Turkish Navy Launches First Istanbul-class Frigate, TCG Istanbul

Istanbul Naval Shipyard (INSY) has launched the first Istanbul-class frigate, TCG Istanbul (F-515), for the Turkish Navy on Jan. 23.

The ceremony was attended by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Minister of National Defense Hulusi Akar, Deputy Minister Muhsin Dere, Head of Presidency of Defense Industries (SSB) Ismail Demir, Chief of General Staff Gen. Yaşar Güler, and Commander of the Naval Forces Admiral Adnan Özbal.

Along with the launching ceremony of TCG Istanbul, the first welding ceremony of the third ship of the Pakistan Navy MİLGEM corvette project was also held at Istanbul Naval Shipyard. Pakistan signed a contract for the construction of four MILGEM Class Corvettes with Turkey in 2018.

The ceremonial steel cut for TCG Istanbul was held on Jan. 19, 2017. The vessel was laid down on 3 July 2017 and is expected to commission in 2023.

The Istanbul-class is a planned class of four frigates being built for the Turkish Naval Forces under Turkey’s MILGEM national warship program. The class was originally known as the TF-100 class under MILGEM-G designation.

The Istanbul class is an enlarged version of the MILGEM Ada-class and features a slightly larger hull for improved endurance while retaining the anti-submarine corvette’s guns, self protection and anti-submarine warfare (ASW) systems.

The frigates, also called as I-class frigates, will be equipped with Mark 41 vertical launch system (Mk 41 VLS) capable of firing Atmaca, HISAR, RIM-66 Standard, RIM-162 ESSM (Evolved SeaSparrow Missile) and RUM-139 VL ASROC missiles giving the vessels multi-role capability.

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