|Builders:||Istanbul Naval Shipyard|
|Class & type:||Patrol and Anti-Submarine Warfare|
|Propulsion:||1 gas turbine, 2 diesels, 2 shafts|
|Range:||3,500 nautical miles (6,480 km) @ 15 knots|
|Boats & landing
|Complement:||93 including aviation officers, with accommodation for up to 106|
|Aviation facilities:||Capability of storing armaments, 20 tons of JP-5 aircraft fuel, aerial refueling (HIRF) and maintenance systems|
The MİLGEM project, from the Turkish words Milli Gemi (National Ship), is a Turkish national warship program, the purpose of which was to build a modern littoral combat warship with indigenous anti-submarine warfare and high-seas patrol capabilities, extensively using the principles of stealth technology in its design. Two MILGEM class corvettes have already been commissioned by the Turkish Navy and more are scheduled to enter into service in due course.
The corvettes of the MİLGEM project are named the Ada class (ada means island in Turkish, as each individual ship of the class is given the name of a Turkish island, in particular the Prince Islands in the Sea of Marmara, to the southeast of Istanbul). The lead ship of the class, TCG Heybeliada (F-511) is named after Heybeliada Island, where the Turkish Naval High School is located.
The project covers the construction of eight corvettes (Ada class) and four frigates (TF-100 class) for the Turkish Navy, with possible exports to other countries. The first two ships of the class, TCG Heybeliada (F-511) and TCG Büyükada (F-512) were built by the Istanbul Naval Shipyard Command. The cost of the lead ship TCG Heybeliada (F-511) was around US$260 million. On January 3, 2013, the Turkish Undersecretariat for Defense Industries announced that RMK Marine Gemi Yapım Sanayi A.Ş., a Turkish shipbuilding company, will construct a further six MİLGEM project (Ada class) corvettes for the Turkish Navy at a cost of US$1.5 billion.
In September 2013, then Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced that the MİLGEM project was to be temporarily put on hold after the completion of the first two corvettes by the Istanbul Naval Shipyard, and that the bid won by RMK Marine to build six more corvettes was cancelled. This was reportedly because the other shipbuilders complained about the bidding process. He added that a new bidding process will take place.
When the MİLGEM project was officially launched in 1996, the initial plan was to locally build MEKO A-100 corvettes of Blohm+Voss, a German shipbuilding company which specializes in building high technology warships and submarines.
In the early 2000s, the partnership plan with Blohm+Voss was cancelled and the Turkish Navy decided to use its own resources for the design, development and construction of a completely indigenous corvette. The MİLGEM Project Office of the Istanbul Naval Shipyard Command executes and coordinates the design, development and construction works of the MİLGEM project since 12 March 2004.
By developing the MİLGEM project, Turkey aims to build a warship using local resources to the maximum extent possible, and improve national military shipbuilding capacity and skills. The objectives of the MILGEM project are to enhance the littoral warfare capabilities and to meet the operational requirements of the Turkish Navy.
More than 50 local companies, including the largest Turkish defense firms such as Aselsan, Havelsan and RMK Marine, play a significant role in the MİLGEM project, gaining invaluable experience in warship design and construction.
The project is generally described as the subclasses of multi-purpose warships capable of sustaining a sea war in a littoral combat environment.
MİLGEM Project Office (MPO) of the Istanbul Naval Shipyard Command designed and developed the vessel platform. MİLGEM's design concept covers a multipurpose patrol warship, which can be deployed in a range of missions, including reconnaissance, surveillance, target identification, early warning, anti-submarine warfare, surface-to-surface and surface-to-air warfare, and amphibious operations. It features a steel hull and fragmentation resistant composite superstructure. Fore and aft masts and the funnel have been constructed with sea resistant aluminium alloys. The warships of the MİLGEM project are designed to fully operate at sea state 5 and partially operate at sea state 6. Reduction and management of the ship signatures was taken as the major input during the whole design phase. Many classified precautions were taken in order to reduce hydrodynamic, acoustic, magnetic, IR, radar signatures, and therefore, to achieve the specified level of stealth feature. Collective Protection Zones are designed to ensure the ships ability under NBC conditions. Locally designed degaussing system minimizes the magnetic signature for protection against the magnetic mines.
The ships are driven by a RENK CODAG Cross Connect propulsion plant. It consists of a gas turbine rated at 23,000 kW and two Diesel engines rated at 4,320 kW. Each diesel engine drives one controllable pitch propeller via a two speed main reduction gear. The cross connect gear splits the power from the gas turbine via both main reduction gears to the two shafts. The ship can be operated in Diesel mode, in single gas turbine mode or in CODAG mode where Diesel and gas turbine are providing a combined power of 27.640 kW.
The design concept and mission profile of the Ada class corvette bears similarities with the Freedom class littoral combat ship (LCS-1) developed by Lockheed Martin as the first member of the next generation of USN warships; though the Ada class corvettes are more heavily armed and are equipped with more capable radar and sonar systems, while the Freedom class (LCS-1) has a higher speed and variable mission modules.
GENESIS (Gemi Entegre Savaş İdare Sistemi, i.e. Ship Integrated Combat Management System), a network-centric combat management system developed by Havelsan and originally used in the upgraded G-class frigates of the Turkish Navy, was contracted for the first two Ada class corvettes on May 23, 2007. The MİLGEM project warships have an indigenous hull mounted sonar developed by the Scientific and Technological Research Foundation of Turkey. Sonar dome has been developed and produced by ONUK-BG Defence Systems, extensively employing nano-enhanced Fiber Reinforced Polymer. The Ada class features a digital chart precise integrated navigation system (ECPINS) supplied by OSI Geospatial. Integrated Platform Management System (IPMS), delivered by Yaltes JV, monitors and controls machinery, auxiliary systems, electrical power generation and distribution. The main systems integrated in IPMS include a power management system, fire detection system, fire fighting and damage control system, CCTV system and stability control system.
According to the MILGEM acquisition model, Turkey's Undersecretariat for Defence Industries (SSM) signed R&D contracts mostly for the two prototype ships which are considered to be development platforms for testing the design and integrated systems. Thus, being an open-end project, 1st and 2nd ships of the class are expected to be slightly different in terms of vessel design and system configuration. The subsequent ships, expected to be built by private shipyards, will have more optimised design and configuration.
TF-100 class frigate
Eight of the twelve MİLGEM project warships are classified as the Ada class corvette, while four of them will be equipped with additional weapon systems and will be classified as the TF-100 class frigate.
The TF-100 class will feature a slightly larger hull and will be equipped with the Mk.41 VLS, capable of firing RIM-66 Standard, RIM-162 ESSM and VL ASROC missiles, along with other systems for improved multi-role combat capabilities. The experience and technological know-how gained with the MİLGEM project will play an important role in determining the design characteristics and the development process of the TF-2000 class frigates, as well as the selection of the systems and equipment which will be used on these significantly larger and more capable warships.
Construction works of the first MİLGEM project warship, the Ada class corvette TCG Heybeliada (F-511), began on 22 January 2007. TCG Heybeliada was launched with a ceremony on September 27, 2008, that was attended by Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Prime Minister of Turkey. On November 2, 2010, TCG Heybeliada started undergoing sea acceptance trials before being officially commissioned. TCG Heybeliada (F-511) entered navy service on 27 September 2011.
Production of the second Ada class corvette, TCG Büyükada (F-512), commenced on September 27, 2008. TCG Büyükada is expected to incorporate weapon systems with distinctive performances, such as the ASELSAN air-search radar. TCG Büyükada (F-512) was launched on September 27, 2011 and is undergoing sea acceptance trials before being officially commissioned. The construction of TCG Burgazada (F-513) commenced on September 27, 2011.
According to a CNN Türk news report on September 27, 2008, the navies of Canada, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Ukraine and a number of South American countries have expressed interest in acquiring MİLGEM project warships. The Pakistan Navy shows interest in acquiring four Ada class corvettes over a 10-year program, of which three to be manufactured in local shipyards. On 6 April 2011, Indonesia and Turkey signed cooperation agreement on defense industry including the construction of two Ada class corvettes for the Indonesian Navy.
Ships in the class
|Name/Pennant No.||Namesake||Builder||Laid down||Launched||Commissioned||Status|
|TCG Heybeliada (F-511)||Heybeliada||Istanbul Naval Shipyard Command||22 January 2007||27 September 2008||27 September 2011||On active duty with the Turkish Navy|
|TCG Büyükada (F-512)||Büyükada||Istanbul Naval Shipyard Command||27 September 2008||27 September 2011||27 September 2013||On active duty with the Turkish Navy|
- Freedom-class littoral combat ship
- Second Generation Patrol Vessel
- Braunschweig-class corvette
- Zulfiquar-class frigate
- Sigma-class corvette
- Steregushchiy-class corvette
- Visby-class corvette
- Turkish Navy
References and notes
- Patrol and Anti-Submarine Warfare Ship (MILGEM- Milli Gemi – National Ship) Project, SSM, Turkey
- Turkish Navy purchases Thales sensors, Thales Netherlands, 19 December 2007
- ARES-2N (Turkey), Naval Signals Intelligence (SIGINT), electronic support and threat-warning systems, Jane's Radar And Electronic Warfare Systems, 3 February 2011
- "MİLGEM" Project, Turkish Navy
- Turkiyenin urettigi ilk savas gemisi Heybeliada seyirde, Umit Kozan, 12 November 2010
- "Savunma Sanayii Müsteşarlığı". Ssm.gov.tr. Retrieved 2013-10-04.
- "6 MİLGEM'i Koç yapacak". Aksam.com.tr. Retrieved 2013-10-04.
- "1.5 Milyar dolarlık savaş gemisi ihalesini kim kazandı | Ekonomi Haberleri I Türkiye'nin en saygın ekonomi ve iş dünyası sitesi". Ekoayrinti.com. 2012-08-02. Retrieved 2013-10-04.
- "Koç'un aldığı o ihale yenilenecek". Hürriyet (in Turkish). 2013-09-27. Retrieved 2013-09-27.
- Acquisition of Design Services and Platform Construction and Outfitting Equipment for MILGEM Project Prototype Ship and Second Ship, SSM, Turkey, Retrieved 6 December 2010
- Today's Turkey’s MİLGEM to build military ships for Pakistan, Zaman, 29 November 2008
- MILGEM Project, GENESIS Combat Management System, Havelsan, Retrieved 6 December 2010
- Havelsan advances MILGEM integration, Jane's IDEX 2011 exhibition news, Retrieved 25 February 2011
- Indigenous Sonar Wet-End System Production and Integration Project, SSM, Turkey
- MİLGEM Corvette Sonar Dome, Onuk-BG Defence Systems, Turkey
- OSI Geospatial Selected by the Turkish Navy to Provide ECPINS-W for the MILGEM Corvette New Build Program, OSI Geospatial News Release, 4 June 2009
- YALTES MILGEM IPMS Project, Yaltes JV, Retrieved 6 December 2010
- "Turkish Navy set to build its own frigate". Retrieved 30 December 2012.
- (Turkish) Newsletter about TCG Heybeliada, Turkish Navy, 12 November 2010
- First Turkish MILGEM begins sea trials, Richard Scott, IHS Jane's, 22 November 2010
- (Turkish) Newsletter about TCG Heybeliada, Turkish Navy, 27 September 2011
- (Turkish) News video of TCG HEYBELİADA being put to sea, CNN Türk TV, 27 September 2008
- (Turkish) Endonezya liderinden 300 milyar dolarlik davet, Zaman, 6 April 2011