General Electric’s (GE) LM500 marine gas turbines have been installed to power the Republic of Korea’s (ROK) first patrol killer experimental (PKX)-B vessel.

The 220t Chamsuri II-class PKX-B patrol boat was constructed by South Korean shipbuilding company Hanjin Heavy Industries and delivered to the ROK last month.

GE’s LM500 turbines are based on the company’s own TF34 / CF34 turbofan aircraft engines.

“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.”

The marine gas engines have 90% commonality with the CF34 engines, which power the CRJ100 / 200 regional aircraft and have amassed more than 14 million hours of operation.

The simple-cycle LM500 engine has been rated at 4.6MW (ISO) and is a two-shaft gas turbine that comprises a gas generator, free power turbine and cold end drive capabilities.

GE Marine Operations vice-president Brien Bolsinger said: “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.

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“It was beneficial to work directly with key component manufacturers in a complete system design analysis of the PKX-B to optimise all components and performance, from the gas turbine inlet to the water jet.”

The new Korean surface combatant ship is capable of attaining speeds of more than 40k.

The ROK Navy intends to purchase 16 PKX-B vessels, which are each powered by two LM500 gas turbines and two diesels engines in a combined diesel and gas turbine (CODAG) configuration.

They will be deployed to support the larger, 500t PKX-A Gumdoksuri-class patrol boats in order to ensure maritime protection and defence in and along the Korean seaways.

PKX-A ships comprise part of an 18-ship programme and the first unit originally entered into service with the Korean Navy in 2008.

Both the PKX-A and PKX-B vessels are powered by GE’s LM500 marine gas turbines.