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Parker altair NEPTUNE Filtration Units for Italian and US Navy Vessels

FREMM and CONSTELLATION-classes to Benefit

Although attention is all too often focused on the platforms procured by defence forces – the ‘follow the money’ principle – it is always worth reflecting on the technological and business innovations that help protect them, make them more efficient and/or more reliable. When building frigates for close combat, for example, the selection of the filtration system for the engine turbines may not seem the most vital aspect, but is essential for reliable operation and to enable the ship to respond swiftly to operational demands.

FREMM-class frigates and FFG62 CONSTELLATION-class frigates for the Italian and US navies respectively, powered by aero-derived gas turbines configured for marine applications, will be protected by Parker altair NEPTUNE filtration systems, the company announced on 8 December.

The systems are designed to ensure a clean, reliable supply of air to the gas turbine inlet. Downstream Salt concentration is 0.0025ppm v NGTE 30kt aerosol, equivalent to 99.93% salt removal efficiency, vital for offshore operations. They are also ultra-compact and light, making them ideal for use on such vessels. Critically, the system comprises a three-stage solution, including marine vane separators and coalescer/filters, which provides the high efficiency and performance required for use in military vessels.

As part of a long-term contract, Parker has supported the multi-FREMM development programme and has already delivered 10 FREMM ship-sets for the Italian Navy. This engagement has been extended with an order for an additional two, for delivery in 2022. The recent order for the FFG62 frigates for the US Navy was received last year and, ultimately, will extend to 10 ship-sets over the next six years, with the first planned for delivery next year.

The FFG62 is part of the US Navy Small Surface Combatant (SSC) programme and has a wider and more elongated hull relative to the parent design of the FREMM. The procurement of these vessels supports the Navy’s force-level goal of a 52 SSC force within the current 355 total ship plan.

The delivery of GT spec compliant air to the propulsion systems is vital to providing the speed and manoeuvrability required for frigate missions. A well-designed air intake system not only delivers clean air, but also facilitates maintenance activities such as filter cleaning or changeout and drainage inspections. Anti-ice systems and automatic by-pass doors are also part of the scope. The NEPTUNE filter system is suitable for gas turbines and, on the FFG62 vessels, also the diesel generators. By using these state-of-the-art filters, both navies will be assured of reliable operation by protecting the efficiency of the turbines.

These systems are well proven and their light, compact form means they are ideal for a wide range of vessels. Their advanced design ensures reliable, robust operation and fewer filter changeouts, making them ideal for use in a marine environment,” explained Gerald Woodward, Division Sales & Marketing Manager.

Turbine internals are easily damaged by the corrosive nature of salt. The first stage of the NEPTUNE system removes bulk water from rain, sea spray and aerosols. In the second stage, a coalescer removes dust and solid contaminants as well as fine aerosols by coalescing them into larger droplets. The third stage uses a vane separator to remove concentrated saline solutions that have passed through the first stages.

The NEPTUNE system is proven to provide exceptional salt removal. Its use in these naval applications reflects the confidence shipbuilders and turbine OEMs have in its design and operation,” Woodward concluded.

 

Fincantieri Marinette Marine’s design for the FFG62-class frigate. (Image via Parker)

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Publish date

12/08/2021

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