Rolls-Royce facility in Walpole will work on water jets for the US Navy
Rolls-Royce, a name associated with luxury automobiles, said it will develop a highly efficient water jet to propel unmanned surface craft for the US Navy, with much of the work to be done at its facility in Walpole.
The company sold its automotive brand name to BMW in the 1970s and is now primarily a maker of jet engines and marine propulsion systems and often works on defense contracts. Some of its jet engines are made in the UK, others in Indianapolis.
Walpole is the North American headquarters for the Rolls-Royce naval business. The company has about 140 employees at this location.
Rolls-Royce said it will develop the water jet part of a small propulsion system project, which is led by Indiana-based Candent Technologies Inc.
The new water jet will be the smallest Rolls-Royce design to date, with a diameter of four inches; the jet will quietly propel the craft through the water on remotely controlled missions that include intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance, Rolls-Royce said.
The water jets will be designed to move the craft at speeds in excess of 25 knots as well as sustaining a cruise speed of 15 knots.
In its press release, Rolls-Royce noted that it manufactures a wide range of water jets that power everything from small patrol boats and naval ships and to large high-speed ferries. According to the company, water jets provide high levels of maneuverability and efficiency and they are particularly suited to vessels operating in shallow waters.Chris Reidy can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.