Corvettes Advertise MTU SA's Capabilities
SA Shipping News
It has been an exhilarating experience working on the project and they are positive about the impact it has had on their work lives the past 18 months, particularly the technological transfer training programme from which they have benefited. It has also further strengthened MTU South Africa's relationship with the Navy with whom they have been working closely for more than 20 years.
MTU South Africa's Cape Town branch has assembled six of the eight 16V 1163 TB 93 MTU diesel propulsion engines required and 12 gensets. The first two engines and four gensets for the SAS Amatola were assembled in Europe in order to establish and test a system of logistics. All the parts and components for the locally assembled engines were sent to MTU SA in crates.
Each ship has two 16V 1163 diesel main engines which produce 5920 kW at 1300 rpm and a single LM 2500 gas turbine producing 20 000kW. On-board power will be provided by four 12V 183 TE 52 generator sets based on the MTU 183 engine, each producing 550kW (60Hz) at 1800 rpm.
The generator sets were also assembled locally and tested at MTU South Africa and sent directly to the shipyards which are building the corvettes. The engine came complete but the alternator and all electronic panels and the enclosed sound capsule (to minimise the noise level) came broken down, ready for assembly. Each complete sound capsule is 4,3 m long x 1,8m wide x 1,8 m high and weighs in at 8,9 tons.
The work carried out at MTU South Africa required personnel to be trained at MTU Friedrichshafen in Germany in assembly of main engines and generator sets. Further training and after sales service is ongoing.
According to Alexander Michl, Manager for Defence and Logistics, the engines were the biggest ever assembled locally and when they were sent back to the factory in Germany for final acceptance tests, they passed without any rework having to be done. Furthermore each engine was assembled in a much shorter period of time than anticipated.
The last shipment was in June 2002.
MTU SA has been providing a maintenance and support service to the SA Navy for at least 20 years and hopes that once the corvettes have been commissioned they will be incorporated in to the existing service and maintenance contract.
"We have taken maximum benefit out of the project. South Africa will be an example for the African region, the SA Navy will be one of our best advertisers, and the corvette a great marketing tool for MTU worldwide. Already the Angolan and Nigerian navies have shown an interest - we look forward to doing business with the other African countries," concludes Michl.
With acknowledgement to the Shipping News.