TCG Heybeliada - (MILGEM - Milli Gemi – National Ship)
Patrol and Anti-Submarine Warfare Ship
Turkey became one of the 15 countries in the world capable of building warships with the construction of 'Heybeliada'. In his speech delivered at the ceremony, the Prime Minister Erdogan said the way to having a voice in the world passes from having a voice in the maritime industry, adding that he commemorated all sailors, naval forces commanders, and mariners, who have served throughout the history, with great gratitude. Erdogan stated that the mariners had many achievements in the past and present, and wished continuance of the success of the Turkish Naval Forces Command that introduced many valuable commanders and mariners throughout the history.
Erdogan said, "Here we are launching the first 'National Warship'. In order to have a strong voice on our seas, we need to build naval vessels", adding that the Turkish shipbuilding industry that ranked 23rd in 2002 today ranks fourth after South Korea, Japan and China in terms of tonnage and number of ships ordered as a result of the quantum leaps in the maritime industry. "We will witness that the Turkish navy will return to its old bright days in the future periods. Turkish people will become a marine nation again. I believe that these developments in the military and civil maritime industry increase the interest of the children and young people in this sector. And I also believe that we are proceeding on the way to become a worldwide brand in the maritime industry with the potentials we have not only in infrastructure terms, but in manpower terms as well," the Prime Minister said.
Turkish Navy ship building efforts produced the Milli Gemi (National Ship) or MILGEM corvette in 2008. Basically a smaller version of Singapore's Formidable in many aspects [2000 t. vs 3200 t.], MILGEM is considered a large corvette built with mainly indigenous efforts. This includes the Command and Control (C2) system. The difference between MILGEM and Formidable, other than the obvious size, weight, and price, is that MILGEM relies on RAM PDMS for AAW, similar to the LCS. Otherwise, both hold the same low signatures and stealth features as well as the same Seahawk helicopter. Built for operations mainly in the Aegean Sea and Eastern Mediterranean, a MILGEM unit cos, is predicted to be less than $300 million.
The MILGEM (Milli Gemi - National Ship) Patrol and Anti Submarine Warfare Ships Acquisition Project - Denizalti Savunma Harbi ve Kesif Karakol Gemisi Tedarik Projesi corvette project was launched in 1998 for the in-country design and construction of up to 12 anti-submarine warfare and high-seas patrol-capable vessels. MILGEM Corvette meets the reconnaissance, surveillance, target identification, early warning, defense of base and harbors, anti submarine warfare, surface to surface and surface to air warfare, amfibic operation and patrol requirements of Turkish Naval Forces Command.
The MILGEM Project calls for the local design and construction of Patrol and Anti-Submarine Warfare Ships by Turkish Navy at Istanbul Naval Shipyard in Pendik with maximum local content. The first naval vessel designed locally in MILGEM Project, will decrease external dependence in system integration for vessel design and hull construction, combine the capabilities existing in naval and private shipyards and transfer the technology and know-how to private shipyards, endow the private sector in naval shipbuilding with the required knowledge, experience and technological infrastructure.
MILGEM was developed to meet requirements of the Turkish Navy with respect to speed, seakeeping and stability. Milgem, from the Turkish words Milli Gemi (National Ship), is the name of the Turkish corvette program; the purpose of which is to build a modern littoral combat warship with indigenous capabilities, extensively using the principles of stealth technology in its design. The design concept and mission profile of Milgem bears similarities with the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS-1) developed by Lockheed Martin as the first member of the next generation of USN warships.
F-100 - Milgem frigate
The first eight Milgem class warships, from the Turkish words Milli Gemi (National Ship), are classified as corvettes, while the last four are the F-100 class and are classified as frigates. The F-100 class will be slightly larger in terms of dimensions and will be equipped with the Mk.41 VLS and ESSM, along with other additional systems for improved multirole combat capabilities. The Mk.41 VLS (Vertical Launching System) is capable of firing ESSM (Evolved Sea Sparrow), VLA (Vertical Launch Anti-Submarine Rocket), and Standard missiles, and the F-100 class frigates will be used as a testing platform for the new class of four indigenous AAW frigates of the Turkish Navy, known as the TF-2000 program. The experience and technological know-how gained with the Milgem 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 ships.
Turkey's Undersecretariat for Defense Industries (SSM) has defined their 2012-2016 Strategic Plan for over 280 projects which were initiated in 2011. The first ship in the national warship project MILGEM-S will also be completed in 2016.
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