Penske debuts next generation diesels for submarines

Penske Power Systems conducted a world launch of its much anticipated MTU 12V4000U83 diesel submarine engine at Pacific 2017 last week.

As the submarine variant of MTU’s Series 4000 diesel, it could be considered for projects such as the upgrade of the current Collins class and inclusion within the Australian future submarine.

The 12V4000U83 boasts greater power (up to 1,500 kW) than its 16V396SE84 predecessor while being IMO Tier II compliant and compact.

Penske Power Systems also exhibited a Sauer series 5000 compressor which is custom designed for a range of naval applications including submarines, combat ships, frigates and destroyers.

National manager (Defence Programs Group) Roger Gleeson said the company was thrilled to debut the U83 variant after after eight years of development and thousands of hours of testing. 

“Due to reduced fuel consumption the U83 has an extended range with increased availability via a 22 year time before overhaul (TBO) interval, with ease of maintenance being a design feature.

“With more than 750 MTU submarine engines delivered to 20 navies over the past 50 years, this engine reinforces MTU’s focus and capability for conventional submarine propulsion system design and evolution for the life of the next generation of submarines to come.

The U83 engine was a likely inclusion in the TKMS bid for Sea 1000 but Penske and MTU will be hoping that Naval Group and Defence may consider it for the Shortfin Barracuda design. French indigenous diesel solutions such as the recently developed M.A.N. Series 175 are not tailored for submarine use. 

On Wednesday 5th October, ASC and Penske Power Systems announced their intention to enter into an agreement to put MTU engines through their paces at ASC’s engine test facilities in Adelaide as part of an ongoing research and development activity.

ASC Interim CEO Stuart Whiley, said having ASC commissioned to conduct independent testing of submarine diesels would ultimately benefit the nation’s sovereign submarine capability.

“As Australia’s leading sovereign capability on submarine platforms, associated equipment, systems and suppliers, it is important for ASC to establish and grow collaborative partnerships with other industry-leading organisations.” 

“By conducting independent tests on behalf of Penske, ASC engineers will have unique opportunity to strengthen their knowledge about diesel engines operating against submarine specific requirements, and draw on their knowledge about the challenges of the Australian context.”

Gleeson said the organisation worked closely with the defence sector to provide customised propulsion and power generation solutions, along with life of type logistic support for defence combatants.

“We are excited at this collaborative opportunity to bolster research and capability development by working with ASC to independently test our diesel engines.

“ASC has an enviable reputation for achieving better-than-benchmark performance in its core Collins Class submarine maintenance operations, and we appreciate the opportunity to access the unique expertise and experience of ASC’s highly-skilled workforce and testing facilities,” he said.

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