16V170C2ME Diesel Generator of Isotta Fraschini Motori validated 1000 hours Endurance Test

Isotta Fraschini Motori (IFM) is a subsidiary of Fincantieri and is based in Bari, Italy. It is an Italian company specialised in the designing and manufacturing of engines for the military vessels. Recently, the company reached a key achievement by celebrating the "1000-Hour Certification" of its 16V170C2ME Diesel Generator system destined for the Multipurpose Offshore Patrol Vessels (PPA) of the Italian Navy.

16V170C2ME Diesel Generator of Isotta Fraschini Motori validated 1000 hours Endurance Test The 16V170C2ME Diesel Generator designed by Isotta Fraschini Motori, on display in their facilities in Bari, Italy (Picture Source: Navy Recognition)

On June 11, Isotta Fraschini Motori (IFM) reunited its personnel and officials, including the IFM President Sergio Razeto, along with Fincantieri General Manager Alberto Maestrini and other Fincantieri officials, a delegation of the Marina Militare Italiana (the Italian Navy) led by the Commander in Chief Naval Fleet, Lieutenant-Admiral Donato Marzano, and the Director of the Central Unit for Naval Armament (NAVARM), Chief Inspector Admiral Matteo Bisceglia. Various Italian journalists and the editorial team of Army Recognition were also attending the event.

There, in its facilities in Bari, Italy, the subsidiary of Fincantieri Group revealed a key achievement of the company, by officially announcing that their latest Diesel Generator, the 16V170C2ME, destined for the Multipurpose Offshore Patrol Vessels (Pattugliatori Polivalenti d'Altura, or PPA) of the Italian Navy, had completed a 1000-Hour Certified Validation Test. This was one of the various strict criteria of the engine that had been required by the Navy for their PPA.

This day marked a major milestone in their Diesel Generator Systems (DGS) validation process, which includes a total of 3.700 system operating hours. The generator has been developed in collaboration with Fincantieri, the Marina Militare Italiana (Italian Navy), the NAVARM, and the OCCAR. Those 3.700 hours included 1.400 hours devoted to the prototype version of the engine, 1.200 hours for Genset Validation with the SCR, and then over 1.000 hours devoted to the final phase prior to being Certified Validated and "Fully Compliant" Endurance Test. Among 100.000 hours of work have been dedicated to this project, including 40.000 hours of engineering work and 60.000 hours of manpower work.

The 16V170C2ME2 PPA diesel generator has a power of 1670 kWm at 1200 rpm, along with a mean effective pressure (MEP) of 24,8 bar and basic fuel consumption (BFC) of 199 g/kWh. It is a 16V cylinder and has a 90° "Vee". The gas emissions of the motor conform to IMO TIER II without SCR. The rated power of the generator that is available without any derating can go up to 55° C (ambient temperature) or up to 36° C (sea water temperature) and relative humidity of 100%. The bore/stroke is of 170 x 185 mm and the generator has a total displacement of 67l, while its idle speed of 900 rpm.

This generator also has other key parameters, including cooling circuits with engine-driven centrifugal pumps, a fuel system completed with BOSCH High-Pressure pump with feeding pump, a duplex fuel filter and a cartridge replaceable whilst running, a state-of-the-art fire system, air conditioning, and light directly oriented on the engines so that people can perform maintenance works on it even if it is dark. In addition to that, the engine, as all the engines built by IFM, is shock-proof tested for the Italian Navy.

The Italian Navy is really pleased about this milestone reached by Isotta Fraschini. During an interview with the Director of the Naval Armament of the Italian Navy (NAVARM), Vice Admiral Matteo Bisceglia, he told Army Recognition that: "Isotta Fraschini is the only company that, in Italy, works on Diesel Generators. So, for us, it's fundamental because otherwise, we should buy from abroad. Therefore, we worked a lot for years in order to put in place excellence in Italy." Then, he added: "Now, we have a Diesel Generator that is qualified in the same procedure that MAN or MTO have." He also told us that the Italian Navy was proud of the work done by Isotta and that with such engines, the Italian company could enhance its competitivity abroad and seek new opportunities of exporting its products.

Isotta Fraschini Motori (IFM) is a subsidiary of Fincantieri and is based in Bari, Italy. The company was founded in 1905 as an automobile factory and was then called Isotta Fraschini Milano. In 1995, the company took the name of Isotta Fraschini Motori SpA and became part of the Fincantieri Group. IFM is specialised in the design and manufacturing of diesel engines, and as part of its activities, the company designs diesel engines destined to the ships, and especially to the military vessels.

The Italian company employs more than 130 workers, along with up to 70 temporary workers in its production team, and 13 engineers and superior technicians. Those engineers are currently working on three various projects (new engines) at the same time, emphasizing on the importance of the R&D for the company, always seeking to stay at the state-of-the-art and keep in touch with the new technologies.

IFM is constantly developing and transforming its products in order to remain competitive, in Italy, but also abroad. Thanks to the support and investments of Fincantieri, of which it is a subsidiary, IFM is able to modernise its installations and to invest more and more in the R&D. The small company, thanks to the support of the whole group, always looks forward and tries to anticipate the future. Therefore, among its products, some of them have become unequalled in the world, such as the low magnetic signature propulsion system.

Thanks to that, IFM became more and more appreciated for its work among the Italian Navy, notably equipping the FREMM or the ORIZZONTE-class with their engines. This confidence has been renewed with the successful development of this new 16V170C2ME Diesel Generator for the PPA. But the Italian Navy is not the only client that gives its trust to IFM. Other countries have chosen the Italian company for their competences and experience. The U.S. Navy, for example, is integrating IFM engines in some of its minehunters, the Littoral Combat Ships (LCS) and some U.S. Coast Guard vessels. Sweden has also opted for IFM for its new stealth vessels, and minehunters of Australia, Algeria or even Korea are also equipped with such engines.

Last but not least, IFM announced that work is in progress toward a challenging project aiming to lead the future. This project includes three main steps: going back to the basis, consolidating existing products and customer base through customer satisfaction, and finalising the industrial engine (power-gen) programme with the existing engine base.