Turkey to build more Istanbul-class frigates with multi-role MDAS VLS

ANKARA, ($1=11.36 Turkish Liras) – The leadership of the Turkish defense industry has announced a tender for the construction of the sixth, seventh and eighth ships under the MILGEM program, learned BulgarianMilitary.com, citing a press release.

This is another positive effect of the MILGEM program. Turkey produced 4 Ada-class corvettes at Turkish shipyards, and the construction of TF-2000 is on the way
Photo credit: Daily Sabah

The relevant information was published on the official website of the Ministry of Defense Industry [Savunma Sanayii Başkanı – SSB] on December 22 this year.

These are three new multi-purpose frigates class Istanbul. Production [steel cutting] of the main frigate TCG Istanbul [F-515], which is the fifth under the MILGEM program, was launched in January 2017 and launched in January 2021. TCG Istanbul is expected to enter service in 2023, by which time all tests to be completed next year will be completed.

“Turkish defense companies have reached a level where even the most modern warships are built at the most affordable prices. The tender process for the 6th, 7th, and 8th ships has begun. The percentage of localization is much higher,” said the head of the Ministry of Defense Industry Administration of the President of Turkey Ismail Demir.

We remind you that four Ada-class corvettes were the first built under the MILGEM project [F 511 Heybeliada, F 512 Büyükada, F 512 Burgazada and F 514 Kınalıada – transferred to the Turkish Navy in the period from 2011 to 2011]. The Istanbul class is an enlarged version of the Ada-class anti-submarine corvette, with enhanced endurance and MDAS Vertical Launching System [VLS] for multi-role capability.

Subsequently [in 2018] adapted ships from this project in the amount of four units were ordered by the Pakistani military. The first of two corvettes built in Turkey for the Pakistani navy was launched in August this year. Also in October last year, it was announced that construction had begun on one of Pakistan’s two ships.

As we reported Ukraine also ordered Ada-class corvettes. The hull of the main ship was laid in early 2021. Currently, the hull of the first corvette for the Ukrainian Navy is ready at 75-80%. It should be completed in the first quarter of 2022 and withdrawn to Ukraine by the end of next year for completion, which should be completed in 2023. Also in 2023, it is planned to lay the second Ada-class corvette for Ukraine. In total, the Ukrainian Navy plans to purchase four ships of this type.

The MILGEM program

President Erdogan spoke personally about the progress made in Turkey in an occasional speech. He emphasized that the Turkish industry can already meet its own needs in ships and combat vehicles and allied countries. Erdogan also recalled that Turkey is currently one of the first four countries globally in unmanned aerial vehicles and armed drones.

The Turkish industry is also able to undertake the construction of such complex vessels as submarines. According to Erdogan, the first of its six submarines should commission in 2022. In this way, Turkey was to become one of ten countries that could design, build and maintain all the warships it needed.

This desire is evidencing by the type “I” frigate built in Turkish shipyards and equipped with Turkish equipment. The ADVENT ship’s command and control system has been developed by, e.g., the Havelsan concern. The sensors, in turn, were provided by Aselsan. Aselsan is also the creator of this weapon, which Turkey could not obtain due to the government’s sanctions in Ankara by the United States.

The Turkish Gokdeniz CIWS [35mm double-barreled cannon] and the Mk 41 type vertical launch rockets will replace the Phalanx direct defense artillery system. It is not known, however, who will supply the propulsion turbine and main gun.

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