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Turkey launches 4th Ada corvette and lays keel of first I-Class frigate
September 20, 2017
TCG Kinaliada. Photo credit: Daily Sabah

Turkey launches 4th Ada corvette and lays keel of first I-Class frigate

The Tuzla Shipyard launched the fourth MILGEM Ada-class corvette (TCG Kınalıada) for the Turkish Navy on Monday, July 03.

The TCG Kınalıada’s keel was laid down in October 2015.

Presiding over the event, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan lauded the efforts of the Turkish naval industry for fulfilling the first major phase of the MILGEM program, i.e. the construction of four corvettes.

According to Erdoğan, Turkish industry content now accounts for 65% of the MILGEM Ada corvette, with more than 50 Turkish entities, including companies and institutes, involved in the program.

Named after the Istanbul Princes’ Islands, the Ada-class has a displacement of 2,400 tons at full-load and a length of 99.56 m. Intended to lead in anti-submarine warfare (ASW), the Ada-class can provide support for littoral and offshore operations, such as patrol and policing.

The MILGEM Ada is armed with one 76 mm main gun, two triple ASW torpedo launchers, two quad-cell anti-ship missile (AShM) launchers, two 12.7 mm guns and a point-defence missile system for defensibility against nearby aerial threats.

Currently, two MILGEM Ada-class corvettes – the TCG Heybeliada and TCG Büyükada – are serving with the Turkish Navy, with the remaining two – TCG Burgazada and now TCG Kinaliada – undergoing sea trials.

The TCG Kinaliada launch was accompanied by the keel-laying of the TCG Istanbul, the first I-Class multi-mission frigate. This follows the TCG Istanbul’s steel-cutting ceremony in January.

While derived from the same design as the Ada, the I-Class is 14 metres longer and has a displacement of 3,000 tons. In addition to two octuplet-cell AShM launchers (for 16 missiles), the I-Class is also equipped with a 16-cell vertical launch system (VLS) for surface-to-air missiles (SAM).

Turkey intends to complete the TCG Istanbul by 2021. Turkey intends to produce four I-Class frigates: TCG Istanbul, TCG Izmir, TCG Izmit and TCG İçel. Long-term development plans center on the TF-2000 anti-air warfare (AAW) frigate.

Notes & Comments:

Since its inception, the MILGEM Ada has drawn overseas interest from several of Turkey’s defence clients, such as Pakistan, which signed a letter-of-intent in May to acquire four corvettes. Ankara is also hoping to sell naval solutions to other markets, such as the Middle East and South America.

The Turkish industry has opted to continue developing the Ada’s design to fulfill added requirements, such as medium-range SAM compatibility. The I-Class is an example of this effort, but the LF-2400 design – while similar in length to the I-Class – is close to the Ada in displacement (at 2,350 tons). The reutilization of the core design may help control costs, especially when these designs are to compete for export orders.

  • Shakeel

    Any hot gossip, coming of the press release with regards to Pakistan’s MILGEM corvettes? Are we continuing negotiations as always which are proving to be inconclusive.? Watch out Modi’s bringing back abundance of goodies from Isreal.

    • Honestly, I don’t know. We didn’t get an announcement of a deal signing, but Pakistan did ink things discretely before, e.g. the Hangor subs, second Erieye deal, HQ-16 and HQ-7 purchases, etc. Fact is, the corvettes are listed in the latest MoDP report, so I think it’s ultimately a GO.

    • Steve

      Everyone here agrees that we should get VLS as part of this deal. MILGEM Istanbul class will be great. Let’s see if the navy agrees.

      • Shakeel

        I entirely agree with you that a VLS is a must have asset. I will be very suprised if our strategist have this in mind, because their logic defies common rationality. At $250 million for each MILGEM, we will be hard pushed to get a VLS as part of the deal.I hope I am wrong, but given the discrete nature of the deals (as Bilal rightly pointed out) anything can happen.

        Today, we announced the creation of an aviation university in Kamra. In effect this announcement undermines existing institutions such as IST, Air University & Nust. Are the quality of graduates not good enough from these respective institutions.

        The problem in Pakistan is our failure to UTILISE existing human resources. There are so many monstrous snakes heading these institutions that well qualifed engineers require a ringing endorsement from a VEDARA (elite) before they are given a chance to showcase their credibility. I am speaking from first hand experience. if we continue to subjugate our own people to such restrictions we can continue to DREAM about creating a 5th generation fighter aircraft ,or for that matter a MILGEM type corvette.

        Apologies for the overkill.

        • Good news on the Kamra Aviation City front … Kamra’s Aerospace and Aviation Campus is actually expansion of Air University. I’m not sure if the current graduates are “good enough”, but the PAF is now serious in building linkage and synergy with the civilian skill base and is looking to confer a lot of responsibility to local industry players. In turn, it is basically partnering with what’s already there and is working to connect them to the PAF’s projects whilst also improving them in the process.

        • Salman Naveed

          You are absolutely correct.
          However, the quality of the institutions you mentioned is still good as compared to many other third grade universities.
          The purpose of creating the Air University campus in Kamra is to set up a specialized research and development infrastructure along the lines of the Soviet Design Bureau model. The research will be done by civilian students at the University and the aviation industry complex will be nearby to prototype and test the systems that have been developed.

          • Shakeel

            Thanks for educating me Salman. Your insight is greatly appreciated.

            I know very little and also like to thank Quwa for their analysis.

      • Priyanshu Singh

        you dont need VLS unless you use the corvette for ASuW. or you will be able to carry very small amount of torpedoes on it.

  • The Agosta 90B and al-Khalid were important – albeit oversold – programs. With the al-Khalid, HIT developed valuable experience in integrating subsystems from various sources and in manufacturing key parts of the tank, such as the composite armour and 125mm gun. The Agosta 90B program, while assembly of pre-fabricated pieces, helped KSEW build expertise in integration of subsystems, including AIP propulsion. These are valuable stepping stones for next-gen programs – e.g. Hangor and AK2 – which will confer more work to the local industry.

    As for the PAF. We have already seen it take those major steps … e.g. MRO, Mirage MRF, manufacturing 15% of the K-8’s sub-assemblies, manufacturing 52% of the JF-17 and now AvDI taking lead on the MALE UAV and 5th-gen fighter.

    In 20 years, the situation probably won’t be ideal, but it will be much improved from today.

    • Shakeel

      Your response is highly measured & positive. I rest my case.
      An encouraging piece.

      it will be interesting to see how PAC facilitates any future expansion programme.

      Contrary to mass perception.Pak has produced a number of outstanding individuals in material sciences over the last few years.A centre of excellence should be contemplated on a war footing.

      Let’s see how things pan out.

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