Rolls-Royce gas-fired MT30 turbine chosen to power South Korean Navy frigate class

The South Korean Navy has selected a Rolls-Royce marine gas turbine to power its next line of frigates.

The Republic of Korea Navy chose the Rolls-Royce MT30 for power generation aboard its Ulsan-class FFX Batch III frigate line to be built by Hyundai Heavy Industries.

Rolls-Royce already had worked with the Korean navy on a hybrid propulsion system all eight ships in the Daegu-class FFX Batch 11 frigate program. Each of those ships were powered by a single MT30 gas turbine and electric propulsion motors.

The use of the MT30 across the Batch II and Batch III frigates will deliver commonality benefits to the customer, such as spare parts, support infrastructure and training. 

For FFX Batch III, the Ulsan-class frigate program, Rolls-Royce will also supply engine health management (EHM) capability with its MT30 marine gas turbine. Supporting leaner naval forces, EHM technology delivers through-life benefits, such as reduced manpower and maintenance costs, by enabling the collection of reliable engine data and analysis to maximize asset availability and optimise on-board maintenance, according to the company’s release.

As part of Rolls-Royce’s on-going design collaboration with Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) for the specialized integrated gas turbine enclosure for MT30, HHI-EMD will continue to be responsible for the manufacture of this highly complex engineering enclosure and all ancillaries in-country, as well as continuing to provide in-service support.

“Selecting the right power and propulsion system is one of the most important decisions our customers will face when designing their new platforms,” Jongyel Lee, Rolls-Royce vice president of business development & future programmes, defense – Naval, Korea, said in a statement. “We are committed to working closely with the Republic of Korea Navy to provide them with the most adaptable propulsion systems based on the most modern technology available today.  This will ensure our customers can retain their military advantage via future technology insertion without having to endure costly upgrades to legacy power generation capability throughout the life of their ships.”

The MT30 gas turbine (pictured here) is already in service with several navies around the globe including the U.S. Navy’s Freedom-class Littoral Combat Ship and Zumwalt-class destroyers, the Republic of Korea’s Daegu-class frigates, the Royal Navy’s Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers and the Italian Navy’s new Landing Helicopter Dock. More recently MT30 has been selected to power the Japanese Maritime Defense Force’s advanced 30-FFM frigate and in single gas turbine CODLOG (Combined Diesel Electric or Gas) configuration for the Type 26 Global Combat Ship programs for the Royal Navy, Royal Australian Navy and Royal Canadian Navy.

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