GE & Hanwha Aerospace Sign MOU to bring Full Electric Propulsion to Republic of Korea’s KDDX Destroyer Program

28 February – GE’s Power Conversion business and Hanwha Aerospace signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) whereby the parties will work together to bring electric propulsion solutions to the Republic of Korea (ROK) Navy for its new, six-ship KDDX destroyer program.

Under the MOU, GE’s Power Conversion business offers its proven and low-risk naval electric drive propulsion solutions including Integrated Full Electric Propulsion (IFEP) or Hybrid Electric Drive (HED) as well as propulsion integration capabilities. As a ROK defense industry leader, Hanwha Aerospace is the ideal customer focal point to provide in-country manufacturing and product support for the life of the ship.

Power Conversion’s sister company, GE Aviation Marine, already has a long-standing working relationship with Hanwha Aerospace whereby Hanwha Aerospace co-manufactures gas turbine engine components, assembles the naval module package, and provides product support. This MOU creates Hanwha Aerospace as a single customer to support the ROK Navy with a proven integrated power and propulsion solution, backed by Power Conversion and GE Aviation Marine technology.

“GE and Hanwha Aerospace will work with the ROK Navy and its shipyards, Hyundai Heavy Industries and Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering, to support requests for proposals and program execution to bring proven electric drive technology to the ROK,” said Andy Cooper, U.K. Managing Director of GE’s Power Conversion business. “Hanwha Aerospace will locally manufacture, test and assemble the determined GE propulsion equipment and manage procurement of other equipment from ROK suppliers to GE requirements. GE and Hanwha Aerospace skills are complementary, and our goal is shared: to provide a proven low-risk electric drive solution to the ROK Navy.” Cooper added.  

“Hanwha Aerospace is pleased to team with GE’s Power Conversion business and GE Aviation Marine which have proven solution in IFEP system. Hanwha Aerospace, as a local manufacturer will contribute providing reliable equipment with integrated system to the ROK Navy. Hanwha Aerospace will achieve localization on the core equipment in IFEP system by cooperating with small & medium-sized enterprises in Korea and be responsible for lifetime support” said Hyunwoo Shin, CEO of Hanwha Aerospace.

The MOU signing was held at Power Conversion’s Rotating Machine Rugby (RMR) facility in the United Kingdom and marked the start of a four-day KDDX team meeting with Power Conversion, Hanwha and GE Aviation Marine. Highlights included a tour of the RMR factory to view the 20 MW advanced induction propulsion motor and the U.K. Royal Navy’s Type 26 frigate hybrid electric motors, as well as the Whetstone Marine Power Test Facility that showcases the U.K. Royal Navy’s Type 45 IFEP propulsion plant.

The Type 45-based IFEP is an attractive and flexible solution for the proposed 6,000- to 8,000-tonne KDDX destroyer that will satisfy the larger and ever-increasing power demands of weapons and radar systems. In fact, the ROK Navy’s KDDX IFEP system would be nearly identical to the electrical system GE designed for the 8,000-ton Type 45. This low risk solution uses GE’s fourth generation advanced induction motors, shock-proof drives and generator - coupled to a reliable GE LM2500 gas turbine - to provide a low-risk, fully compliant solution.


GE Experience

Together, GE’s Power Conversion business and GE Aviation Marine are world leaders, having provided naval power and propulsion systems for 37 navies onboard 715 ships. To date, GE has delivered or will supply the ROK Navy with 186 marine gas turbines for 107 ships. Whether IFEP or HED is selected, GE proposes proven naval equipment.

Other GE experience includes:

  • GE can leverage past IFEP program experience including the U.K. Type 45 destroyers, Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers, and the United States Navy’s DDG 1000 destroyer. 
  • GE’s IFEP solution for the ROK Navy offers a ship with superior operational flexibility and fuel economy, power for future growth and optimal survivability/redundancy by using two right-sized gas turbines.
  • For nearly 30 years, GE has supported the U.K. Royal Navy with HED technology; collaborations include the pioneering Type 23 class in the 1990s and now the HED system for the Type 26 Global Combat Ship.
  • Currently GE Aviation Marine and Hanwha Aerospace support of the ROK Navy includes marine gas turbines for the KDX destroyers (LM2500 engines) and the PKX fast patrol boats (LM500 engines).

GE’s power dense marine gas turbines offer best in-class reliability with low lifecycle costs.  GE’s lightweight composite module recently received full qualification from the U.S. Navy after completion of a series of tests including barge shock testing. Compared to its steel predecessor, the new gas turbine module offers a weight reduction of over 2,000 kg, elimination of corrosion, is 60% quieter, and has wall temperatures that are 25°F to 50°F degrees cooler.



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