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Marine history

Rolls-Royce can trace its roots in the marine industry back as far as 1831 - a time span which includes the development of many ground breaking technologies, from the development of the controllable pitch propeller, tunnel thruster and nuclear propulsion for Royal Navy submarines - to marine aero-derivative gas turbines, waterjets and innovative offshore vessel designs.

1831 - 1899
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1831

J. Stone founded, making copper nails, rivets and fasteners for London shipyards.

1849

One of Sweden’s first railways requires a repair workshop; this workshop Kristinehamns Mekaniska Verkstad was the forerunner of Kamewa, the presentRolls-Royce AB.

1870

Kamewa commence manufacture of water turbines.

1871

Brown Brothers, the Scottish marine engineering company is founded.

1884

Stones produce the first Maganese Bronze Propeller.

1889

Stones produce the first hydraulically operated watertight bulkhead door.

1900 - 1949
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1905

Michell patents the tilting pad thrust bearing. Kamewa build the first hydrodynamic test station for water turbines.

1913 

Stones Metallurigcal Laboratory established, investigating seawater corrosion.

1914-18 

Stones propellers fitted to 404 of the 665 Royal Navy ships used in the war.

1916 

Brown Brothers develops electro-hydraulic steering gear.

1917  

Martin Ulstein sets up Ulstein Mekaniske in Ulsteinvik, Norway - the start of what was to become the Ulstein Group.

1921  

Kamewa obtain their first order for the Kaplan Turbine.

1924  

Stones introduce the hydro-pneumatic watertight door system.

1926

Kamewa makes an epoch-making breakthrough manufacturing Kaplan turbines (with adjustable blades) for the Lilla Edet power station. The turbines were five times larger in diameter than previous Kaplan turbines.

1935

Liaaen (later acquired by Ulstein) develops the first controllable pitch propeller. 
The Heliston propeller range is introduced with cavitation-reducing blade shapes. Ships include AquitaniaMauretaniaQueen Mary and Queen Elizabeth
Brown Brothers designs and installs the first successful active athwartship fin stabiliser.

1936

All electric watertight doors introduced.

1937  

Inspired by the Kaplan concept Kamewa tests its first hydraulically adjustable controllable pitch propeller. The first controllable pitch propeller of the Kamewa principle is delivered.

Hydraulik, forerunner of Brattvaag, is granted a patent on the first hydraulic winch for engine-powered vessels.

1938

Marinised version of the Rolls-Royce Merlin engine fitted in Royal Navy prototype Motor Torpedo Boats.

1939-45

2,200 propellers produced by Stones for various naval vessels.

1940

Kamewa Controllable Pitch Propellers enter naval service on 20 Swedish minesweepers.

1941

Kamewa build the first hydrodynamic test station for propellers.

1945

Production of anchoring and mooring systems started at Rauma in Finland and Brattvaag in Norway.

1946

First diesel engines delivered from Bergen. 
Rauma Winches founded.

1948

The liner M/S Los Angeles becomes the first commercial application of Kamewa Controllable Pitch Propeller technology - power is 7,000 hp per shaft.

1949

Stones introduce their first controllable pitch propeller.

1950 - 1999
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1950

Stones manufacture under licence the jointly designed Stone-Kamewa Controllable Pitch Propeller. Pitch and engine speed now controlled hydraulically.

1951

Stones build a marine laboratory to research propeller designs and applications.

1953 

Rolls-Royce RM60 gas turbine at sea powering HMS Grey Goose.

1958

First Rolls-Royce Proteus powered fast patrol boat HMS Brave Borderer enters service. 
Kamewa produce the first Tunnel Thruster.

1959

Rolls-Royce manages the purchase of the UKs first submarine reactor from the US. 
Stones Tunnel Thrusters introduced.

I960 

First tunnel thruster fitted to train ferry M/S Princesse Benedikte.

1962

Kamewa feathering hub and super cavitating propeller introduced.

1965

Rolls-Royce begins operation of the Dounreay Submarine Prototype (DSMP) and PWR1 core A goes critical. 
Aquamaster deliver their first Azimuth Thruster.

1966 

HMS Valiant, powered by the Rolls-Royce PWR1 reactor enters service. 
First run of the new Olympus TM1A marine gas turbine at Ansty. 
First Aquamaster Azimuth thruster delivered.

1967

Queen Elizabeth II launched. Stones supply 4 x 6-bladed, 29 tonne, 19ft diameter propellers, 500 ship windows, 54 watertight doors, and two Stone-Kamewa bow thrusters.

1968

HMS Exmouth, the free world’s first all gas turbine warship at sea powered by Rolls-Royce Olympus and Proteus gas turbines. 
The world’s largest hovercraft, the Proteus-powered SRN4 enters cross channel service.

1970 

Tyne and Olympus gas turbines (24 ship sets) ordered for future Royal Navy ships. 
Bird-Johnson controllable pitch propellers selected by US Navy.

1971

The new Marine Laboratory at Kamewa is completed 
First Kamewa waterjet installed in Swedish landing craft. 
First Ansty production Tyne marine gas turbine delivered to Royal Navy.

1972

Ansty commences long-term development work on Olympus and Tyne gas turbines.

1975

UT 704 Stad Scotsman, the first UT designed vessel delivered.

1974 

Allison 501K gas turbine enters US Navy service for shipboard generation.

1978

The first Kamewa Rotatable Thruster (Azimuth Thruster) is delivered.

1979 

The first ro-ro vessel of NVC design delivered.

1980

Kamewa Water Jets introduced.

1981

Ulstein Propeller introduces the swing-up azimuth thruster concept. 
Stone Vickers formed by Vickers plc's acquisition of Stones CPP facilities.

1985

Spey gas turbine enters service with the Royal Navy and Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force. 
At 300 tonnes, the world's largest (at that time) anchor-handling & towing (AHT) winches delivered to A.P Möller. 

1986

Design and Build of the Royal Navy’s Shore Test Facility (Vulcan) for PWR2 completed to programme and budget. 
Kamewa AB joins Vickers plc.

1988

Aquamaster-Rauma Ltd. founded through a merger of Hollming Ltd. Engineering Works and the Deck Machinery Works of Rauma-Repola Oy.

1993

Kamewa waterjets selected for Singapore Navy patrol vessels. 
The world's largest (at that time) Aquamaster units of 7.5MW delivered.

1994 

HMS Vanguard  powered by Rolls-Royce PWR2 reactor enters service.

1995

Aquamaster-Rauma joins Vickers and the Kamewa Group is formed.

1997

RFA Fort Victoria and Fort George  enter service each equipped with four Rolls-Royce electric dual-purpose replenishment-at-sea (RAS) rigs. 
Five ferries powered by Bergen gas engines commence operation in Norway.

1999 

Vickers plc acquires the Ulstein Group. Ulstein, established in 1917, manufactures a variety of marine products including propellers, azimuth units, tunnel thrusters, rudders, steering gear, deck machinery, engines and automation systems.

Rolls-Royce acquires Vickers plc to form new commercial marine division.

2000 - 2014
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2001

The intercooled and recuperated WR-21 gas turbine selected to power UKs Type 45 Destroyer, plus a package comprising Kamewa Adjustable Bolted Propellers and Brown Brothers steering gear and stabilisers.

2002

Bird-Johnson fixed pitch propellers selected for French Navy’s nuclear carrier,Charles de Gaulle and US Navy carrier Ronald Reagan.

2003

MT30 and RR4500 gas turbines selected to power US Navy’s DD(X) engineering demonstrator. 
VT Controls acquired by Rolls-Royce.

2004

MT30 gas turbines and Kamewa 125Sll waterjets selected to power USS Freedom - LCS1. 
Queen Mary 2 enters service propelled four Mermaid® pods, plus a package of stabilisers and mooring winches.

2005

Order placed for 500th UT Design vessel by Island Offshore - a UT 787 CD. 
World’s largest waterjets - 2.35m dia - complete sea trials on the Techno-superliner.

2006

Safer Deck Operations and Bergen B32:40 CD diesels enter service on UT 712 L Olympic Octopus
New Shanghai marine manufacturing centre opens. 
PROMAS integrated propeller/rudder launched.

2007

MT30 gas turbines selected to power US Navy’s DDG1000, Zumwalt class destroyers and the Royal Navy’s Queen Elizabeth class carriers. 
Kamewa XF5 high efficiency CPP hub introduced.

2008

UT 787 CD Island Wellserver commences well intervention services. 
Scandinavian Electric Holdings acquired. 
World’s first LNG powered cargo vessel ordered with Rolls-Royce propulsion system.

2009

Rolls-Royce powered Type 45 destroyer HMS Daring, commissioned. 
UT 761 CD Far Samson commences operations with a world record bollard pull of 423 tonnes. 
Rolls-Royce Marine HQ moves to Singapore.

2010

Bergen C26:33 gas engine commences development running. 
ODIM ASA, specialists in automated handling solutions acquired. 
HMS Astute, powered by PWR2 with long-life core commissioned

2011

Acquisition of MTU diesel and power systems provider Tognum by Rolls-Royce and Daimler commenced. 
First Environships ordered, NVC 405 cargo carriers for short sea operations powered by Bergen gas engines.

2012

World’s first gas tugs, powered by Bergen C gas engines driving azimuth thrusters ordered. 
MT7 gas turbine selected to power US Navy’s ship-to-shore connector.

2013

The world’s first LNG powered cruise ferry MS Stavangerfjord enters service, equipped with four Bergen engines. 
Our MT30 gas turbine and MTU diesel gensets selected for the UK’s new Type 26 frigate programme. 
SmartMotor AS, a company leading the development of permanent magnet technology, acquired. 
The first Rolls-Royce Environship, Eidsvaag Pioner enters service in Norway.