Rolls-Royce celebrates 50 years of Azimuth Thruster production

With interest to create better power for a changing world via aerospace and land and sea, Rolls-Royce this month celebrated 50 years since it delivered the first azimuth thruster.

Today, the product range is one of the Group’s most successful marine products, powering and positioning some of the world’s largest floating structures.

Azimuthing thrusters rotate through 360 degrees, providing propulsion and maneuverability without the need for a rudder.

At an event in Rauma, Finland, John Rishton, chief executive of Rolls-Royce, and Mikael Makinen, president of Marine, Rolls-Royce, joined employees to mark the occasion.

John Rishton said, “Today marks a hugely significant milestone for our marine business and particularly the team here in Rauma, our centre of excellence for large thruster production.

“Our customers operate in some of the most demanding conditions on the planet, and need not only high power, but consistently reliable power, and that’s exactly what these thrusters deliver.”

Mikael Makinen, added, “This is a proud day for our business. From its early inception as a steerable propeller, the Rolls-Royce azimuth thruster range has developed into a world-leading portfolio today, providing high power for drillships, semi-submersible rigs and other vessels including tugs, icebreakers and offshore support vessels.

“Renowned for robust engineering and high reliability, our large azimuth thrusters are built to last. Often operating for five years at a time without any major maintenance, their success can be attributed to the expertise of our design and production teams, and decades of operating experience.”

The ‘Pioneering Spirit’, the world’s largest construction vessel, will be powered by 12 Rolls-Royce azimuth thrusters, when it enters service on decommissioning duties in the North Sea, later this year. 

Rolls-Royce currently has customers in more than 120 countries around the world, including approximately 4,000 marine customers, and employs over 54,000 people in more than 50 countries around the world.

For more information, visit Rolls-Royce.

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