Russian Marine Gas Turbine Engines
Russian ship gas turbine engines (GTE) will be able to replace products that Ukraine refused to supply under anti-Russian sanctions. Analysts note that the production of gas turbine engines is an extremely promising area of the defense industry. According to experts, these engines can be installed on almost all types of warships. The fact that the fifth-generation offshore gas turbine is being developed in Russia for the needs of the Navy was announced by the director of NPO Saturn Viktor Polyakov. In the USSR, gas turbine engineering was developed in Ukraine, and with the collapse of the Soviet Union, these competencies remained there. After the events of 2014, Russian-Ukrainian cooperation in gas turbines first decreased, and then came to naught. As the afterburner engines on the first two frigates of Project 22350 - Admiral Gorshkov and Admiral Kasatonov - gas turbine units of the Ukrainian enterprise Zorya-Mashproekt were used.
In the West, the General Electric LM2500 marine gas turbine family is in common use on warships. The LM2500 is GE's most widely-applied gas turbine, used by 33 navies worldwide. Possible applications for the LM2500 include patrol boats, corvettes, frigates, destroyers, cruisers, cargo/auxiliary ships and aircraft carriers, with power ranging from 33,600 shaft horsepower (shp) (25.06 MW) to 47,370 shp (35.32 MW) in the latest LM2500+G4 version. The Rolls-Royce MT30 marine gas turbine, according to open sources, develops from 25 to 40 MW and is installed, for example, on new British aircraft carriers of the Queen Elizabeth type and destroyers of the Zumwalt type. The declared continuous power of the Rolls-Royce MT30 is about 36 MW. The MT30 is the world's most powerful offshore gas turbine in operation. It is suitable for ships for which high power in a minimum space is important. At the same time, according to the manufacturer, during the life cycle, it requires minimal maintenance.
These states manage to avoid the exhausting and expensive process of developing their own power plants, testing them, and setting up a pilot and serial production. At the same time, Russia, having clearly limited access to the world market, was deprived of this opportunity, and therefore had to practically single-handedly solve a whole range of technical problems that in the West would be distributed between different countries and companies. However, this is the potential strength of the domestic defense industry: it had the ability to ultimately gain complete independence from foreign suppliers, while Western states required to rely on international cooperation.
A gas turbine is a type of internal combustion engine. It has an upstream rotation compressor connected to the downstream turbine and the gap of the combustion chamber. The basic operation of a gas turbine is similar to that of a steam energy plant except that air is used instead of water. New atmospheric air flows through the compressor, which brings it to a higher pressure. Energy is then added by spraying fuel into the air and igniting it so combustion produces a high-temperature flow. This high-temperature high-pressure gas enters the turbine, where it expands down to the exhaust pressure, producing mine performancein the process. The turbine shaft operation is used to drive a compressor and other devices, such as an electric generator, that can be connected to the shaft.
Gas turbines offer a powerful engine in a very small and lightweight package. Gas turbines are used in many warships, where they are rated for their high power-to-weight ratio and the resulting acceleration of their ships and ability to power up quickly. A gas turbine was not supposed to replace the diesel engine as a propulsion plant for large ships. At constant operating speeds, the diesel engine simply had no peer in the vital area of fuel economy. The gas turbine did indeed have more success where sudden and rapid changes in speed are required by warships in action. A marine gas turbine operates in a corrosive atmosphere due to the presence of sea salt in air and fuel and the use of cheaper fuel.
The Russian Navy suffered the most when Ukraine stopped supplying gas turbines to the Russian fleet, and there were delays in commissioning the latest frigates. Some Russians claimed this was actually one of the goals of the United States - to stop the development of the Russian Navy. The answer was relatively quick. In April 2017, V.Putin in Rybinsk launched the production of ship gas turbine engines at NPO Saturn (GTA M-35R-1 with M-70FRU-2 engine for offshore programs). Usually V.Putin is involved in the launch of oil and gas facilities, and through video communications, so the Rybinsk launch was remembered.
With the commissioning in April 2017 of a new development of gas turbines in Rybinsk, it became possible to envision the serial construction of new frigates, as well as designing promising ships with gas turbine power. The E70/8RD - marine dual-fuel gas turbine engine for use as part of power plants of ships, drive electric generators and gas compressors as part of marine and coastal industrial facilities of small and medium power (from 8 MW and above).
United Engine Corporation (UEC, part of the Rostec State Corporation) commissioned Russia's first assembly and testing complex of gas turbine engines and assemblies (gas turbine engines and gas turbine engines) for marine programs based on the Rybinsk Scientific and Production Association "Saturn". As part of the visit to the enterprise, Russian President Vladimir Putin launched the tests of the M35R-1 GTA with the M70FRU-2 engine.
The development of the Russian offshore gas turbine construction base is being implemented as part of the import substitution program: having competencies in the development of marine engines and having prototypes in this line of promising products on this topic, UEC had not yet mass-produced power units for the Russian Navy.
One of the most important tasks in the implementation of the project, in addition to experimental design work, technological re-equipment and preparation of production, was the creation of a test base that allows all types of testing of ship assemblies with simulation of real operating conditions. The estimated construction cost of the assembly and testing complex is about 6.7 billion rubles.
The assembly and testing complex is based on two stands: the first - with a capacity of up to 15 MW, the second - up to 40 MW. Technological solutions inherent in the design of the facility allow testing of ship assemblies of more than 20 different configurations. At the same time, it is possible to test both the entire power plant and its components (for example, a diesel-gas turbine unit includes a diesel engine, a gas turbine engine, a ship gearbox, and local control systems). One of the features of the unique complex is the maximum automation of work processes, in particular, the system for collecting measurement information.
“Today, Rostec enterprises have all the competencies in the development of marine engines and have prototypes in this line of promising products. The opening of the complex will allow to establish mass production and maintenance of power plants for the Navy of the Russian Federation by 2018, ”said Sergey Chemezov, CEO of Rostec State Corporation 25 April 2017.
At the moment, a presentation test of the M35R-1 unit, intended for use as part of the world's largest hovercraft as a drive of a propeller, had started at a new facility. The unit includes an M70FRU-2 engine, a gearbox, transmissions connecting them, and a control system. A feature of M70FRU-2 is increased performance indicators (efficiency) and overhaul life compared to previously used analogues. Both the unit and the engine were developed by NPO Saturn.
“The implementation of the import substitution program, which to a greater or lesser extent affected all UEC product lines, is a serious task for our holding,” said Alexander Artyukhov, Director General of the United Engine-Building Corporation. “Carrying out a range of works on marine topics, we have mastered an important new competency in terms of conducting the entire range of tests of ship engines and units based on them, which will meet the needs of the Russian Navy in ship power plants."
As part of the creation of the Russian base for offshore gas turbine construction, experimental design work was being carried out that will enable the switch in 2018 to mass production of engines M70FRU, M70FRU-2, M70FRU-R ("reverse"), M90FR, M35R and M70 units, as well as units for basis of promising products with modernized gear systems and control systems.
“We have made a major breakthrough in creating a fully import-independent Russian production of ship gas turbine power plants and we understand the importance and responsibility of our work in solving state problems,” said Viktor Polyakov , deputy director general and managing director of NPO Saturn PJSC . “The enterprise’s team today is mastering the most advanced technologies for use in creating marine gas turbine engines, and is also working to form a scientific and technical reserve for the development of promising ship engines and assemblies.”
Together with NPO Saturn, marine programs are part of the UEC of the Scientific and Production Center for Gas Turbine-Building Salyut JSC, UEC-STAR JSC, as well as a number of other enterprises and industry institutes - FSUE TsIAM, Fiolent Plant JSC , JSC "UNPP" Lightning "and others.
PJSC "UEC-Saturn" presented four exhibits during the ninth International Naval Salon (IMDS-2019), held in St. Petersburg, July 11, 2019. As the correspondent of Sudostroenie.info reports, a mock-up of a gas turbine electric generator with a capacity of 8 MW, as well as mock-ups of two gas turbine engines of the marine design M70FRU with a capacity of 8 MW and M90FR with a capacity of 20 MW, are placed on the company's stand. In addition, Rybinsk engine manufacturers present a model of the assembly and testing complex of marine gas turbine engines and gas turbines named after F. Ushakov, commissioned in December 2017. The UEC-Saturn noted that the M70FRU and M90FR engines are the base gas turbine engines of the fourth generation of domestic ship power.
UEC-Saturn produced gas turbines for the 22350 frigates under construction at the Northern Shipyard. According to the press service of the UEC-Saturn, in May 2018, the Russian Navy would receive the first mass-produced domestic gas turbine engines in 2019. According to the press service of the military department, Deputy Defense Minister Alexei Krivoruchko said this during a visit to the shipyard on 12 February 2019. According to him, the first domestic gas turbines for frigates of this project were built in Rybinsk as part of the import substitution program. The frigates “Admiral Golovko” and “Admiral Isakov” under construction provide for the use of M90FR gas turbine engines manufactured by “ODK - Saturn”. Diesel engines 10D49 of the Kolomna Plant are installed as marching ships.
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