Turkey is making progress towards its goal of producing warships using national and indigenous capabilities within the scope of the National Ship (MİLGEM) project. After the Ada Class Corvettes, it is now moving into the production phase of the I-Class Frigates.
The Ada Class Corvette project, consisting of the first four ships of the MİLGEM project, was initiated long ago, and these ships have been delivered to the Turkish Naval Forces. After the first four ships, it was decided to produce the fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth ships as frigates. The Naval Forces Command and STM completed the design work of the ships, called “I-Class Frigates,” based on the design of the Ada Class Corvettes in 2 years. After the design work, the construction of the first ship started in 2017 under the main contractor STM. (Read Also: “Turkey’s HAVA-SOJ Project“)
The first ship, TCG Istanbul (F-515), is planned to be commissioned in 2023, the second ship, TCG Izmir (F-516), in 2024, the third ship, TCG Izmit (F-517), in 2025, and the fourth ship, TCG Icel (F-518), in 2026. However, the tenders for the sixth, seventh, and eighth ships were held in January 2023 due to delays.
The construction activities of MİLGEM 6-7-8 ships will start simultaneously, and they are planned to be commissioned within 36 months. Unlike the first five ships, MİLGEM 6-7-8 will be built in private sector shipyards. In this way, Turkey aims to expand its military shipbuilding capacity by involving private shipyards and strengthen its national defense industry.
As part of this plan, important tasks such as the Ukraine MİLGEM Corvette for RMK Shipyard, TCG ANADOLU LHD for Sedef Shipyard, Logistics Support Ships for Selah Shipyard, and TCG DERYA DİMDEG for Sefine Shipyard were given to private shipyards.
The I-Class Frigates will have more advanced submarine defense capabilities compared to the Ada Class Corvettes. They will be produced as general-purpose frigates with submarine defense equipment, electronic systems, vertical launch systems, and weapon systems. With the introduction of the I-Class Frigates, Turkey will start the production of TF-2000 Air Defense Warfare Destroyers. These destroyers will be significant vessels in the navy and will undertake the task of protecting Turkey’s mainland.
The design of the I-Class Frigates was made considering the needs of the Turkish Naval Forces and future defense strategies. With their submarine defense capabilities, modern electronic systems, and advanced weapon systems, it is expected that these ships will enable Turkey to ensure maritime security more effectively.
The MİLGEM project was initiated to enhance Turkey’s national and indigenous capabilities in the defense industry. Especially with the tasks given to private sector shipyards, Turkey is expanding its military shipbuilding capacity and strengthening its national defense industry.
With the production of I-Class Frigates, the power and capabilities of the Turkish Naval Forces will further increase. These frigates, which will be more effective in submarine defense warfare, surface warfare, and air defense warfare, will secure Turkey’s presence at sea and make significant contributions to national defense strategies.
The TF-2000 Air Defense Warfare Destroyers will strengthen Turkey’s air defense capabilities and undertake the task of protecting the national airspace and critical vessels in the navy. Equipped with modern weapon systems and advanced technology, these destroyers have the potential to significantlyenhance the power of the Turkish Armed Forces.
The MİLGEM project is considered an important step by experts in enhancing Turkey’s national and indigenous capabilities in the defense industry. With these projects, Turkey will not only strengthen its national defense industry but also take a significant step towards independence and security, further solidifying its position as the largest navy in the Mediterranean and Black Seas.
I-Class Frigate Specifications
One of Turkey’s significant projects in the defense industry, the I-Class Frigates, stands out with its superior capabilities and features. These frigates aim to enhance the power of the Turkish Naval Forces with their modern design and powerful weapon systems.
The physical characteristics of the I-Class Frigates are quite impressive. They have a length of 113.20 meters, a width of 14.4 meters, and a draft of 4.05 meters. These dimensions ensure the stability of the ship while increasing maneuverability. With a full-load displacement of 3000 tons, these frigates have the ability to move swiftly and effectively. They can reach speeds of 29 knots or higher and have a cruising range of 5700 nautical miles at a speed of 14 knots. The I-Class Frigates have a crew complement of 123.
The propulsion and power systems are important elements that support the performance of the I-Class Frigates. These frigates are equipped with two 5,766 horsepower MTU diesel engines and one LM2500 gas turbine. Additionally, they utilize two controllable pitch propeller (CPP) systems. This power system enables the ship to operate at high speeds. The frigates are also equipped with four 560 kW generators for power supply.
I-Class Frigates, which are highly equipped in terms of weapon systems, provide effective defense against various types of threats. The main gun systems include the 76mm Super Rapid (SR) or MKE 76mm Naval Gun. For surface-to-surface missiles, there are 2×8 ATMACA missile systems. The air defense missiles are supported by up to 16 HISAR-D RF Air Defense Missiles in the 16-cell MİDLAS Vertical Launching System. Additionally, they are equipped with the GÖKDENİZ Close-In Weapon System (CIWS) for air defense, and they have 2 MK-32 triple torpedo launchers with MK-46M5 Torpedoes or AKYA torpedoes. The weapon systems of I-Class Frigates also include 2 25mm STOP machine guns and 1 S-70B Seahawk Anti-Submarine Warfare Helicopter.
I-Class Frigates are also equipped with combat systems and radar systems. The ADVENT combat management system is used. The radar systems include a 3D search radar, fire control/illumination radar, and LPI surveillance radar. The imaging system used is ASELFLIR-300T. Threat detection and deception systems include a laser warning receiver system, electronic warfare/support suite, HIZIR torpedo deception system, and infrared signature management system. The integrated sonar suite is used as the sonar system of the ship.
The communication systems of I-Class Frigates are highly advanced. Communication capabilities are provided through satellite communication (SATCOM), Link 11/16, local area network, internal communication system, and underwater telephone.
I-Class Frigates are an important project that showcases Turkey’s success and national capabilities in the defense industry. With their high performance, powerful weapon systems, and modern technologies, these frigates will play a significant role in ensuring maritime security for the Turkish Naval Forces and enhancing Turkey’s defense capabilities.
Source: SavunmaSanayist, sanalsavunma.com