TCG Kınalıada, the fourth and the final MILGEM Ada-class corvette of the Turkish Navy was launched at the Tuzla Shipyard on July 3.
The ship’s keel was laid down in October 2015 and is expected to be commissioned into the fleet in 2019. The first two corvettes of the class, TCG Heybeliada and TCG Büyükada are operational with the Navy. The third ship, TCG Burgazada, was launched in 2014 and is scheduled for delivery in 2018.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan presided over the event and he lauded the efforts of the Turkish naval industry for fulfilling the first major phase of the MILGEM program.
He claimed that the indigenous content of MILGEM Ada-class corvette is around 65% and more than 50 Turkish entities are involved in the program.
The Ada-class has a displacement of 2,400 tons and a length of 100 m. They have anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and high-seas patrol capabilities. The ships are armed with one 76 mm OtoMelara Super Rapid gun, two 324 mm (13 in) Mk 32 triple ASW torpedo launchers, two quad-cell launchers for Harpoon anti-ship missiles, two 12.7 mm (0.50 in) Aselsan STAMP Stabilized Machine Gun Platform and one Mk-144 Guided Missile Launcher (GML) for RAM point defense missile system (PDMS).
The launch was accompanied by the keel-laying of the TCG Istanbul, the first Istanbul-class multi-mission frigate. The Istanbul class will feature a slightly larger hull compared to Ada class. The Istanbul class will have twice the number of anti-ship missiles 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.
Turkey intends to complete the TCG Istanbul by 2021. Turkey intends to produce four I-Class frigates: TCG Istanbul, TCG Izmir, TCG Izmit and TCG İçel. Long-term development plans center on the TF-2000 anti-air warfare (AAW) frigate.