Power to Queen Elizabeth - mighty engines are installed on future carrier

The first of two giant – and powerful – gas turbine engines has been moved on to HMS Queen Elizabeth as work on the future carrier passes another major milestone. The 120-tonne Rolls-Royce MT30 is the most powerful gas turbine ever fitted on a ship; each one generated 36 Megawatts – enough power for a town the size of Burnley or Guildford.

This is the most powerful gas turbine ever installed on a ship – being craned aboard the biggest warship Britain has ever built.

Covered in white shrink-wrap to protect it from the elements in Rosyth, this is the 120 tonne Rolls-Royce MT30 about to be fitted to HMS Queen Elizabeth, the first of the Royal Navy’s two future carriers.

Two of these mammoth engines are being installed in the machinery compartments of the 284m (932ft) leviathans, providing the power not only for the two propellers, but also weapons, sensors and command systems, as well as the lower voltage requirements of the ship’s company such as lighting, power sockets and the like.

To have successfully lifted the most powerful engine in the Royal Navy on to the biggest ship ever built for the Royal Navy using the biggest capacity gantry crane in Europe is a major milestone.

Tony Graham, head of capital ships

Each MT30 generates 36 Megawatts of power.

Individually, the engines could provide enough power for a town the size of Burnley or Guildford.

Together, they can generate enough power to meet the needs of a town like Blackpool.

And combined with the four diesel generators, the 109 Megawatts produced could power Portsmouth or Swindon.

It took Goliath – the giant crane towering over the Babcock yard at Rosyth – to lift the MT30 turbine from the dockside on to Queen Elizabeth.

Watching proceedings was a very proud Tony Graham, head of capital ships at the MOD who said the sight of the engine being carefully moved on to QE “brought the biggest grin to my face since Christmas Day."

He continued:

“To have successfully lifted the most powerful engine in the Royal Navy on to the biggest ship ever built for the Royal Navy using the biggest capacity gantry crane in Europe is a major milestone.

“Everyone involved should take huge pride in their contribution to this national endeavour.”

The installation of the engines comes amid a flurry of activity on HMS Queen Elizabeth; in the coming weeks the final pieces of her hull will be slotted into place and the first of her two islands, which leaves Portsmouth by barge in early February, will be lowered into place – giving her the unmistakeable look of an aircraft carrier.