Rolls-Royce has received an order to supply four four-man submarines to USS Congress (FFG-63), the second ship in the US Navy’s frigate-class construction program, formerly known as FFG(X) – the plan was known. Rolls-Royce’s Power Systems division has made investments in its manufacturing facilities in Aiken, South Carolina and Mankato, Minnesota to support the program and manufacture the genset in the United States.
Rolls-Royce is already supplying man types to the lead ship in the Constellation class program, USS Constellation (FFG-62), and relies on its well-established team in Friedrichshafen. With the second ship, FFG-63, the company successfully moved technology and manufacturing processes to the United States, invested in new equipment and created new jobs to expand capacity at its Aiken and Mankato plants. This investment not only meets the specific needs of the FFG(X) program, but can also support future US Navy projects. Investments in the facilities include new assembly tools and material handling equipment, modern lifting systems, refurbished test benches and building extensions, and the creation of up to 20 new jobs.
Adam Wood, Managing Director, Rolls-Royce Solutions America, says: “Not only are we proud to continue to support our partners in the US Navy, we are excited to bring manufacturing of our manned marines to the US. Working closely with our colleagues in Germany has enabled a seamless transfer of technology to our Aiken and Mankato plants. This strengthens our on-site capacity to meet the high expectations of this project. At the same time, we are now in a better position to compete for future US government programs.”
USS Congress (FFG-63) is a multi-purpose ship designed for use in inshore and offshore waters. These four gensets, each with an output of 3000 kWe, are based on the proven and powerful 20V 4000 M53B man engine and will provide a total output of 12 MW for propulsion and on-board power supply.
Fincantieri Marinette Marine (FMM) of Marinette, Wisconsin was awarded the contract to carry out the project. The completed ship will have a diesel-electric and gas turbine combination. This propulsion system allows adequate power generation for normal cruising speed and increased range while enhancing the submarine’s search capabilities thanks to the diesel-electric configuration. When completed, the ship will be nearly 500 feet (152 meters) long and carry up to 200 crew and be capable of speeds in excess of 26 knots with a range of 6,000 nautical miles at 16 knots.