Second Constellation-class frigate will have “Made in the U.S.A.” MTU gensetsWritten by Nick Blenkey
Rolls-Royce Power Systems has been selected to supply a further four of its MTU gensets for the USS Congress (FFG-63), the second ship in the U.S. Navy’s Constellation-class guided-missile frigate program.
Rolls-Royce has made significant investment at its production facilities in Aiken, S.C., and Mankato, Minn., to support the program and manufacture the gensets in the U.S.
The lead ship in the Constellation-class program is currently under construction at Fincantieri Marinette Marine (FMM) and for that ship, Rolls-Royce is currently supplying MTU gensets using its established team in Friedrichshafen, Germany, to fulfill the project. For the second ship, the FFG-63, the company has successfully transferred advanced technology and detailed manufacturing processes to the U.S., investing in new facility improvements and creating new jobs to enhance its Aiken and Mankato plants. This investment will not only accommodate the specific needs of the Constellation-class program but also support future potential U.S.naval business. Among the significant investments made at the facilities are new assembly tooling and material handling equipment, upgraded hoist systems, adapted test cells and building expansion, in addition to the creation of up to 20 new jobs.
“We’re not only proud to continue our support of our partners in the U.S. Navy but are also thrilled to bring the manufacturing of our MTU naval gensets to the U.S.,” said Adam Wood, managing director, Rolls-Royce Solutions America. “Working with our colleagues in Germany for a seamless technology transfer to our Aiken and Mankato facilities has strengthened our ability to meet the high expectations of this project and better position us to compete for future government programs.”
The four generator sets, each rated at 3000 kWe, are based on the proven and power-dense MTU 20V 4000 M53B engine and will provide a total power output of 12 MW for propulsion and on-board power supply.
The USS Congress (FFG-63) is a multi-mission warship designed for operation in littoral and blue water environments to conduct air, anti-submarine, surface and electronic warfare, in addition to information operations.
It will be powered by a combined diesel-electric and gas turbine system, allowing for energy-efficient diesel power generation for propulsion at normal cruising speeds with extended range, while enhancing anti-submarine capability in its extremely quiet diesel-electric configuration.
When completed, the ship will be nearly 500 feet in length, accommodate up to 200 crew and be capable of speeds in excess of 26 knots, with a range of 6,000 nautical miles at 16 knots.