GE LM500 Engines Power the Republic of Korea Navy’s Newest Patrol Boat
EVENDALE, Ohio — GE announced in a Nov. 27 release that its LM500 marine gas turbines now power the Republic of Korea’s (ROK) first PKX-B patrol boat. The ROK Navy took delivery of this new surface combatant on Oct. 30.
The 220-ton PKX-B Chamsuri II-class ship was built by the Hanjin Heavy Industries Inc. shipyard and can attain speeds over 40 knots. The ROK Navy plans to acquire 16 PKX-B ships, which are powered by two LM500 gas turbines and two diesels engines in a combined diesel and gas turbine configuration.
The PKX-B will complement the larger, 500-ton PKX-A Gumdoksuri-class patrol boats to provide maritime protection and defense in and along the ROK’s seaways. Both the PKX-A and PKX-B ships are powered by GE’s LM500 marine gas turbines. The PKX-A Gumdoksuri class is an 18-ship program; the first patrol boat entered service in 2008.
“Thanks to our longstanding relationships in Korea, we were able to ensure an integrated PKX-B hull design featuring our compact LM500 marine gas turbines,” said Brien Bolsinger, GE’s vice president of Marine Operations, expressing GE’s commitment and dedication to the program’s success. “It was beneficial to work directly with key component manufacturers in a complete system design analysis of the PKX-B to optimize all components and performance, from the gas turbine inlet to the water jet.”
The PKX-B propulsion system includes improvements over its PKX-A predecessor. While both are powered by LM500 marine gas turbines, the starter is now electric and other changes were made to the packaging and integration to improve performance, reduce weight, simplify designs, save space and lower costs.
GE maintains an integrated approach from build to delivery of the propulsion system to the ROK Navy, ensuring end-customer satisfaction; this is accomplished through Hanwha Techwin, a GE marine system partner. To date, Hanwha Techwin has provided 36 LM500 gas turbine propulsion modules for the PKX program.
As in the PKX-A program, Hanwha Techwin will continue to locally manufacture selected LM500 parts as well as assemble, test and install the completed propulsion modules for each PKX-B ship. GE provides technical support and oversight of Hanwha Techwin’s LM500 master test cell operation, and supports the program during each phase of assembly, building, testing and installation.