Rolls-Royce to Supply Complete MTU Propulsion Systems for Royal Navy’s Five New Type 31 Frigates

Rolls-Royce has received an order to supply complete MTU propulsion systems for five new Type 31 general-purpose frigates being built for the UK Royal Navy.

In total, the order comprises of 40 engines and generator sets to be used for main propulsion and on-board power generation, the MTU Callosum propulsion control and monitoring system, and Integrated Logistics Support (ILS). Each new Type 31 frigate will be powered by four MTU 20V 8000 M71 engines, each delivering over 8,000 kW. On-board power will be provided on each vessel by four MTU generator sets based on 16V 2000 M41B units, each delivering in excess of 900 kW.

In September 2021, Rolls-Royce will deliver the first shipset comprising four main propulsion engines and four generator sets to the Type 31 prime contractor Babcock International Group.

Royal Navy Type 31 Frigate Render
Rendering of the Royal Navy’s new Type 31 general purpose frigate. (Photo Credit: Babcock)

According to Rolls-Royce, the Integrated Logistics Support for propulsion and onboard power systems will ensure efficient and cost-effective maintenance throughout their entire service life. The company statement said that the MTU Callosum propulsion control and monitoring system is expected to be officially added to the supply contract very shortly.

“We’re delighted to welcome Rolls-Royce with its MTU solutions as a supplier to our Type 31 Programme. Its engines and on-board generator sets are already proving their mettle in numerous comparable vessels worldwide,” said Sean Donaldson, Managing Director for Energy & Marine at Babcock International.

“We’re very proud of the fact that Babcock International Group has opted for MTU propulsion and on-board power solutions on this highly significant project. MTU products now feature in almost all current and future projects of the Royal Navy. That is impressive proof of the trust our British partners place in us and of the reliability and flexibility of our products,” said Knut Müller, Vice President Marine & Defense at Rolls-Royce business unit Power Systems.

The Royal Navy relies on Rolls-Royce propulsion solutions across its surface and submarine fleets. MTU Series 2000, 4000 and 8000 units will feature in future in most Royal Navy warships – in destroyers (Type 45), all frigate classes (Type 23, 26, 31) and submarines (Astute-class).

Team 31 Frigate Acquisition:

Last year, Babcock International was awarded the contract by the UK Ministry of Defence to deliver the Royal Navy’s newest fleet of warships, the Type 31 frigate. The Type 31 programme will provide the Navy with a fleet of five ships, at an average production cost of £250 million per ship.

The formal contract award followed an announcement earlier that Babcock’s Team 31 had been selected as Preferred Bidder following a competitive process.  Babcock offered its Arrowhead 140 design, based on the hull of the Royal Danish Navy Iver Huitfeldt-class frigate, for the competition.

The frigates will be assembled at Babcock’s Rosyth facility, and involve supply chains throughout the UK, in line with the UK’s shipbuilding strategy.

The first ship is expected to be launched by 2023 with the in-service date in 2027. The Type 31 frigates will complement the more capable Type 26 frigates in Royal Navy service.



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