Turkey launches tender for construction of three new naval vessels under MILGEM project

Turkey’s defense officials have revealed that a tender was launched for the construction of the fifth, sixth and seventh warship under the MILGEM project.

In the tender announcement published on 22 December, it was underlined that the ships will be built at a shipyard from the private sector with maximum domestic industry participation. Furthermore, it was emphasized that the production rate of the domestically made parts in the new ships will be higher than before.

“Our domestic industrial companies have the ability and capability to build ships that have no equivalents around the world at competitive costs. With this strength, we are taking another important step in the MILGEM Project. The tender process for the sixth, seventh and eighth ships has started. The rate of locality will be much higher,” Ismail Demir, head of the Presidency of Defense Industries (SBB) said.

“We aim to make our ships available to the security forces as soon as possible. Our new ships will include more domestic equipment and weapon systems.”

The MILGEM project has so far completed the deliveries of the Ada-class corvettes, the first of which was the TCG Heybeliada in 2011, the second was the TCG Büyükada in 2013, the third the TCG Burgazada in 2018, and the fourth ship, the TCG Kinaliada in 2019.

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The 99.5-meter-long corvettes are designed to embark ASW/ASUW helicopters and are fitted with Harpoon missiles and a 76 mm gun. Employing the CODAG propulsion system, the 99.5-meter Ada-class corvettes are capable of achieving speeds of around 29 knots.

Furthermore, the ships are fitted with the indigenously developed combat management system GENESİS. The system is also used on Turkish eight G-class frigates.

However, the three new ships will be of the same type as the fifth MILGEM warship, the Istanbul-class frigate. Developed under the MILGEM national warship program as the I-class frigate, 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.

On 19 January 2017, the Turkish Navy held a steel-cutting ceremony for the lead ship TCG Istanbul (F-515). The vessel was laid down on 3 July 2017 and launched on 23 January 2021.

Under the project, the ships to be built will perform surveillance, target detection, identification and recognition, early warning missions, anti-submarine warfare (ASW), surface warfare, amphibious operations and patrol activities for the Naval Forces Command.

Turkey is also building the MILGEM corvettes for the Pakistani Navy as part of a deal signed in 2018.

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Photo: Illustration; Photo by: Turkish Ministry of Defense