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Fast Patrol Boat (PKX) Gumdoksuri
Guided Missile Patrol Killer (PKG)

The Republic of Korea Navy has developed a new Fast Patrol Boats program (PKX), most of which will be deployed near the inter-Korean maritime border. The new vessels, armed with sophisticated ship-to-ship guided missiles and an integrated surface-to-air/fire-control system, will replace the 150-ton Chamsuri models. The newly ordered vessels displace 440 tons, and are 63 meters long and 9 meters wide. They have a maximum speed of 74 kilometers per hour with a crew of 40, and are also loaded with 76-mm and 40-mm guns and cutting-edge radar systems.

Initially, it was reported that the Navy planned to procure a total of some 40 vessels by 2010. As of 2005 South Korea planned to have 32 PKM-X-project new-construction guided-missile patrol boats in service by the end of the decade. Little other information had been announced on in-service dates for this class, which was being built by Kangnam shipyard in Pusan. Subsequently, it was reported that the PKX project planned to commission 20 PKG (Patrol Killer, Guided Missile) class high-speed vessels by 2015.

The Gumdoksuri class high-speed vessel, also known as the PKX (Patrol Killer experimental) class, are the Navy's newest patrol vessels to replace the aging Chamsuri class patrol ships. The Navy began development of the PKX class in 2003 after a Chamsuri class was sunk during a deadly skirmish with invading North Korean patrol boats on June 29, 2002, in the Yellow Sea. They will be deployed to the Northern Limit Line (NLL), which has served as the de facto maritime border between the two Koreas. The new PKX boats will defend national interests in the ocean, as well as boost the economy and foster defense industries in Korea.

On June 30, 2005 GE Transportation announced it will supply Samsung Techwin, the Republic of Korea (ROK), with several GE LM500 aeroderivative marine gas turbine kits. Once assembled and tested by Samsung Techwin, the LM500 marine gas turbines will be used to power the ROK Navy's next generation PK(X) patrol boats. "We are delighted that the LM500 gas turbine will be part of the propulsion system for these next-generation vessels," said Karl Matson, general manager of GE Transportation's marine business, Evendale, Ohio. Noted Matson, "We are also excited that we have expanded our long-standing relationship with Samsung Techwin for this project, whereby Samsung Techwin will locally manufacture selected parts of the LM500 and assemble and test the completed engines at their factory in Changwon, Korea." Each of the PK(X) patrol boats will use two LM500 gas turbines, rated at approximately 5,600 shaft horsepower, in a COmbined Diesel And Gas turbine (CODAG) arrangement, with two MTU diesel engines. The LM500 is derived from GE's TF34 turbofan aircraft engine, and has 90% commonality with the CF34 engine that powers the popular CRJ100/200 regional jet with more than 14 million hours of operation.

By 2007 DAVIS had completed the design and manufacture of the complete exhaust systems for the LM500 gas turbine propulsion engines on the ROKN PKX patrol vessel. Each exhaust system incorporates a sea water injection (SWI) system which cools both the exhaust duct metal and plume, providing effective IR signature reduction. The exhaust systems exit the ship through the hull and were designed to ensure that the backflow of sea water into the duct from rough seas does not adversely affect engine performance.

On 28 June 2007, the Yoon Young-ha (PKG 711), the lead ship of her class, was launched at the shipyard of Hanjin Heavy Industries in Busan. The first of the group, named after late Navy lieutenant commander Yoon Young-ha, was commissioned on 17 December 2008 at Jinhae naval base, some 450 kilometers south of Seoul. The Navy commissioned the first of its next-generation high-speed patrol boats after 19 months of sea trials. Six South Korean soldiers, including Lt. Cdr. Yoon, were killed and 18 others wounded in a naval clash with North Korea in 2002 in the Yellow Sea. More than 30 North Korean soldiers were killed or wounded. After the incident, the South Korean Navy has come up with plans to improve maritime combat systems under the PKX project, which aims to replace old patrol boats.

DAPA awarded STX Shipbuilding a contract in 2007 to build the following four PKG ships. As of mid-2007 these four boats were under construction by the shipbuilder STX.

In December 2008 Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction won a bid to build four new high-speed patrol boats for the Navy to replace its aging models. Hanjin nudged out two other competitors in the contract for the patrol boats, equipped with guided missiles, under the PKX program. Hanjin will build this next group of four, with the new patrol boats are expected to be launched in 2011.

DAPA and ADD started developing in 2003 with an independent technology combat system to be loaded on PKG, which is a substitute fighting power of the high-speed boat in operation in the Navy, and successfully completed research and development on 01 December 2008. The combat system for guided missile and high-speed boat consists of a sensor system of search radar, EOTS and tracking radar and a command and arming control system. The search radar that was developed for the first time in this country can detect and identify over 100 targets, and the electronic optical tracing system and tracking radar have target tracking functions. The command and arming control system was developed by using an open-type structure that applied the commercial communication middleware, which is an international standard according to the recent technological development trend, and the shooting control algorithm that was developed by ADD.

In November 2008, its excellence was proved by the hit ratio higher than the present operation system in the anti-ship and anti-aircraft shooting through military-operated test and evaluation, and thereby signifying that ROK defense science and technology has entered into an advanced country level also in the combat system that had high dependency on foreign technology. By succeeding in domestic development of the combat system, function expansbility will be easy for performance improvement in future, and ROK provided a foundation for developing even the combat system for submarine as well as next-generation battle ship and it has become a big opportunity for improving the fighting power of the navy. Also, economic spill effects resulting from this will be an import substitution effect of 57.6 billion won and a reduction in operation and maintenance cost of more than 14.42 billion won, and creation of jobs of domestic companies, and overseas export is also expected through excellent performance and price competitiveness.

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