GE announced 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 October 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 (CODAG) 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.
Brien Bolsinger, GE’s Vice President of Marine Operations expressed GE’s commitment and dedication to the program’s success: “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. 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:
--Lightweight design: 45% reduction in space and weight
--More power: 7% power increase
--Improved serviceability: Improved accessibility to service key components, thanks to in-country team collaboration
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. The GE-Hanwha partnership keeps GE engaged with key stakeholders while enabling timely customer and product support.
The LM500 is derived from GE’s TF34/CF34 turbofan aircraft engines, and has 90% commonality with the CF34 engine that powers the popular CRJ100/200 regional jet with more than 14 million hours of operation. The simple cycle LM500 is a two-shaft gas turbine, rated at 4.6 MW (ISO), consisting of a gas generator, a free power turbine and cold end drive capabilities.
GE’s marine gas turbine business is part of GE Aviation and is headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio. GE is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of marine propulsion products, systems and solutions including aeroderivative gas turbines ranging from 6,000 to 70,275 shaft horsepower/4.5 to 52 megawatts. These gas turbines reliably operate the world over in some of the most arduous conditions in temperatures ranging from -40 to 120 degrees F/-40 to 48 degrees C.