Engines powering four high-speed patrol boats that were recently upgraded by South Korea have malfunctioned.
Earlier this year, the Navy found a breakage in engine cylinder head of a 230-ton Gumdoksuri-B class Patrol Killer Medium Rocket (PKMR) boat. Soon after, the problem was detected in three more of these boats.
State arms procurement agency, Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA), on Thursday cited design flaw as the possible cause. Investigators are also looking at whether seawater encroachment and carrying excessively heavy loads led to the engine issue.
“Seawater encroachment is suspected for the engine breakage, but we need to confirm the exact cause of the malfunction after revising the design to see if it is actually causing the problem," Jang Hee-seon, Spokesperson of DAPA, was quoted as saying by local media.
The Gumdoksuri-class of boats have a combined diesel and gas (CODAG) arrangement. The ships have been powered by two diesel engines and General Electric LM500 marine gas turbines. The engines were provided by German Motoren und Turbinen-Union (MTU) and rated at approximately 5,600shp.