Rolls-Royce has reached a major milestone in the Republic of Korea Navy’s FFX frigate programme, with the successful completion of acceptance tests for the MT30 gas turbine.

The MT30, which will power the FFX Batch II frigates, is the world’s most power-dense marine gas turbine, meaning it packs in the maximum power into the smallest available space on board the ship.

The FFX Batch II programme is for eight ships, the first of which will be built by Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME). With testing complete, the MT30 engine will be shipped to Korea, where Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) will integrate it into the steel enclosure which also houses the air inlets, exhausts and ancillary equipment, prior to installation in the ship.

The factory acceptance test, which has to be completed before the gas turbine can be delivered, was carried out at the Rolls-Royce Test Facility in Bristol. It was put through a week of rigorous performance tests, witnessed by representatives from DSME, HHI and the Korea Institute of Machinery & Materials (KIMM).

Don Roussinos, Rolls-Royce, President – Naval, said: “The MT30 is becoming the gas turbine of choice for many of the world’s major naval programmes, with its inherent reliability and power density driving its selection. The FFX II programme is significant in that it will be the first application for the MT30 outside of the UK and US markets, and also the first ship to use a single MT30, alongside diesels.

“We were delighted to welcome the team from Korea during the acceptance tests, and look forward to working with them in the future as we work towards delivery of this highly advanced ship to the Navy.”

The MT30 is derived from Rolls-Royce aero engine technology and builds on over 45 million hours of operating experience. Producing 36 to 40 megawatts, it is the world’s most powerful in-service marine gas turbine and has the highest power density – a key factor in naval propulsion where delivering a high power output in a compact space is essential.

The MT30 is already powering the U.S. Navy’s Freedom class Littoral Combat Ships. It will power the U.S. Navy’s DDG-1000 Zumwalt class destroyer and UK Royal Navy’s new Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers and Type 26 frigates.