Turkey plans to build three more Istanbul-class frigates simultaneously

The Turkish Defense Agency (SSB) has revealed the country’s plans to build three more Istanbul-class frigates simultaneously at private shipyards.


SSB, taking advantage of the production power of private sector shipyards, will produce three national frigates simultaneously and offer them to the service of the Naval Forces Command.

Credit: SSB

While the construction of TCG Istanbul, the first ship of the MİLGEM Batch (I) Class Frigate Project, which is the continuation of the second phase of the MİLGEM Ada-class corvettes, continues, work begins for the 6th, 7th and 8th ships.

In December 2021, a tender was launched for the construction of the fifth, sixth and seventh warship under the MILGEM project. SSB revealed that the production rate of the domestically made parts in the new ships will be higher than before.

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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.

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.