GE, Hanwha Aerospace: Electric propulsion for ROKN’s KDDX destroyers

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

As explained, the 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,” Andy Cooper, U.K. Managing Director of GE’s Power Conversion business, said.

“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.

Under the MOU, GE’s Power Conversion business offers its naval electric drive propulsion solutions including integrated full electric propulsion (IFEP) or hybrid electric drive (HED) as well as propulsion integration capabilities.

Hanwha Aerospace is the customer focal point to provide in-country manufacturing and product support for the life of the ship.

“Hanwha Aerospace, as a local manufacturer will contribute providing … 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,” Hyunwoo Shin, CEO of Hanwha Aerospace, commented.

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.

The Type 45-based IFEP is said to be a flexible solution for the proposed 6,000- to 8,000-ton 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.

To date, GE has delivered or will supply the ROK Navy with 186 marine gas turbines for 107 ships.

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