on the design developed and used by Navantia of Spain for the Spanish Navy’s F100 frigate program. Each AWD features two LM2500s configured in a combined diesel or gas turbine (CODOG) arrangement with two diesel engines.
Currently 16 LM2500 gas turbines power the RAN’s Adelaide- and ANZAC-class frigates. The LM2500 also will power five new RAN ships: three Hobart-class AWD destroyers; and two Landing Helicopter Dock ships, HMAS Canberra and sister LHD HMAS Adelaide, both the largest ships ever built for the RAN.
Separately, GE provides the RAN with an LM2500 gas turbine in-service support contract, all with the aim of helping to ensure optimum fleet readiness and lower total cost of ownership. GE also provides program management and on-site field service support, and handles warehouse and inventory management including spare parts and inventory replenishment throughout the life of the contract.