Surface Forces: Turkey The Warship Exporter

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January 14, 2021: Turkey has a second export customer for its locally developed and built Ada class corvettes. At the end of 2020 Ukraine ordered four of these 2,400-ton ships with two built in Turkey and two built under license in Ukraine. This is a billion-dollar sale for Turkey. The first export customer was Pakistan, who ordered four of these corvettes in mid-2018. Two are built in Turkey with the others built in Pakistan.

Designed in Turkey for the Turkish Navy, four of these ships entered service with the Turkish navy between 2011 and 2019. These ships are designed for coastal patrol and ASW (anti-submarine warfare). Electronics are largely Turkish, including a hull-mounted sonar plus search and fire control radars. Other electronic systems include jammers and counter measures to deal with missiles and torpedoes.

The Ada’s can stay at sea about ten days, although with at-sea resupply that can be more than doubled. Max speed is 56 kilometers an hour and cruising speed is half that. The crew is 93 although there are accommodations for 106. Armament consists of one 76mm gun, two remotely controlled 12.7mm machine-guns, six anti-submarine torpedoes, eight Harpoon anti-ship missiles and a 21 cell RAM (rolling airframe missile) system for anti-missile/aircraft defense. Two powered RIB (rigid inflatable boats) are carried for tasks like boarding parties. There is also a hanger and platform for a medium (ten ton) helicopter or UAVs. The first Pakistani Ada will be completed in early 2023 while the first Ukrainian Ada will enter service in about four years.

The Ada corvettes are part of a basic design called Migem that can be easily modified to produce larger versions. Milgem was developed in Turkey during the 1990s but construction of the first ship was delayed several years because of a national economic crisis. Construction finally began in 2005, with the second ship following in 2008 and last two did not get started until 2014 and 2015.

Milgem currently includes two other variants. The 3,000-ton Istanbul class multi-purpose frigate has a crew of 125, 16 anti-ship missiles and 16 VLS (vertical launch system) cells for 64 ESSM (Evolved Sea Sparrow Missiles) with a range of 50 kilometers compared to nine kilometers for the RAM system, but only four anti-submarine torpedoes. Endurance of the Istanbul class is three weeks. Otherwise, equipment is similar to the Ada class. Turkey began building the first Istanbul class ship in 2017 and plans to build four by the late 2020s.

Turkey is also developing a 9,000-ton Milgem type destroyer called the T-2000 class. Eight of these are planned for the service starting in the late 2020s.

Pakistan is planning to build 2,800-ton Jinnah class multi-role frigates based on their experience building two Ada class corvettes.

 


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