Istanbul, Turkey – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaks during launch ceremony for Istanbul (F-515) frigate and welding ceremony of third ship in Pakistan MILGEM Corvette Project in Istanbul, Turkey on January 23, 2021.

‘Turkey’s navy to be in strong position with 5 major projects’

‘Turkey can overcome challenges, embargoes posed by global suppliers through its own strength,’ says President Erdogan

Turkey’s president said Saturday Turkey is among the 10 countries that can design, build, and maintain its own warship, and the country’s navy will be in a “very strong position” with five major projects in the coming five years.

Speaking at a launch ceremony for Istanbul (F-515) frigate, as well as a welding ceremony of the third ship under Pakistan MILGEM Corvette Project in Istanbul, Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that having military, economic, and diplomatic strength is an obligation, not a choice for Turkey.

“Turkey becomes a country that meets needs of friendly and allied countries as well as itself in terms of land and sea vehicles,” Erdogan said.

Turkey can overcome challenges and embargoes posed by global suppliers through its own strength, he noted.

Turkey, boasting significant skills in submarine technology, will put into service six of its new submarines starting in 2022 with Piri Reis, added Erdogan.

On the country’s progress on UAVs, Erdogan stressed that Turkey is now also among the first three to four countries globally in terms of production of unmanned and armed unmanned aerial vehicles.

“Turkey will take Gokdeniz, the naval version of Korkut low-altitude air defense system, into the inventory for the first time with Istanbul frigate,” he said.

An aircraft carrier to be designed indigenously, following Anadolu Ship, will take Turkey to the top league in the field, Erdogan added.

Turkey launches indigenous frigate in show of navy power

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says Turkey will launch five major projects in the coming five years that will take its navy to a “very strong” position.

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has launched the country’s first indigenous frigate Istanbul (F-515) and pledged to take the country’s navy to a “very strong position” with five major projects in the coming years.

Speaking at a launch ceremony for the frigate and welding ceremony of the third ship under Pakistan MILGEM corvette project on Saturday, Erdogan said the country is among the 10 countries that can design, build, and maintain its own warship.

“Turkey meets needs of friendly and allied countries as well as itself in terms of land and sea vehicles,” Erdogan said, adding Turkey can overcome challenges and embargoes posed by global suppliers through its own strength.

Erdogan said the military, economic, and diplomatic strength is an obligation, not a choice for Turkey.

New submarines to go into service

Turkey, boasting significant skills in submarine technology, will put into service six of its new submarines starting in 2022 with Piri Reis, Erdogan announced.

On the country’s progress on UAVs and drones, Erdogan said that Turkey is now also among the first three to four countries globally in terms of the production of unmanned and armed unmanned aerial vehicles.

“Turkey will take Gokdeniz, the naval version of Korkut low-altitude air defence system into the inventory for the first time with Istanbul frigate,” he said.

An aircraft carrier to be designed indigenously, following Anadolu Ship, will take Turkey to the top league in the field, Erdogan added.

Turkish firms in world top 100 list

Seven Turkish companies, including two new entries, have made it to the list of the world’s top 100 defence firms as ranked by Defense News.

The US-based publication, which focuses on politics and the business of the military, uses data from analysts and companies’ annual reports to assess their defence revenues in order to rank the world’s most prestigious defence firms.

This year, the number of Turkish companies on the top 100 list rose to seven from five.

ASELSAN, Turkey’s largest defence firm, ranks 48, rising to the top 50 from the 52nd spot last year. The company entered the list in 2006 at 93rd.

The company’s annual turnover rose by 21 percent to $2.172 billion.

ASELSAN’s experience in military defence systems includes imaging technologies and electro-optics as well as product solutions based on research and development.

Turkey launches its first Istanbul-class F 515 frigate built for Turkish Navy
Naval News January 2021 Navy Forces Maritime Defense Industry

According to a Tweet published on January 23, 2021, Turkey has officially launched the first Istanbul-class F 515 frigate on January 23, 2021. The launching ceremony was attended by the President of Turkey Tayyip Erdogan and the president of SSB (The Turkish Defense Association) Ismail Demir.

The Istanbul-class also called I-class frigate is a series of four frigates built for the Turkish Navy that were developed under the MILGEM Turkish national warship program. The official cutting steel ceremony first of the first Istanbul-class frigate was held January 19, 2017, at Istanbul Shipyard which is the main contractor for the construction of the ship. It is planned to deliver the first Istanbul-class ship to the Turkish navy in 2023.

The MILGEM is the most important projects of Turkish armed forces for the development and the construction of a new generation of multipurpose corvettes and frigates that can be deployed to conduct a wide range of missions, including reconnaissance, surveillance, early warning, anti-submarine warfare, surface-to-surface and surface-to-air warfare, and amphibious operations.

The MILGEM project includes the construction of four Ada class anti-submarine warfare corvettes, one ELINT corvette, four Istanbul class multipurpose frigates, TF2000 class anti-air warfare destroyers for the Turkish Navy as well as four Jinnah-class frigates for the Pakistan Navy.

The Istanbul – class frigate is an enlarged variant of the Ada-class anti-submarine corvettes also developed under the MILGEM project. The ship features a slightly larger hull for improved endurance.

The Istanbul-class frigate will be equipped with indigenous infrared search and tracking systems developed by the Turkish defense corporation ASELSAN. It will also be integrated with a Turkish-made electronic assault system, according to officials. The ship will also feature locally made guided missiles and anti-torpedo shields.

According to the Turkish naval industry, the Istanbul-class frigate has a length of 113.2 m, a beam of 14.40 m, a draft of 4.05m, and a displacement of 3,000 tones. The ship is powered by a combined diesel and gas (CODAG) propulsion system including two MTU 20V 4000 M93L diesel engines, one LM2500 gas turbine, and two shafts. She can reach a top speed of 29 knots (54 km/h) with a maximum cruising range of 6,570 nmi (12,170 km) at 14 kn (26 km/h). The ship has a crew of 125 people.

The Istanbul-class frigate will be armed with one 76 mm (3 inches) Oto Melara Super Rapid naval gun, two 25 mm automatic cannon (0.98 in) Aselsan STOP, one GOKDENIZ close-in weapon system CIWS), 16 Harpoon anti-ship missile or Atmaca anti-ship cruise missiles, 16 HISAR surface-to-air missiles and two 324 mm (13 inches) Double Torpedo launchers. The ship has a flight deck and one hangar able to accommodate one S-70B Seahawk ASW (Anti-Submarine Warfare) helicopter and one unmanned aerial vehicle.

‘Turkey hopes to find solutions in talks with Greece’

In talks with Greece, Turkey hopes issues will be dealt with in terms of rights, law, equity, says National Defense Minister Hulusi Akar.

Turkey’s defense chief on Saturday expressed hope that lawful solutions to bilateral issues will be found during talks with Greece starting in Istanbul next week.

“In talks with Greece, we hope that issues will be dealt with within the framework of rights, law, and equity, and that solutions are found,” National Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said at launch and welding ceremonies for new Turkish-built ships.

Akar further underlined Turkey’s expectation that Greece “respects Turkey’s rights in the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean and avoids actions that may cause misunderstandings.”

Turkey and Greece are set to resume exploratory talks after a four-year hiatus.

The talks are expected to focus on bilateral disputes, including maritime boundaries and drilling rights in the region.

Turkey, which has the longest continental coastline in the Eastern Mediterranean, has rejected maritime boundary claims by Greece and the Greek Cypriot administration, stressing that their excessive claims violate the sovereign rights of Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots.

Turkey sent several drill ships to explore for energy in the Eastern Mediterranean, asserting its rights in the region, as well as those of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC).

Turkish leaders have repeatedly stressed that Turkey is in favor of resolving outstanding problems in the region through international law, good neighborly relations, dialogue, and negotiations.