Türkiye welcomes first national frigate, three more naval platforms join navy’s fleet

STM Savunma Teknolojileri Mühendislik ve Ticaret A.Ş. (STM), under the leadership of Defence Industry Agency (SSB) of the Republic of Türkiye, has delivered the country’s first national frigate, TCG ISTANBUL.


A ceremony was held on January 19 to mark the delivery of four new naval platforms that will further strengthen the Turkish Naval Forces. The ceremony was held at Sefine Shipyard in Yalova.

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The new naval platforms include TCG ISTANBUL (F-515), Türkiye’s first national frigate, and Logistics Support Ship TCG ÜTGM. ARİF EKMEKÇİ (A-575), as well as Replenishment at Sea and Combat Support Ship (DIMDEG) TCG DERYA (A-1590), the second largest ship in the Turkish Naval fleet, and the MARLIN Unmanned Surface Vehıcle (USV).


The contract for the construction of the TCG İSTANBUL (F-515) – the first ship in the MiLGEM İ-Class frigate project under Phase 2 of the MiLGEM ADA-class corvette project – was signed on April 12, 2019 between STM and the Defence Industry Agency (SSB).

Following the launch of TCG İSTANBUL (F-515) on January 23, 2021, the ship rigging in a dry dock and port acceptance tests were subsequently launched in May 2022.

After the completion of the port acceptance tests, TCG İSTANBUL was put to sea for the first time for Sea Acceptance Tests after a flag hoisting ceremony held on June 20, 2023.

As the first Turkish frigate designed by Turkish engineers, the structure of TCG İSTANBUL (F-515), as well as that of the other İstif-Class frigates earmarked for construction, will differ from the ADA-class corvettes in their ability to carry and launch homing surface-to-air missiles.

The frigate has been developed for anti-submarine and surface warfare roles, anti-air warfare and reconnaissance, surveillance, target detection, identification, recognition and early warning missions. The ship measures 113 meters in length with a beam of 14.4 meters.


According to STM, TCG İSTANBUL was constructed at Istanbul Naval Shipyard and has been integrated with advanced national solutions, including the ATMACA Anti-Ship Missile and MİDLAS Vertical Launch System (VLS) developed by Roketsan; the Gökdeniz Close-In Air Weapon System and Cenk-S AESA Radar developed by ASELSAN; and the ADVENT Combat Management System developed by HAVELSAN.

Works on the construction of the sixth, seventh and eighth MİLGEM I Class Platforms, which will be sister ships to TCG İSTANBUL, were launched in partnership with STM and TAİS in 2023.

A ceremony was held for the first sheet metal cutting of the national frigates (TCG İZMİR, TCG İÇEL and TCG İZMİT) on April 10, 2023 with the participation of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. 

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The intention is to complete the construction of the three frigates within 36 months and to deliver them to the Turkish Navy., STM revealed.

Özgür Güleryüz, General Manager of STM, stated that STM undertakes significant duties in the construction of national surface and submarine ships for the Turkish Navy, and has contributed to the Turkish economy through its exports of naval platforms to Pakistan and Ukraine. He said that STM was proud to have been selected as the main contractor in the TCG İSTANBUL project, as Türkiye’s first national frigate.

“TCG İSTANBUL, MİLGEM İstif-Class Frigates have taken their place among the five most advanced frigates in the world thanks to their design and technologies… Our national frigate will serve as an important deterrent for our country in the world’s seas thanks to its national electronic warfare systems, which have a high localisation rate, its new generation national combat management system and its ability to launch air-guided projectiles,” he noted.

In January this year, Defence Industry Executive Committee (SSİK) decided to extend the MİLGEM project with the construction of four further İ-Class Frigates (numbered 9–12), increasing the number of İ-Class frigates to be built in the program to eight. 

Turkish Navy welcomes LSS TCG ÜTGM. ARİF EKMEKÇİ

A contract was signed between the SSB and STM on February 9, 2021 for the delivery of two Logistics Support Ships to Turkish Naval Forces Command. 

As the main contractor in the project, STM was assigned responsibility for all program management, procurement, assembly, ship outfitting, integration, testing and ILS activities.

TCG YZB. GÜNGÖR DURMUŞ (A-574), the first ship in the Logistics Support Ship Project, was constructed in ADA Shipyard, and was delivered to Turkish Naval Forces Command at a ceremony held on December 8, 2021.

TCG UTGM. ARİF EKMEKÇİ (A-575), the second ship in the project, took to the seas for the first time to begin its Ship Acceptance Tests after a flag hoisting ceremony held on July 5, 2023 and entered the service following a ceremony held on January 19, 2024.


The ship measures 106.51 meters in length and has a beam of 16.80 meters.  It is operated by an 82-person crew, and features an aft floating system and fleet replenishment capabilities.

Furthermore, the vessel can sail at speeds of 12+ knots and has a cruising range of 9,500 nautical miles. It is equipped with two 12.7 mm ASELSAN STAMP weapon systems and a helipad that can accommodate a 15-ton utility helicopter. Its logistics capabilities are supported by a crane with a lifting capacity of 18 tonnes, and it can carry eight containers, 631 tons of drinking water, 336 tons of JP-5 helicopter fuel and 4,036 tonnes of F-76 fuel, according to STM.