GE Marine announced that its 4.6 MW LM500 marine gas turbines will power ships 13 through 16 of the Republic of Korea Navy’s PKX-B patrol boat program. The 4.6 MW (ISO) 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 and Challenger 600 series jets, with more than 14 million hours of flight operation. The 220-ton PKX-B Chamsuri II class ships will be built by the Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction shipyard, and the GE LM500 gas turbine modules will be manufactured, assembled and tested in-country by Hanwha Aerospace. GE and Hanwha Aerospace also have the opportunity to provide LM500 gas turbines for the ROK Navy’s PKX-B Batch II, which will commence in the fourth quarter of 2020.
The Chamsuri II-class (PKX-B) is 300-ton, high-speed patrol ships armed with 130mm guided rockets, a 76mm naval gun, K-6 remotely controlled weapon system (RCWS) design by Hanjin Heavy Industries & Construction (HHIC). It is fitted with decoy launchers. The system was specifically design to counter swarming attacks of DPRK Navy (North Korea) fast attack crafts and hovercrafts. The launcher has 12 canisters each containing a single 130mm guided rocket. The rocket has a range of over 20 Km and minimum range of 3 Km. The rocket weighs over 80 Kg (including the 8Kg warhead). The mid course guidance of the rocket is GPS + INS + data uplink and the terminal guidance is IIR homing. The system fitted aboard the PKX-B can engage over 3 targets simultaneously according to LIG Nex1.
GE Marine maintains an in-country approach from build to delivery to lifetime maintenance support of the GE gas turbines in the ROK Navy fleet. This approach is accomplished through Hanwha Aerospace, a long time GE marine system partner. To date, Hanwha Aerospace has provided LM500 gas turbine packages for the PKX patrol boats as well as GE LM2500 series gas turbine packages, with the most recent program being for the ROK Navy’s KDX destroyers. GE provides technical support and oversight of Hanwha Aerospace’s LM500 master test cell operation, and supports the program during each phase of assembly, building, testing and installation. The simple cycle LM500 is a two-shaft gas turbine consisting of a gas generator, a free power turbine and cold end drive capabilities.