Indigenous Arms Industry Defies ‘Hidden Embargoes’ On Turkey: Erdoğan
(Source: Hurriyet Daily News; published July 03, 2017)
The fourth and final Ada-class corvette, Kinaliada, was launched yesterday in Istanbul. Developed to make weapons more affordable, Turkey’s defense industry is now seen as a way to avoid a “hidden embargo” that Turkey allegedly suffers. (TNN photo)
Turkey’s flourishing indigenous arms industry has defied a “hidden embargo” on the country for the last 15 years, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on July 3, signaling new projects in the sector.

Speaking at the launch ceremony of the Kınalıada Corvette, domestically manufactured under the Turkish military’s national warship development project (MİLGEM), Erdoğan vowed that the country would not give up on realizing its high ambitions for the defense industry.

“It must be one of our priorities to become a full arms-producing country rather than a consumer in this area. We need to prefer our domestic corporations over foreign ones if they are making products of equal characteristics. If we had not followed this practice over the past 15 years, because of these hidden embargoes we would not have even been able to undertake in our cross-border operations against terror,” he said.

He was speaking in Istanbul’s Tuzla shipyard, where the construction of five naval corvettes was kick-started after the Kınalıada ceremony.

The first weld of the Kınalıada Corvette ceremony was held in June 2016, and officials say it will become operational by 2020.

The indigenous “Ada-class” naval corvettes of 99.5 meters length have been designed to carry out various missions such as surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare, air defense, surveillance and reconnaissance, command-control and asymmetric defense warfare missions. The first was the TCG Heybeliada (F-511), launched in 2008.

The ships, which are named after the Princes’ Islands off Istanbul, are designed for search and rescue, patrol and anti-submarine warfare duties and are armed with a 76 millimeter gun, missiles and torpedoes and carry a Seahawk helicopter.

The ships have a displacement of 2,400 tons, a maximum speed of more than 29 knots (33 miles an hour) and a range of 3,500 nautical miles.

Erdoğan also noted Turkey has completed 14 warship projects and is set to finalize 10 further projects in this field.

“We are proud of our ability to build military ships, especially the construction of submarines. Turkey has been among the 10 countries in the world capable of designing and manufacturing military vessels. We will also build our own aircraft carriers,” he said.

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TCG Kınalıada Is Launched and TCG Istanbul Is Placed On Slipway (excerpt)
(Source: TurkishNavy.net; posted July 3, 2017)
The fourth and last ship of Ada class corvettes, F-514 TCG Kınalıada was launched today, after 8 years and 9 months since first indigenous warship TCG Heybeliada left the slipway.

Today also marked the start of a new era of Turkish warship construction. The first module of the frigate TCG Istanbul was laid on the slipway.

The first steel of the frigate was cut on 19. January 2017. The first model of the ship was constructed during the last 6 months. As Tuzla Naval Shipyard has only one slipway to accommodate new buildings, the launching of TCG Kınalıada created space for the frigate.

TCG İstanbul will be the prototype of the second generation of the Milgem class warships. There will be four of them: TCG İstanbul, TCG İzmir, TCG İzmit and TCG İçel. They are a modified version of Ada class corvettes. They will be about 14 meters longer but will have the same width as Ada class. The frigates will be 600 tons heavier.

Construction of TCG İstanbul is expected to be completed within the next 46 months with the intended commissioning date is 2021. (end of excerpt)

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