Tepe / Muavenet (Knox) class ASW frigates
Beginning in 1985, Turkey sought to improve its defensive posture by developing a fifteen-year Strategic Defense Modernization Plan that included the improvement ofits navy. From the Turkish Navy perspective, this plan led to the construction of new frigates, submarines, and the acquisition of eight ex-Knox class frigates obtained through lease from the United States. All of these modernization activities virtually remade the Turkish Navy into a modern force, capable of extended operations in support of national and NATO missions.
In the early 1990s, the Turkish Naval Fleet was mainly comprised of World War II (WWII) vintage destroyers. As these former U.S. ex-Gearing and ex-Carpenter class destroyers aged and their maintenance costs grew, the Turkish Navy began looking for replacements. Initially, Perry class frigates from the US Navy were preferred because of their modern combat systems and gas turbine power plants. However, since these ships were not yet available for FMS/FML in late 1992, Turkey asked for eight excess Knox class frigates from the US and committed $300 million for their lease and outfitting costs.
In 1995 Turkey acquired four Knox class frigates from the US. The FF-1052 Knox Class Frigate was one of the three Fast Frigate (FF) class of ships in the US Navy. These ships had primarily an anti-submarine warfare (ASW) mission by design and all contain the AN SQS-26 active search and attacksonar, Anti-Submarine rocket (ASROC) launcher and torpedo tubes. In addition to these ASW weapons and systems, these ships were modified in early 1980s to accommodate one Light Airborne Multi-Purpose System (LAMPS) SH-2 ASW helicopter. The FF-1052 class frigates had a fairly limited anti-air warfare (AAW) capability with each ship having only one 5"/54gun forward. However, with the latest modifications, this limitation was mitigated by the accommodation of HARPOON guided-missiles and PHALANX close-in weapon systems (CIWS).
The "Cold Ship" method of transfer from the US Navy provides the minimum acceptable effort for a "Cold Ship" vessel leased to a foreign government. Generally, the cold-ship is taken from an Inactive Ship Maintenance Facility (INACTSHIPACT) and activated to a "safe to steam" status by correcting deficiencies in the navigation, engineering, damage control and fire fighting areas. This enables the ship to safely sail back to the receiving country where the country can continue other repairs / modernization activities with their own assets at their own pace. As a main advantage, the foreign country receives an operational vessel from the US Navy at a relatively low cost.
The lease period was for five years, at the conclusion of which Congress could authorize a renewal or confiscate the ships. One clause inherent in the lease specified that all eight ships would immediately transfer in a "Hot Ship" (active) status. A "Hot Ship" transfer is the least expensive transfer method for a foreign government, since the ship is in an active operational status. As part of the "Hot Ship" process, the leased ships were manned by US Navy personnel until the decommissioning / transfer ceremony officiated the transfer of the ships from the US Navy to the Turkish Navy.
A transfer of this magnitude could be expected to take a year or more, with the requisite training of hundreds of sailors in U.S. Navy schools, weapons allocations, and logistics requirements, but the Turkish Navy asked for delivery of the first four in only nine months. NAD, Navy IPO, and the USN systems commands established 13 FMS cases, covering all aspects of the transfer includingtraining, supply support, weapons, post-transfer maintenance, and Turkish shipyard improvements. Close liaison between all activities enabled the U.S. Navy to transfer the ships two months early.
Having accomplished the timely delivery of the first four frigates, NAD and the U.S. Navy were soon challenged again by the Turkish Navy to transfer the second set of four frigates in six months. Again, NAD established the necessary contacts and coordinated a smooth transfer which culminated in a dedication ceremony for all eight frigates at the main Turkish naval base at Golcukin July 1994, which was addressed by both the Turkish President and Prime Minister. Since their turnover, the ships operated safely and reliably, and significantly increased Turkish Navy capabilities.
The Department of Defense announced November 18, 1998 the possible sale to the Government of Turkey of three FFG-7 PERRY class frigates and eight currently leased FF 1052 KNOX class frigates for service with the Turkish Navy.
With eight ex-Knox class frigates well integrated and operating within their Navy, Turkish Naval Forces Command (TNFC) sought the help and advice of NAD in the maintenance and upgrade of the ships. On the maintenance side, NAD coordinated several site surveys andassistance team visits to Turkish shipyards and is currently assisting with boiler inspections for theKnox class frigates. These visits include surveys of calibration facilities and circuit card repairfacilities, as well as a review of capabilities required specifically for the support of Knox class frigates. To assist with the upgrade of Knox capabilities, NAD coordinated the transfer of 14 excess U.S. Navy SH-2F Sea Sprite helicopters and associated support equipment. The addition of these helicopters to the aviation arm of the Turkish Navy greatly enhanced capabilities in this area. Other initiatives by NAD significantly lowered the transfer cost of these aircraft andequipment to further assist the Turkish Navy.
The Turkish Navy received two non-operational Knox class frigate under the Southern Region Amendment (SRA), which provided for the transfer of excess U.S. defense equipment free of charge, to further modernization goals. These ships were utilized for spare parts to support the eight operational Knox frigates in the Turkish fleet. The introduction of the Knox frigates also placed new demands on training facilities within Turkey. To assist in modernization in this area, the Turkish Navy requested boiler training simulators and Close-in Weapon System (CIWS) trainers to be furnished through the SRA.
|#||Name||US #||US Name||Comm||Decomm||transfer|
|F253||Zafer||FF-1092||Thomas C. Hart||07/28/73||08/30/93||20xx|
|F255||Karadeniz||FF-1085||Donald B. Beary||07/22/72||05/20/94||1994||2006|
|parts hulk||FF-1082||Elmer Montgomery||10/30/71||06/30/93||1993||20xx|
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