Midlands engines giant Rolls Royce yesterday celebrated a significant order for its UK-built naval gas turbines to power a next generation US warship.
Two Rolls MT30 gas turbines - the biggest of their type in the world - will power a second Lockheed Martin-designed coastal waters ship (LCS). Another set of turbines has already been ordered and installed in Lockheed's first LCS.
The turbines for the second of the orders will be delivered to the Bollinger shipyard in Lockport, Louisiana in early 2007. Much of the work on the turbines is carried out in Bristol before being packaged in the United States.
Derby-based Rolls Royce did not give a value for the order. It said the MT30 had 80 per cent commonality with the Trent 800 aero engine, which has achieved more than eight million flying hours since entering service in 1996.
Patrick Marolda, president of Rolls Royce's naval division, said: "This latest contract reflects Lockheed Martin's belief in the advantages of the MT30 gas turbine, our ability to deliver as a company, and Rolls-Royce's continuous commitment to support the US Navy."
In a separate statement, Rolls Royce said data from hot weather trials in Abu Dhabi to test its Trent 900 engines, which power the Airbus A380 superjumbo, had confirmed "excellent levels of performance".
The trials were conducted in average daily temperatures of between 43-47 celsius.
The Trent 900 is the launch engine on the A380, with first deliveries to Singapore Airlines scheduled towards the end of this year. Meanwhile, BAE Systems is set to build 72 Eurofighter Typhoons which the Government has sold to Saudi Arabia, in a deal thought to be worth £5 billion..
According to one report, Defence Secretary Des Browne is ready to sign the contract and the sale could be announced as early as tomorrow. Shares in Rolls-Royce are up 3.5 at 414.25p.