Navy powers X-craft with waterjets

CHANTILLY, Va., 4 February 2005. Rolls-Royce is providing powerful Kamewa 125 SII waterjets for the US Navy's X-Craft, an experimental ship launched tomorrow.

CHANTILLY, Va., 4 February 2005. Rolls-Royce is providing powerful Kamewa 125 SII waterjets for the US Navy's X-Craft, an experimental ship launched tomorrow.

The high-speed aluminum catamaran X-Craft launched, at Nichols Brothers Boat Builders, Whidbey Island, Wash., has four high-efficiency Kamewa 125 SII waterjets, which will deliver 50.4MW of power, driving the vessel to speeds of up to 50 knots while offering greater maneuverability.

The independent units make sideways movement possible, simplifying operations and berthing. Mixed-flow type pumps used in Kamewa waterjets provide higher than 90 percent efficiency ratings.

The X-Craft is a demonstrator, which may be used to prove technologies for use in the US Navy's Littoral Combat Ship (LCS). The Titan Corp. is the prime contractor for the X-Craft program.

It was designed by United Kingdom-based Nigel Gee and Associates Ltd. for the U.S. Navy's Office of Naval Research (ONR), and will be evaluated for advanced hydrodynamic performance, structural behavior, and propulsion systems efficiency of high-speed hull form technologies. The vessel measures approximately 73 meters in length and 22 meters in breadth.

"Research and development is a key factor in enhancing our high-power waterjets and this project gives us the opportunity to showcase our skills to the US Navy. Rolls-Royce is pleased to be a part of this ONR program," said Patrick J. Marolda, president of Rolls-Royce naval marine operations in North America.

U.S. Navy designers have used over 180 Rolls-Royce Kamewa waterjets on vessels such as the MK V class and the 11-meter Ridged Inflatable Boat (RIB), used extensively by the Special Operations Command (SOCOM).

More than 1,550 units in 20 different classes of naval vessels are installed worldwide. Three different Kamewa waterjet families, providing power from 40kW to 50MW, manufactured in aluminum and stainless steel are available for a variety of applications.
In addition, Rolls-Royce is also developing and testing the underwater discharge AWJ 21(TM) under a contract with ONR. This advanced waterjet development has promise for future naval vessels requiring reduced signatures and improved maneuverability.

Rolls-Royce operates in four global markets -- civil aerospace, defence aerospace, marine and energy. It is investing in technology and capability that can be exploited in each of these sectors to create a competitive range of products.

The success of these products is demonstrated by the company's rapid and substantial gains in market share over recent years. The company now has a total of 54,000 gas turbines in service worldwide. The investments in product, capability and infrastructure to gain this market position create high barriers to entry.

Rolls-Royce has a broad customer base comprising more than 500 airlines, 4,000 corporate and utility aircraft and helicopter operators, 160 armed forces and more than 2,000 marine customers, including 50 navies. The company has energy customers in nearly 120 countries. Rolls-Royce employs around 35,000 people, of which 21,000 are in the UK. Forty per cent of its employees are based outside the U.K. -- including 5,000 in the rest of Europe and 8,000 in North America.

The large installed base of engines generates demand for the provision of services. A key element of the company's strategy is to maximize services revenues, which have increased by 60 per cent over the past five years, by the provision of a comprehensive portfolio of services. Annual sales total nearly 6 billion pounds sterling, of which more than 50 per cent are services revenues. The order book is more than 19 billion pounds, which, together with demand for services, provides visibility as to future activity levels. For more information, see www.rolls-royce.com.

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