Rolls-Royce has been selected to supply its MT30 gas turbine to power a new class of frigates for the Japan Maritime Self Defence Force.

The selection means Japan is the fifth nation to select the MT30 for a major naval ship building programme.

Sam Cameron, Rolls-Royce, Senior Vice President – Defence, said:

“Japan’s selection of the MT30 is very significant and means that the three largest users of marine gas turbines, have all endorsed the capabilities of the MT30 and selected it to power significant future programmes.

The MT30 is the world’s most power dense marine gas turbine in service today, a key feature for naval ships where high power in minimum space, whilst meeting the operational power demands of the future, is essential. The increased demand for power by the world’s navies is a clear trend and for Japan we will deliver a power rating in excess of 40 megawatts, the highest so far for this gas turbine unrestricted by global climate conditions. The power and performance of this modern gas turbine is providing shipbuilders and system designers with new options, choices and the ability to futureproof their latest naval platforms, combined with the additional benefits of through-life power retention with ultra-low on-board maintenance requirements.

We have a long and successful history of powering Japan’s naval fleet which stretches back almost 50 years and our strategic relationship with local partner Kawasaki Heavy Industries has seen us provide more than 200 gas turbines. We look forward to the next chapter in this successful relationship with 30FFM.”

Construction of the first of the 30FFM class frigates will begin next year, with entry into service expected around 2022.

The MT30 recently powered the UK Royal Navy’s new aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth during a programme of successful sea trials. It is also powering the US Navy’s Freedom Class variant of the Littoral Combat Ship, and their new DDG-1000 destroyers. The Republic of Korea Navy’s first FFXII frigate, powered by a single MT30, entered service earlier this year and Italy has selected the engine for its new Landing Helicopter Dock programme.

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The JMSDF is bulking up – with reason – The Japanese and Chinese despise each other on a very basic level. The Chinese are determined to even the score for Japanese actions prior and during WWII and it’s only going to get uglier.



Oh I agree, however I dont think Japan, never mind the rest of the local neighbourhood would be contributing to the regional arms race if China wasn’t throwing its weight around.

That said the Japanese XASM-3 ASM will go a long way to even up the score.


Agreed, I have family in Japan and the Japanese (for the most part) are in no way interested in a military buildup except out of concern for the intentions of the CCP. They certainly have the capability to develop and build anything up to and including nuclear weapons. They already possess a reliable ICBM (satellite) launch system and intelligence estimates place them within a couple of years of being a nuclear power if and when the decision is made. Japanese model companies – which have proven to be uncannily spot on in the past with previous ship class – (government… Read more »

John West

Are these MT30’s UK or local builds?


The APAC navies dwarf the European navies now, I will not be surprised if the RAN overtakes the RN in the next 10 years just to keep up the pace.

They have ordered 12 SSK vs 7 SSN for the RN, their order for 12 ASW frigates vs 8 for the RN. If the RN sells additional Bay class ships they will like go to the RAN. It will be interesting to see how things develop or if the RN gets more £££.

Stephen G.

The Royal Navy has 4 nuclear deterrent submarines vs. 0 for them and we have 2 aircraft carriers vs. 0 for them though. Also I believe they are planning 9 a.s.w. frigates not 12.


More MT30 sales to help boost confidence in the powerplant for BAE/T26’s RAN bid. This other user is also relatively local to RAN and a very close ally. All good stuff.


I though that the RAN contest was for 9 ASW frigates not 12?

Mike Saul

The UK design and built MT30 gas turbine is the best available in the current market.

The US, Japan, South Korea and Italy are now all customers.

Just shows that UK engineering can be world leaders in some aspects of warship design.

Going forward we need to focus and invest in areas where we can excel rather proping up industry where we cannot.


This isnt the cr*p on our T45s, is it ??

Mike Saul

WR21 was the powerplant selected for T45.

A joint UK USA and French venture, that managed to secure just one customer the T45.

You have to wonder if it would not be beneficial in the long run to replace the WR21 with the MT30.

I am sure there a whole of technical reasons why this is not feasible.


(Chris H) WR21 is the generic name for the whole gas turbine / intercooler system. The core RR gas turbine works fine its the Northrop Grumman intercooler / recycling system that is causing the failures although the Andrew do seem to have got a grip even before the new additional power units are fitted.


Form Rolls Royce’s specifications the MT30 module is about 70cm longer than the WR21 and width is similar, so two would be a tight squeeze on the T45, if possible at all. The RNs preferred power solution is to fit more powerful diesels and rely less on the WR21.

Kirk Jiao

Nice, Rolls Royce is really important to the strategic defence industry.