Source: Turkish Naval Forces
The Turkish government has announced that it intends to buy scores of naval assets in the next years, potentially giving a major boost to the country’s flourishing shipyards and their foreign partners.
Under a program dubbed MILGEM (a Turkish acronym for “the national ship”), Turkish shipyards have built two corvettes. The third ship will be launched soon, according to procurement officials. The fourth will be delivered in 2020, with additional orders expected.
Turkey’s top procurement official, Ismail Demir, said that the government will order four more “new generation” corvettes. “These [corvettes] will be more advanced, bigger vessels,” said Demir, head of the procurement agency, the Undersecretariat for Defense Industries (SSM).
The corvettes are the smallest warships in the Turkish Navy’s inventory. Turkey plans to use the experience gained in the MILGEM project to design, develop and construct its first indigenous frigate, the TF-2000, in the 2020s.
Moreover, Demir said that the construction of six “new type” submarines, under German license, will be entirely built in Turkey, and initial deliveries are scheduled for 2020.
“Naval platforms of different types are in popular [governmental] demand because they earn the country capabilities that are in line with Turkey’s regional foreign policy ambitions, most notably in the Mediterranean,” said one senior Turkish diplomat.
One such program is the Landing Platform Dock (LPD), which Sedef, a Turkish shipyard, in partnership with Spain’s Navantia, is building under an approximately $1.5 billion deal. In a high-profile ceremony on Apr. 30, the construction of the TCG Anadolu, an amphibious assault ship, took off.
One feature of Turkey’s naval ambitions is focused on the littoral zones. Turkey is bordered by sea on three sides: The Black Sea in the north, the Mediterranean in the south and the Aegean in the west. In the northwest, there is also an important internal sea, the Sea of Marmara, between the straits of the Dardanelles and the Bosporus, important waterways that connect the Black Sea with the rest of the world. The Turkish coastline is 4,474 miles, excluding islands.
That makes the Coast Guard, in addition to the Navy, another key end user: On June 9, SSM released a request for information for the acquisition of an unspecified batch of 600-class Coast Guard ships.
Sources: Defense News, Turkish Naval Forces
Written by Patricia Ruiz
Patricia Ruiz is Environmental and Forestry Engineer and a Supply Chain Management Expert