Marine history

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

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

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

Kamewa commence manufacture of water turbines.

Brown Brothers, the Scottish marine engineering company is founded.

Stones produce the first Maganese Bronze Propeller.

Stones produce the first hydraulically operated watertight bulkhead door.

1900 - 1949

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

Stones Metallurigcal Laboratory established, investigating seawater corrosion.

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

Brown Brothers develops electro-hydraulic steering gear.

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

Kamewa obtain their first order for the Kaplan Turbine.

Stones introduce the hydro-pneumatic watertight door system.

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.

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

All electric watertight doors introduced.

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.

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

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

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

Kamewa build the first hydrodynamic test station for propellers.

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

First diesel engines delivered from Bergen.
Rauma Winches founded.

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

Stones introduce their first controllable pitch propeller.

1950 - 1999

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kamewa feathering hub and super cavitating propeller introduced.

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

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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

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

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

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

The first ro-ro vessel of NVC design delivered.

Kamewa Water Jets introduced.

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

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. 

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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.

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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