Presentations on Turkey’s naval projects were delivered at the seminar, which brought together Turkish navy officials, representatives from leading defense corporations, and experts from the defense industry. The latest status of current projects was also discussed at the event.
The NSS hosted more than 600 attendants from different sectors, the Commander of the Turkish Navy, Admiral Adnan Ozbal, was the chief guest at the event. Turkey’s leading defence companies STM, Aselsan, and Havelsan were the main sponsors of the seminar.
STM’s primary naval projects:
The Combat Systems Manager of STM Defence, Enver Küçükerman, revealed the latest updates on the most important naval projects. The most significant issues of his presentation are as follows;
- The future TCG Istanbul (F-515), the first I-class frigate, is scheduled to enter service in the second half of 2023. According to an infographic in the presentation, TCG Istanbul will be outfitted with an indigenous vertical launching system named MIDLAS, that will be capable of launching both Hisar family surface-to-air missiles and ESSM (Evolved SeaSparrow Missile). The rate of indigenization will be approximately 75%, the highest ever.
- Turkey’s first test and training ship, TCG Ufuk, which is constructed based on MILGEM design in Istanbul Shipyard, is ready for delivery. TCG Ufuk is expected to enter service for the Turkish Navy by the end of November.
- STM continues its efforts in the Logistics Support Ship Project to finish all remaining work on the two ships that were previously started to be built and bring them into service. The first ship (TCG Yzb. Gungor Durmus (A-574)) will be delivered this month, the second ship (TCG Utgm. Arif Ekmekci (A-575)) is scheduled to enter service by the end of February 2024. The project was paused in 2019 due to the financial issues of the Selah Shipyard. In the beginning of 2021, STM signed a new deal to resume the project.
- The Turkish Type FAC project‘s conceptual design phase will be completed in 2022. As the primary contractor, STM had signed a contract for the design phase on 31 August 2020. STM aims to deliver the first FAC 30 months after the design phase is completed.
- The STM 500 Small-Sized Submarine, whose design was finished by STM, is scheduled to begin manufacturing in 2022. It is estimated that the construction of one Small-Sized Submarine will take 48 months, with the full project expected to be completed in 72 months. The officials didn’t reveal the customer information. The submarine will be 42 meter long and has a displacement of around 500 tons.
TF-2000 Air Defence Destroyer (ADD) Project:
The Technical Manager of the Turkish Naval Forces, Rear Admiral Ramis Akın, shared important information about the timeline of Turkey’s future air defence destroyer, TF-2000. He mentioned that the design phase of the TF-2000 ADD will be completed in 2022, saying;
“Our Naval Technical Command Design Project Office Directorate is in charge of design activities. There isn’t much time left till the contract level of the TF-2000 design is finished. The activities of detailed design and the construction of the first prototype ship will begin once the design has been finalized as a result of a harmonious collaboration amongst institutions.”
Rear Admiral Ramis Akın
As Naval News reported before, Turkey’s top procurement official, Ismail Demir, stated after IDEF 2021 defence industry fair held in Istanbul in August 2021, the tender for the construction of the ADD would be conducted soon, both civilian and military shipyards would be awarded to build the prototype.
AKYA Heavyweight Torpedo Project:
Admiral Akin also informed that the indigenous heavyweight torpedo AKYA is still being tested and developed. “After the program is completed, all of our submarines would be able to launch AKYA.” Akin noted.
According to a presentation given by Roketsan’s Underwater Systems Manager, Levent Comoglu, who is the primary contractor of AKYA project, the qualification phase of AKYA has already begun.
“We plan to complete the acceptance process by the end of November and begin delivering AKYA in December,” said Comoglu.
Roketsan began low-rate initial production (LRIP) for AKYA, delivering torpedoes, consumables, test equipment, and logistics supplies to the Turkish Navy.
According to Comoglu, the Turkish Navy’s acceptance trials for the AKYA heavy torpedo would begin in November 2021 and will be finished in December.
“The initial deliveries will be made as part of the Low-Rate Initial Production program (LRIP). The AKYA project’s mass production deliveries are scheduled to take place in 2022. In 2022, the Turkish Navy will conduct a live-fire test of the AKYA against an actual naval target (ship).”
Roketsan Underwater Systems Manager Levent Comoglu
LHD Anadolu to deploy AH-1W Super Cobra helicopters:
In his presentation titled “Naval Air Projects” on the second day of the seminar, Naval Air Commander Rear Admiral Alper YENIEL announced that the AH-1W Super Cobra Attack Helicopters are currently in the inventory of the Army Aviation Command will be transferred to the Naval Air Command in the first half of 2022.
The AH-1W Super Cobra helicopters are expected to be deployed at the future TCG ANADOLU Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD), which is scheduled to be commissioned in 2022. The AH-1W Super Cobras will be the first attack helicopters of the Turkish Navy.
According to information released by Defence Turkey Magazine’s April 2021 issue, the Turkish Naval Air Command was planning to acquire a marine version of the T129 ATAK Attack helicopters, dubbed as ATAK-2. The first two of the eight ATAK-2 Helicopters were scheduled to arrive in 2022. With the ATAK-2s, this number would rise to 16 by 2026, according to Defence Turkey’s interview with Naval Air Commander.
Naval News understands that the Turkish Navy intends to deploy AH-1W helicopters onboard LHD Anadolu until the marine variant of the ATAK-2 is ready for use.
Since the 1980s, AH-1W Super Cobra helicopters have served the United States Marine Corps, and the USMC has deactivated these helicopters in favor of AH-1Z Viper attack helicopters. For decades, the Turkish Army has used Super Cobras in counter-terrorism operations.