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Power and Innovation for the Canadian Surface Combatant


The Canadian Surface Combatant (CSC) program underway for the Royal Canadian Navy is the largest naval procurement program in Canada’s history.

These anti-submarine warfare ships, based on the Type 26 Global Combat Ship design, will be the most modern and versatile of their type with extremely low acoustic signatures to ensure they’re super quiet – essential for submarine hunting operations.  As a Global Combat Ship variant, the CSC will feature some of our most advanced and innovative technology.

The CSC design features an advanced power system in a combined diesel-electric or gas-turbine propulsion (CODLOG) arrangement.  This robust and highly-efficient hybrid-electric propulsion system will ensure the ship is capable of operating globally.

At its heart, sits our MT30, the world’s most powerful in-service Marine Gas Turbine.  A proven engine, designed for the 21st century, it has been in active operation since 2008.  One of MT30’s unique features is its capability to deliver its full power of 36-40MW without degradation throughout the ship’s life – in ambient temperatures of up to 38°C.  Due to its sheer power density, it also contributes to the future-proof capability of the ship, ensuring power requirements for future technology upgrades to ship systems can be met – an important factor when taking into consideration the extensive service of a ship’s life.  MT30 also offers low through life costs due to its ultra-low maintenance requirements, another attractive option for owners.

The MT30 will be utilised for high-speed operations, allowing the CSC to reach full power in a matter of minutes, as well as releasing the entire ship’s electrical generation capacity to the onboard hotel and weapons’ systems.

The power for the CSC’s cruising speed or when engaged in anti-submarine operations, will be delivered by the four mtu 20V 4000 M53B diesel generators from our Power Systems division.  Combined, these generators will produce 11.6MW to power the shaft-wound motors – thereby eliminating main gearbox noise.  In this ultra-quiet diesel-electric propulsion configuration, the Type 26, already dubbed the ‘ghost ship’, will rival the noise signature of the UK Type 23 Frigate, widely recognised as the benchmark for anti-submarine warfare capability and low underwater-radiated noise signature.

The Canadian Surface Combatant (CSC) also includes unique innovation from Rolls-Royce – the innovative Mission Bay Handling System (MBHS) – delivering essential flexibility and versatility.  This system will provide the ship with true multi-mission operational benefits.  Our MBHS will enable the CSC to transform its mission bay into a multi-purpose, flexible space allowing it to adapt to a variety of operational situations.  It offers countless possibilities for ship operators – from storage of all types of cargo, containerised mission modules, to hydraulic robotic arms that will efficiently and safely deploy and retrieve manned/unmanned surface vessels, eliminating the need for a dockside crane.  As a multi-functional system, the mission bay can easily be adapted to support operational requirements such as temporary housing for humanitarian missions and storage of medical supplies.

Construction of the very first system for the UK’s Global Combat Ship variant, the Type 26 City-class frigates, is well underway at our Canadian Naval Handling facility in Peterborough, Ontario where the system is designed, assembled and tested.  This first system will be delivered to the UK in early 2024.  The initial system is now fully assembled and operational.  In the coming months we will be focusing on software integration as we look to complete factory testing and design validation later this year.

With the MBHS being provided to the CSC, the UK’s Type 26 and the Australian Hunter-class anti-submarine warship programs, the export potential resulted in the investment of an essential 7,500 sq-ft expansion of our Peterborough facilities completed in September 2020.  For Canada itself, this has helped to create significant economic benefits for the domestic supply chain and wider economy.

Our Peterborough facility is a specialised hub that has provided expert naval handling solutions for over three decades.  From its wide range of offerings, there is an opportunity for us to supply the Variable Depth Sonar Handling System for the Canadian Surface Combatant.  This handling system will allow launch, recovery and stowage of Ultra Electronics Canada’s Towed Low Frequency Active Sonar (TLFAS), which will be used in the detection and tracking of stealthy submarines in challenging ocean environments. The lightweight automated handling system requires minimal manning and is capable of launching and recovering the sonar in high sea states.

Once in-service, the Global Combat Ship variants being built for Canada, Australia and the UK, will be the most advanced frigates, featuring the most innovative of industrial technology, and ultimately making them the most formidable of submarine hunters throughout their service.

Discover more about our world leading naval portfolio, expertly engineered for the ships of tomorrow.

Manufacturing & Engineering Magazine | The Home of Manufacturing Industry News

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