From MİLGEM to “I” Class Frigate
The first steps of the MILGEM as the first naval ship and the most important and most successful modernization project of the Republic of Turkey and Turkish Naval Forces were taken during 1990s. Because of the private sector’s attitude towards military ship design projects in Turkey and the adversities during the determination of the project requirements, the initiation of the project was extended to 2000s. In order to accomplish the design activities; the Design Project Office (DPO-then MILGEM Project Office) was founded on March 12, 2004 with a modest team of 45 people by the initiative of the Naval Forces Command in Istanbul Naval Shipyard.
Turkish Naval Forces assumed responsibility of the design, construction, and performance to realize the project nationally after the design bidding processes were concluded with less than expected national share. From feasibility studies to detail design, every design and integration process was executed by the engineers of the Turkish Navy, the construction was completed by the workers of the Turkish Navy, and procurement was performed by the Presidency of Defense Industries (SSB). MILGEM Project is one of the exceptional projects that are considered as a great success by the international authorities for its timely execution with required performance. All of the industrial and intellectual rights of the MILGEM Project are property of the Ministry of Defense.
The four ships of the MİLGEM Project are named ADA Class Corvettes. The first three ships of the project TCG HEYBELİADA, TCG BÜYÜKADA and TCG BURGAZADA were put into service in 2011, 2013, and 2018, respectively, after successful testing. The fourth ship of the project KINALIADA is being tested and is planned to be delivered in 2019.
Design process of “I” Class Frigate Project was initiated by the orders of the Turkish Naval Forces Command in February 2014, and the construction of the first ship was begun in 2017 at İstanbul Naval Shipyard. Currently the detail design process is in progress. “I” Class Frigate Project is designed as a new platform to enhance the capabilities of ADA Class Corvettes to correspond with operational needs of the Turkish Navy. All of the design steps that were carried out during MILGEM Project are being performed in “I” Class Frigate Project.
With the skills and experience gained from the ADA Class Corvettes, that is part of the MILGEM Project, and due to the developments in technology and threats, “I” Class Frigate is designed with longer range, higher endurance, and better anti-air defense capability than ADA Class Corvettes. Operational capabilities, maneuvering, survivability and fire power of the ADA Class Corvettes are increased and for the first time nationalized weapon systems are integrated to “I” Class Frigate.
TF-2000 Air Defense Destroyer (HSHM) Project has been initiated in DPO as of July 2017 by the orders of the Naval Forces Command.
Mission Function and Design Principles
The mission function of “I” Class Frigate is to protect maritime interests of the Republic of Turkey and establish naval deterrence and prevention by;
- Flying the flag and making the presence felt,
- Carrying out counter-terrorism activities at sea,
- Performing search and rescue missions,
- Executing anti-submarine warfare operations at open seas and littoral waters and detecting, identifying and destroying targets by establishing surface patrol regions, and
- Performing coordinated operations with other naval and air assets which take part in sea control operations.
Compared to ADA Class Corvettes, “I” Class Frigate will have;
- Increased range and endurance,
- Enhanced anti-air warfare capabilities,
- Comparatively longer-ranged, more effective and more nationalized weapons,
- More effective command control and combat control capacities.
“I” Class Frigate is designed in accordance with the following design principles;
- Maximum speed of 29 kts, 4000 nautical miles of range at 18 kts or 5700 nautical miles of range at 14 kts.
- Unconditional operations at sea state 5,
- Minimum 15 days of operational capability without replenishments,
- At least 40 years of service life,
- Design practices to ensure low Radar Cross Section (RCS), underwater acoustics, magnetic and IR signatures to reduce susceptibility,
- Design practices to increase survivability by elevating structural strength against underwater and surface weapons,
- Accommodation for a crew of 123.
- Max. Length : 113.2 meters
- Max Beam : 14.4 meters
- Draft : 4.05 meters
- Displacement : 3000 tons
- Max. Speed : 29+ knots
- Cruising Speed : 14 knots
“I” Class Frigate will be capable of
- Surface warfare,
- Anti-submarine warfare
- Anti-air warfare
- Reconnaissance and surveillance missions,
- Defense against asymmetric threats,
- Command control operations.
In order to accomplish the operational tasks “I” Class Frigate will be equipped with
- Enhanced target detection and tracking systems for anti-air, surface, anti-submarine and electronic warfare,
- Surface to surface guided missiles and main gun against surface targets,
- Surface to air guided missiles and main gun against air targets,
- Torpedo systems against underwater targets,
- Electronic support, electronic countermeasures and laser warning system to detect radars, laser designators and range finders and RP/laser guided missiles,
- Electronic attack systems for jamming radars and guided missiles,
- High technology communication systems,
- National Command Control System (Genesis ADVENT) including Network Centric Warfare compatible combat management system to integrate aforementioned systems and weapons.
Surface Warfare (SW)
“I” Class Frigate will be equipped with a 76 mm. main gun with high firing rates capable of firing multi-type ammunition against air, surface and land-based targets.The 76 mm. gun can be controlled by fire control radar or electro-optical director (EOD).
“I” Class Frigate will be equipped with 16 ATMACA guided missiles for surface warfare. ATMACA G/M has long range striking and sensitive target differentiation capabilities.
“I” Class Frigate will have 2 remotely or locally controlled stabilized gun and integrated laser/IR/TV electro-optical and independent control systems.
Anti-Air Warfare (AAW)
For anti-air purposes, the “I” Class Frigate will be equipped with a main gun and short/medium range surface to air guided missiles.
“I” Class Frigate will have a main gun and a close-in weapon system in addition to the guided missiles for self-defense.
25 mm. stabilized guns can be used against low altitude air targets with high firing rates and automatic tracking capabilities.
Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW)
“I” Class Frigate will be equipped with a national hull-mounted sonar, modern torpedoes, and torpedo countermeasures system in order to use for effective ASW. Along with aforementioned systems ASW helicopters deployed from the ship will increase the effective long range ASW capabilities. All of ASW weapons and sensors will be integrated to the Combat Management System.
Communication and Navigation Systems
“I” Class Frigate will be outfitted with internal and external communication systems to meet predefined operational requirements. Communication systems, Link 11/16/22, military satellite communication system, wireless communication system will have internal communication capabilities.
“I” Class Frigate will be equipped with commercial navigation radar, LPI-enabled navigation radar, WECDIS System, and various navigation assistances and anti-collision systems in accordance with International Maritime Organization (IMO) rules.
Electronic Warfare (EW) Systems
“I” Class Frigate will have a national Electronic Warfare Suite which is composed of Electronic Warfare Support (ED) System for sensitive analysis and early target identification through a library and a national Electronic Attack (ET) System for jamming in a broad frequency range, and a Laser Warning System.
ADVENT Combat Management System
“I” Class Frigate will have a national and Network Centric Warfare compatible ADVENT Combat Management System that accelerates and eases decision making processes of the users by facilitating decision support mechanisms.
GENESIS ADVENT is capable of collecting, compiling, assessing data from the sensors and weapons on board; providing command support on weapons assignment, exchanging target information with other platforms via integrated link systems.
“I” Class Frigate will have a hangar to carry and support a Sea Hawk S-70B helicopter with a maximum weight of 10 tons, a platform to allow day and night operations for helicopter and unmanned air vehicles that will be acquired in the future, additional ammunition stores and JP-5 refueling capabilities.
The platform will be certified with Level-1 Class-2 designations to support helicopters for day and night operations under instrument meteorological conditions. Systems and equipment on the platform and in the hangar will be used for helicopter operations up to sea state 4.
Main Propulsion System
A total of 32 MW propulsion power generated by a gas turbine and two diesel engines is transmitted through two controllable pitch propellers via ross connected gear box. In this propulsion architecture, due to the capability of cruising with one diesel engine, life cycle cost is decreased and engine overhaul intervals are increased.