Turkey starts to make first 'indigenous' frigate

AA photo

Turkey has started to make its first "indigenous" frigate, dubbed the "Istanbul Frigate," in an official ceremony in Istanbul with the attendance by Defense Minister Fikri Işık and Turkish Naval Forces Commander Bülent Bostanoğlu. 

"It is one of the top priorities of our government to enable our military to have a strong navy equipped with locally made arms, as three of Turkey's sides are surrounded by the sea," said Işık on Jan. 19.

He added that the country has "proceeded a long way in recent years to developing its own war vessels," in reference to the country's MİLGEM (National Ship) project to develop indigenous warships. 

The 113-meter long frigate is expected to be completed within the next four years and become online by 2021.

The "I-class" frigate will be equipped with indigenous infrared search and track systems, developed by ASELSAN.

The frigate will also be integrated with a Turkey-made electronic assault system, according to officials. Locally-made guided missiles and anti-torpedo shields will also be used. 

The MİLGEM project covers the construction of a number of corvettes (Ada class) and frigates for the Turkish Navy. Until now, two corvettes were commissioned and the other two corvettes are under construction. 

Işık stated that the project has reached an "indigenous contribution" of over 65 percent.

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