Rolls-Royce installs MT30 gas turbine on aircraft carrier

Rolls-Royce successfully completed the installation of the first MT30 gas turbine into the Royal Navy’s new aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth, at Babcock’s Rosyth shipyard in Scotland recently. The MT30, at 36 MW (around 50,000 horsepower), is the world’s most powerful marine gas turbine. Two MT30s are to be installed in each ship and will provide two-thirds of the 109 MW needed to power the 65,000 tonne ships – enough energy to power a town the size of Swindon.

The MT30s are installed as part of a Gas Turbine Alternator (GTA) which also includes an alternator and gas turbine enclosure, weighing a total of 120 tonnes. The MT30 gas turbine is derived from the Rolls-Royce Trent 800 aero engine which powers the Boeing 777 aircraft, with around 80 per cent of the parts being the same.

The installation involved the lifting of the MT30 gas turbine and associated ancillary equipment - housed in a steel package known as the gas turbine enclosure - onto the ship structure. With the enclosure in place, the large alternator, which is driven by the gas turbine to produce electrical power, was then hoisted into place.