Rolls-Royce is to supply complete MTU propulsion systems for five new Type 31 general-purpose frigates for the 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 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. 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)”, say the firm in a statement.

Sean Donaldson, Managing Director for Energy & Marine at Babcock International, said:

“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.”

Knut Müller, Vice President Marine & Defense at Rolls-Royce business unit Power Systems, said:

“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.”

In September 2021, Rolls-Royce will deliver the first shipset comprising four main propulsion engines and four generator sets to prime contractor Babcock International Group. Integrated Logistics Support for propulsion and onboard power systems will ensure efficient and cost-effective maintenance throughout their entire service life.

It is expected that the MTU Callosum propulsion control and monitoring system will be officially added to the supply contract very shortly.

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ChariotRider
ChariotRider
3 months ago

More on this from Save the Royal Navy.

https://www.savetheroyalnavy.org/rolls-royce-mtu-engines-selected-for-type-31-frigate/

Nice to see progress on this programme.

Cheers CR

Geoff
Geoff
3 months ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

Still only 5 hulls though…

Nicholas
Nicholas
3 months ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

The 31s will be able to manage 29 knots at full tilt which is not bad at all.

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
3 months ago
Reply to  Nicholas

Yeh, as platforms their basic capabilities are pretty good and could form the basis for a very effective ‘force miltiplier’, but they are going to need more ‘kit’ if they are to be able to take their place in a war fighting scenario.

Nicholas
Nicholas
3 months ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

I agree, as ‘currently’ configured I don’t see them suited to any war fighting. Even non peer potential enemies have small vessels that are more potent.

Steve10
Steve10
3 months ago
Reply to  Nicholas

Saddam’s navy was destroyed by Lynx helicopters, nothing different here. All the Army’ Wildcats are navalised.

Cam
Cam
3 months ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

It’s slightly embarrassing how the ships it’s replacing will be more powerful! They should Atleast get the 23s mushroom farms when they come off even build them fitted for the 32 cell untill we have the almost new sea ceptor system of enough 23s or even just fit a new 32 cell It surely can’t be that more expensive than fitting a 12 cell.

Sceptical Richard
Sceptical Richard
3 months ago
Reply to  Nicholas

That’s funny. When the Danish CO of Iver Huidfeldt was interviewed, he said the ship could do 18knts on a single engine and over 30 at full tilt.

Masterblaster
Masterblaster
3 months ago

40 sets, 4 sets per ship, 5 ships… Have they ordered double the required amount for spares, for other ship types (26 & 23) or am I missing something? Either way, good news!

BiH1979
BiH1979
3 months ago
Reply to  Masterblaster

Yeah that confused me for a bit but if you read it again it’s 4 x M71’s for propulsion and 4 x M41B’s for power generation. 8 sets per hull.

BigH1979
BigH1979
3 months ago
Reply to  Masterblaster

Yeah that confused me for a bit but if you read it again it’s 4 x M71’s for propulsion and 4 x M41B’s for power generation. 8 sets per hull.

Masterblaster
Masterblaster
3 months ago
Reply to  BigH1979

Ah, that makes sense. Thanks for the clarification.

David
David
3 months ago

Only 12 Sea Ceptor missiles!! – I realise this could change come entry into service but if it stays like it is, I wouldn’t want to be one of the poor sods sailing in one come a full blown shooting war! She’d last all of 5 mins! Ok, purely speculating but you know what I mean.

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
3 months ago
Reply to  David

Why they just don’t put even 12 Syler or MK41 silos that can be quad packed on them is beyond me… False saving, obviously.

Meirion X
Meirion X
3 months ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

Finland spent $70m on procuring 4 Mk 41 launcher systems.
So you will need to add more then that, to cost of T31, before you include the missiles.

T.S
3 months ago
Reply to  Meirion X

How they can justify £70 million is beyond me. I looked up Sylver thenither day and I found a figure of £3 million per bank of 8. Dont know if that’s correct but seems much more like it for what it is. Surely we could design our own for a fraction of the cost so money comes back into our economy and we can afford to give a decent number to each of our escorts?

Meirion X
Meirion X
3 months ago
Reply to  T.S

Whe it comes to FMS prices levied by the US Government, just think of it, a portion is like a tax.

BB85
BB85
3 months ago
Reply to  T.S

The US pays around $50mm per DDG for 96 MK41 cells. So that’s a little over $4mm for 8 cells. Looks like Finland got robbed but when they did not invest billions in R&D maybe its only fair.
If the UK was quoted the same price though I can see why its opted for much cheaper soft launch silos although 24 should be minum in my opinion.

Glass Half Full
Glass Half Full
3 months ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

No point in using an expensive VLS designed to handle hot launch in order to quad pack cold launch CAMM. Which is probably one reason why T26 has dedicated cells for CAMM, instead of 12 quad packed Mk 41. Sure you could use the MK 41 for something else, but the UK probably won’t have any missile qualified for MK 41 for approaching another decade. When it does it may well be Aster 30 variants first.

David
David
3 months ago

Why can’t we just cross deck the existing 32 cells from retiring Type 23s?

Glass Half Full
Glass Half Full
3 months ago
Reply to  David

Several reasons come to mind but others more knowledgeable could probably confirm the following. Sea Wolf was hot launch so whatever remains of the VLS in a Type 23 is larger and more complicated than is needed for CAMM, you can see that with the spacing of the cells as well, it probably just wasn’t worth the cost of ripping it out to fit CAMM more efficiently in Type 23. However, no reason to waste space in the mission module space for Type 31, or deck space in the event you want to add other deck launched options. Then there’s… Read more »

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
3 months ago

The old hot launch capable tubes for VL SeaWolf where adapted to take the much more compact Sea Ceptor cold launch canister. There is no point cross decking old SeaWolf canisters.It would be a waste of time and money. Its far easier to build a dedicated silo to take the SeaCeptor canisters. Does a T31 need more AAW missiles? That depends on the mission. If its going to take the role of Patrolling and low intensity work no it doesnt need any more. If its going to be used in high intensity areas then lots of bolt on additions can… Read more »

GWM
GWM
3 months ago
Reply to  David

Because they need them for the Type 26 which has 48 cells,the system needs 3 launch control and 3 flight controller cabinets per 12 cells,its not just about the missile launchers.

David
David
3 months ago
Reply to  GWM

Hi GWM – thank you for the explanation – I really appreciate it when someone who has more insight and knowledge than me shares it – that way we all learn and become a little more educated, especially when it comes to the Royal Navy.

GWM
GWM
3 months ago
Reply to  David

No problem but I do agree with others ,12 cells is not enough on these cost constrained ships, it’s a disgrace sending our service people out in ships with insufficient defences.

Simon m
Simon m
3 months ago
Reply to  GWM

I can’t see why they don’t just reduce T26 to 40 and T31 could have 24. T26 won’t miss 8 as much as T31 will miss the 12

GWM
GWM
3 months ago
Reply to  Simon m

I dont think reducing the number on a 26 is good we need them to protect the carrier’s, a sea cepter block consists of 6 launch and control electronic cabinets and 12 cell launcher so reducing the 26 means 36 cells.The total available blocks on the 23’s is 39, so with 4×8 required for 26 it only leaves 7 blocks for the 31 hence only 1 fitted.The MOD needs to spend some more money and buy 3 more blocks to give the 31 24 available cells.

DJ
DJ
3 months ago
Reply to  GWM

Or they could fit 24 to 2 x T31 & leave the others at 12. Or build an extra 2 x T31. Going to 24 on two of them would give some options if areas start to heat up, short of replacing a T31 with a T26 or T45 (which can sometimes be seen as provocation).

GWM
GWM
3 months ago
Reply to  DJ

Yes but personally I hope they fit them to the carriers to beef up their inner layer defence.There is another option for 31, the U.S. is developing madfires guided shells for the 57mm gun, this is capable of shooting down hostile air targets including missiles so could boost their defences.

T.S
3 months ago

I would agree, but the issue is the density of cells with the seaceptor cold launch tubes. Fitting 24 would likely take up all the space and mean no hot launch cells could be added easily. We need a quad pack cold launch cell so 12 could be fitted allowing 48 seaceptor, and still retains space for 24 sylver/mk41 if we ever do get to up gun them.

Glass Half Full
Glass Half Full
3 months ago
Reply to  T.S

The Land Scepter/Sky Sabre shows how closely CAMM can be packed using the standard canister, so fitting 24 if required wouldn’t take up much space. That said Lockheed has developed the simpler 3-cell ExVLS for Sea Ceptor that uses quad packing and can launch 3 missiles simultaneously if required. Also there is a lot of space on T31. Recall that the Iver Huitfeldt has space for 32x MK41 cells + 24 ESSM in Mk56 cells + 16x Harpoon in that deck space.

Glass Half Full
Glass Half Full
3 months ago
Reply to  David

CAMM lends itself well for deck mount to optionally increase loadout were it deemed necessary/desirable. So 12 cells isn’t really a limit.

Finney
Finney
3 months ago

Am I the only one who thinks it’s concerning that we seem to be entirely reliant on MTU (yes it’s owned by Rolls Royce but the entire system is made in Germany) for our diesel gen-sets? Do Cummins Marine (formerly Perkins) or MAN at Colchester (ex-Paxman) not make suitable models? I understand the argument for commonality but surely having a local supply chain and manufacturing capability is also of merit.

Cam
Cam
3 months ago
Reply to  Finney

It’s a shame what’s happend to british industry and the blatant lack of control over takeovers ect further losing british brands and manufacturing! Look at our truck and tractor manufacturing! But hey we bought over 7,000 millitary trucks for our army from Germany.

Alan
Alan
3 months ago
Reply to  Finney

Your right, I didn’t realize Rolls Royce was now a German company. I’m assuming this part is nothing to do with the aircraft engines?

DJ
DJ
3 months ago
Reply to  Alan

Alan

You have it backwards. The UK company RR Holdings owns (bought) the German company MTU (actually they bought the company that owned MTU, amongst other things). This is the same RR Holdings that own the companies building aircraft engines in various places around the world that you were referring to. It does mean however, that the engines concerned will be designed & built in Germany & exported to UK.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
3 months ago
Reply to  Finney

There are no UK makers anymore. It’s either MAN, MTU or Wartsila.
All the old UK companies have been bought out and absorbed into bigger companies such as MAN.

Cam
Cam
3 months ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Exactly my point mate, it sucks, we did have loads. God knows why we allow it! The government say it’s just capitalism and shit happend! We should have been protecting our brands and growing them like Germany does….But at,east we beat Germany in the financial sector by a huge mile, hell London even beats New York.

Sceptical Richard
Sceptical Richard
3 months ago
Reply to  Cam

You’ve said it. You’ve provided the answer to the question. Our best brains go into financial, legal and accounting services which are among the best in the world and earn us most of our foreign exchange and account for almost a third of out GDP. In Germany, France, Italy and other countries their best brains become engineers. It’s cultural.

Cam
Cam
3 months ago

Yeah maybe so, Atleast we still have the goal of 25% of the British economy in the manufacturing sector

Sceptical Richard
Sceptical Richard
3 months ago
Reply to  Cam

One can only hope. But it takes concerted government action.

Jonathan
Jonathan
3 months ago
Reply to  Cam

Neoliberalism at it best….the industry we have is dictated by the market place. It’s just a shame the rest of the world was so misguided and played mercantile/protectionist games with their industries…still we got some cheap stuff even if all the tax revenue and jobs went to another sovereign state.

Finney
Finney
3 months ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

As far as I can tell the old Paxman works at Colchester still manufacture marine diesels under MAN, and Cummings make or at least package some diesels down in Dorset although those look smaller. But these options may not be appropriate for RN use, I don’t claim to be an expert.

Cam
Cam
3 months ago

I don’t think we should call these frigates, they are probably the most underarmed modern frigate on earth they are large patrol vessels, actually the batch 2 OPV would be great with the kit that’s going on the 31s, 12 sea ceptor would be great and multiple guns ideal and a hangar with say a well armed wildcat would be even better, one can dream but the opvs are bigger than some of our old frigates. Its actually embarrassing and when I hear people say “Britain rules the waves” because we have two huge carriers and are building 13 new… Read more »

Pete
Pete
3 months ago
Reply to  Cam

Agree 100%. Give them at least a bank of sea spear or spear, III to deal mith multiple small craft at range,… Corvette or frigate at range or land attack in support of special forces.Low cost British punch.

Adding lazers wgen ready would also help

Glass Half Full
Glass Half Full
3 months ago
Reply to  Cam

Since I already typed this out on STRN I’ll just re-post here – Some thoughts on the ever lively discussion regrading equipment fit. I’d suggest the way to think about T31 is as a relatively blank canvas to which options may be added/removed to increase/decrease capabilities based on mission requirements/deployment risks. These solutions can all be added over time as budgets/needs/solutions develop and thus avoid large up front capital expense. For example, 1. If more CAMM are desirable then deck mount additional launchers. The rest of the necessary infrastructure is already there. Cold launch makes it even more straightforward. 2.… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
3 months ago
Reply to  Cam

Morning Cam I think you should actually look at other navies and how they are perceived and equipped,compared to the RN, before being embarrassed. No way am I embarrassed by the RN. Britain rules the waves? Different era. No one should be saying that now, which is fine, as history has moved on. These other navies that you can name with better frigates. What other assets do they have? What age are their vessels? What training do their people have? What experience in ASW / NATO / ICT operations? What logistic tail do they have? Are their vessels sitting in… Read more »

Cam
Cam
3 months ago

Hi Daniele hope your well, I’m in no way embarrassed with the Royal Navy just the budget “frigate” and our lack of numbers of capable vessels. I’m proud of the RN in fact and can’t wait untill we sail a carrier battle group again next year it’s a rare capability in the world and we all should be very very proud, and your right we do have a range of logistic vessels and an amphibious capability that give us lots of options that most nations Could only dream of, but we should have a better load out for the type… Read more »

Glass Half Full
Glass Half Full
3 months ago

Excellent points regarding broader naval capabilities. BTW food for thought that another way to look at T31 is as the light frigate the USN Freedom and Independence class Littoral Combat Ships should have been.

Lusty
Lusty
3 months ago

Also want to add, Daniele, that our training is ranked among the best in the world. Foreign navies regularly sent their vessels to attend FOST off Devonport. That says a lot about how the RN is regarded. You hit the nail on the head with your post. Very few countries can match us in the ability to deploy and support vessels at sea. We saw only last year how quickly vessels could be redeployed to support operations in the Gulf, and how they were supported by additional RFA assets. It’s not just that – you may need to fly out… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
3 months ago
Reply to  Lusty

Agree. Which is why I’m all for T31, and even the RB2s.

FOST has a world wide reputation. I’d read elsewhere recently there were rumours of Fleet HQ considering making cuts to it!. Surely not.

Lusty
Lusty
3 months ago

I know there’s a lot of shimmying coming with regard to commands.

A bit of rebranding too – return of the use of ‘Coastal Forces Squadron’ by the sounds of it.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
3 months ago
Reply to  Lusty

Oh, that’s news to me. Thanks. Will have a peep.

Lusty
Lusty
3 months ago

No probs. There’s a lot going on behind the scenes gradually. There have been some changes to FOST, (command now falls under COM FOST) and there’s a push to slim Headquarters down. I’m going to assume Coastal Forces Command is a rebranded and reworked 1PBS. Some ramblings that might be of interest… I’m not sure if it was published here (my COVID work has certainly made me miss several pieces!) but there was some good news for the Navy: HMS Audacious was officially commissioned. Also, the newer OPVs working up well (Tamar conducting deck landings, Medway welcomed a Merlin!) and… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
3 months ago
Reply to  Lusty

Concur with 1 PBS. And I assume the FPS ( if its still called that ) will also be a part. If Mr Reeves is still around he will be excited.

Don’t think there was an article on Audacious, though we certainly knew she had finally left. We saw Medway and the Merlin here.

Trent at Gib? Welcome if true. As long as the Batch 1s remain for home waters only. There was an interesting piece on STRN some time back how the B2s could be enhanced and become useful presence vessels.

Lusty
Lusty
3 months ago

Yes, I’m sure Mr Reeves will be excited!

Cam
Cam
3 months ago

We have cut Sandhurst places so why not FOST, well except the paying foreigners places obviously which is fine.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
3 months ago
Reply to  Cam

Other nations send entire warships mate, not individuals. Thursday war?

Cam
Cam
3 months ago
Reply to  Lusty

Yeah it shows how highly our millitarys regraded, no one doubts that, that’s why kings and princes come to the UK to train, we also train officers from all over the globe, our army, navy and the RAF all train foreign officers ect.

Sceptical Richard
Sceptical Richard
3 months ago

Well said Daniele!

Steve
Steve
3 months ago

12 does seem like an odd number. Considering that they can’t be reloaded at sea, it means that the ship can defend itself against a wave of 4 jets each carrying 2 anti ship missiles, which isn’t a whole lot. Ok these will be way more effective in combat than the rivers, but I suspect they will have to operate in pairs to have enough fire power to actually defend themselves. I guess they could he used to escort supply ships operating generally outside attack range.

Glass Half Full
Glass Half Full
3 months ago
Reply to  Steve

Do we know CAMM can’t be reloaded at sea? Sure we don’t reload Aster’s but they are much larger/heavier weapons at 3x to 4x the CAMM’s 99kg. We might also optionally deck mount additional launchers when required.

DJ
DJ
3 months ago

The problem with temporary deck launchers like you are suggesting is that the associated electronics also need to go somewhere. That was one of the benefits of stanflex, you had room to package the electronics into the below deck part of the module. Change the module, electronics go/come with you. Otherwise you unusually end up permanently fitting the electronics (which is costly if you intend to rarely fit the launcher but fine if you often do). I would suggest you would need to containerise it to make it really work (ie above deck ‘stanflex’ to some degree). As containers have… Read more »

Glass Half Full
Glass Half Full
3 months ago
Reply to  DJ

Agree that its perhaps a little glib to imply its simple to just bolt on additional equipment. A container probably would be a preferred solution rather than say the pallet like solution of the Sky Sabre trucks and might be more appropriate for temporary use on other ships too. Cleaner to ship by air, land or sea.

geoff
geoff
3 months ago

Constantly amazed by the depth of knowledge on subject by those who post on this site. UKDJ is definitely the go-to source for real information on subjects military! As one whose interest is generalist and historical I must admit that you guys lose me with much of the tech speak! Cheers from Durban

geoff
geoff
3 months ago

PS Good Morning Daniele. We haven’t heard from you for a while. Hope you are well! Did I tell you about the time me and my mate paddled up to HMS Echo in Durban harbour… :)?

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
3 months ago
Reply to  geoff

geoff. Good morning! It has been sunny here for weeks and now we want some proper rain please! The wildlife need it. It is actually trying to rain now..albeit spitting only.

Lol. I know that story well, thank you. But it might be worth another airing for newer members of the forum!?

geoff
geoff
3 months ago

Hi Daniele-I think it has been aired enough compliments of my 71 year old brain!! Best time of the year here in Winter Durban to visit. Daytime temps in the mid 20’s with low teens in the evening and no rain! Our summers are generally lousy and unpredictable-either rain for days on end or humid and hot!

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
3 months ago
Reply to  geoff

And always happy to hear it again geoff. We should learn from our “experiences” of our elders!

rec
rec
3 months ago

Given the complexities and poor record for UK defence procurement and the requirement to kick start the economy after COVID. Why not have a 10 year shipbuilding strategy that is based on additional funding that looks to the sustainable development of shipbuilding and related industries? Surely a plan that included 7 new build T26 (bringing the total up to 10) , 6 T31 (at a higher spec) 3 Mars sss, plus a 2 for 1 areplacement fior Argus (for disaster reluef) must be doable for around 15 billion spread over a 10 year period ????? It would also give the… Read more »

Steve
Steve
3 months ago
Reply to  rec

simple answer is there are better ways to generate jobs and boost the economy than ship building, for example improving the infrastructure (roads/rail) that will generate jobs during the improvements and also after.

rec
rec
3 months ago
Reply to  Steve

Yes in part, but long term industrial strategy creates both skill base and resilience. Peoples working habits are changing, therefore the likes of HS2 may be a white elephant .

Steve
Steve
3 months ago
Reply to  rec

Whilst I suspect the HS2 impact will be lower, people will still need to get around and it will still generate income / economic growth. Who knows if that income will justify the cost post Covid, we are all hoping that life will eventually return to normality, but that is currently just a hope. The problem is ship building is not profitable and using state aid to prop up an unprofitable business is not good for the economy, its done purely to win votes, but ultimately its lost money as the second you stop the state aid (which with a… Read more »

rec
rec
3 months ago
Reply to  Steve

Its whether we think a shrinking navy is 1) A good thing 2) whether we want a manufacturing base 3) whether we actually want procurement to be more efficient 4) Whether we want to avoid the BAE Barrow saga where because of the on of nature of submarine procurement BAE lost a lot t of its skill base and needed a lot of expensive help from the electric boat company. Because the lack of long term planning and a proper strategy costs more money in the end.

Meirion X
Meirion X
3 months ago
Reply to  rec

There is no more capacity to build 2 more T26s on the Clyde,
They would have wait until 2040 to get built.

r cummings
r cummings
3 months ago
Reply to  Meirion X

The core issue with ship numbers is the available budget: from memory, we have £1.7 bn pa, which likely includes weapons and fuel and refits and whatever else. With a T26 and T45 costing £1bn each and 59 ships in rhe surface fleet, there is simply no money over to increase hull numbers or even to equip ships properly e.g. T31. It is revealing that the surface ships budget over 10 years is £17 bn, the submaine budget – for 11 boats! – is £45 bn. That ridiculous figure shows how much of the nuclear budget was slipped from the… Read more »

rec
rec
3 months ago
Reply to  r cummings

On BAE , surely capacity can be expanded, on nuclear deterrent, well yes it cripples the whole defence budget. I would rather we didn’t have it. But if we do then outside of defence budget as it used to be. But that is why I am proposing a shipbuilding strategy paid for in addition to the defence budget. Its a cheaper and more politically acceptable way of supporting the shipbuilding industry and the RN

Keith68
Keith68
3 months ago

I don’t understand the criticism of the T31, for what it is designed for (low to medium threat environments) its fine, and saves wasting T45 and T26 overkill. The question shouldn’t be why ‘isn’t the T31 better armed?’ but ‘are we building enough T26s?’.

Darren
Darren
3 months ago

What is glaringly obvious is this. Lower tonnage systems based warships such as Frigates and Destroyers have a higher foreign content then bigger tonnage warships such as Aircraft Carriers and RFA ships. Cammel Laird said their UK content for the type 31 ships was as high as 70% and I am sure it is lower with the chosen Type 31 and also the Type 26 ships (in which BAE dine a deal to buy mysterious flater Swedish steel). But 90% UK content is given for the two super Carriers and being bigger and more steel intensive ships as opposed to… Read more »