Rolls-Royce powers the world’s most advanced destroyer

The world’s most advanced warship, the US Navy’s stealth destroyer USS Zumwalt, has been commissioned at a ceremony that saw almost 10,000 people join in the celebrations in Baltimore, USA.

Powered by two Rolls-Royce MT30 gas turbines, and two smaller MT5S models and two mono block propellers, the USS Zumwalt is an all-electric ship at the cutting edge of naval technology.

“It’s a great honour to be here, to be able to support this great ship. I’ve been involved in the Zumwalt for a long time, from the bridge to the propellers, and of course the Gas Turbine engines,” said Don Roussinos, Rolls-Royce president – Naval. “We’re supplying nearly 80 megawatts of power, which is something that no other ship has. It provides immediate responsiveness. It also gives flexibility for the mission ahead.”

Baltimore, a city with a great naval tradition, hosted the event as the centrepiece of its Fleet Week, which involved a seven-day programme of events.

“The only way you can run a ship of this complexity with only 147 sailors is by having a high degree of technology,” added the USS Zumwalt’s commanding officer, Captain Jim Kirk. “It is a marvellous machine. It has new radar, sonar, missiles, propulsion system, the total ship’s computing infrastructure.”

The ship is named in honour of the former chief of the Navy, Admiral Elmo ‘Bud’ Zumwalt, a man widely recognised for transforming the US Navy into a modern day fighting force. The Rolls-Royce turbines generate 78MW of power and can travel at 20 knots using just 35MW leaving lots in reserve to power the weapons and sensor systems, as well as powering the kitchen and providing hot water. The stealth shape of the ship means its radar signature is 1/50th that of other destroyers in the fleet.