SYDNEY, Australia --- GE’s marine gas turbines are the ideal solution for the Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN) SEA 5000 next generation Future Frigate Program, GE reported today at the PACIFIC 2017 trade exhibition.
“GE has a longstanding partnership with the RAN, providing LM2500 gas turbines that power 100% of the RAN’s gas turbine fleet,” said Brien Bolsinger, GE’s Vice President, General Manager, Marine Operations, Evendale, Ohio. “Our worldwide fleet of gas turbines boasts greater than 99% reliability, with over 15 million hours operating in marine applications and another 70 million in industrial settings. We also back our marine gas turbines with dedicated in-country engine support capabilities to ensure the RAN optimum fleet readiness and lower total cost of ownership. This makes our LM2500 engine family the low risk solution for the RAN’s nine-ship SEA 5000 program,” he added.
SEA 5000 will replace the aging Anzac class frigates. GE’s LM2500 family of engines are operational on two of the RAN’s short-listed ship designs -- Fincantieri’s FREMM (LM2500+G4) and Navantia’s F100 (LM2500). Both GE gas turbines provide the benefits of commonality and interoperability, not only within the existing RAN fleet, but also with the vast majority of international navy fleets powered by LM2500 engines.
According to Bolsinger, “The adoption of a common propulsion system can obviously generate enormous maintenance cost savings for the ship over its life, leveraging the existing infrastructure, crew training, and a single pool of spares. This provides the flexibility to move propulsion crew between all classes of RAN ships with no new training. Plus, interoperability means immediate help is available when deployed since the RAN and 34 other navies worldwide rely on our LM2500 marine engines for ship power.”
Savings extend to support functions. An example is the RAN and GE collaboration to re-task retired LM2500 engines as training aids for ships’ crews. With the LM2500 gas turbine solution chosen for SEA 5000, these training assets will be directly applicable, thus eliminating the need to procure expensive, new training aids.
The LM2500 family of engines sets the benchmark for reliability. Several other recent surface combatant programs from the world’s leading navies that use or will employ LM2500 family marine gas turbines include the Italian Navy’s new Pattugliatori Polivalenti d’Altura multipurpose offshore patrol ships; the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force’s new 8,200-ton class Aegis destroyer; and the German Navy’s new F125 Baden-Wurttemberg-class frigates.
GE in Australia
Each of the RAN’s new Hobart-class Air Warfare Destroyers (AWD) feature two LM2500s configured in a COmbined Diesel Or Gas turbine (CODOG) arrangement with two diesel engines. GE LM2500s also power the RAN’s Adelaide and Anzac class frigates, and the two Landing Helicopter Dock ships - HMA Ships Canberra and Adelaide - both the largest ships ever built for the RAN.
GE’s LM2500 family of gas turbines includes the base LM2500 model (25 megawatts), LM2500+ (30 megawatts) and LM2500+G4 (35 megawatts). These engines can meet any mission profile for military ship programs ranging from patrol boats, destroyers and cruisers to corvettes, frigates, amphibious ships and aircraft carriers.
In addition, GE offers extensive in-country engine support capabilities and outstanding reliability for its marine gas turbine family. Through a multi-year agreement, GE provides the Australian Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group’s Maritime Cross-Platform Systems Program Office with depot level maintenance for the LM2500s aboard the Adelaide and Anzac frigates as well as the LM2500 generator sets onboard the Canberra class LHD’s.
Depot level maintenance is performed by Air New Zealand Gas Turbines, an authorized LM2500 service center and longtime RAN service provider. GE also provides program management, on-site field service support, and warehousing and inventory management including spare parts and inventory replenishment throughout the life of the contract.
GE’s marine gas turbine business is part of GE Aviation and is headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio. GE is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of marine propulsion products, systems and solutions including aeroderivative gas turbines ranging from 6,000 to 70,275 shaft horsepower/ 4.5 to 52 megawatts. These gas turbines reliably operate the world over in some of the most arduous conditions in temperatures ranging from -40 to 120 degrees F/-40 to 48 degrees C.