26 Jan 2011 Leave a comment
I have attended the firstday of the SSM exhibition and conference. It was not quite as I wasexpecting.
The first boat of thisclass P-1200 TCG Tuzla was delivered to Turkish Navy on 4 January2011. Currently Turkish Navy is conducting its own acceptance testsbefore this boat is officially commissioned. In an unprecedented moveTurkish Navy decided to give a proper name to these boats. In TurkishNavy tradition such boats were called TCG ABxy. AB is theabbreviation of A(vcı) B(otu), which means hunter/patrol boat and xyis the last two numbers of the boats pennant number. But the firstboat of this class is christened as TCG Tuzla in honor of the mostimportant shipbuilding region of Turkey.
Mr. Akkaya stressedthrough his presentation that Dearsan’s in house designing team wasresponsible for the design of these boats from sketch. This might bein defence of the rumors that these boats resemble very much RAN’sArmidale class very much. He also mentioned the difficulties theyhave experienced with the sub contractors. Most of the sub contractswere chosen from companies that previously participated in Milgemproject and know how to work for a naval shipbuilding project. Neverthe less some sub contractors did not have the necessary security,class and quality certifications and these companies were financed byDearsan for the certification process. This highlight one importantweakness of the industry: creating, maintaining and updating thedocuments such as user manuals, quality and warranty certificates andsuch.
Following thispresentation was a questions and answer season with Mr. Akkaya andMr. Demirel. I will not write all the questions and answers inlength, just highlights that I found worth sharing:
- Turkish Navy and Undersecretariat for Defence Industries are very proud on Milgem andthe impact Milgem project had over the Turkish shipbuilding industry.The Milgem project achieved an important change for a civilian marketoriented industry that had no idea on military shipbuildingstandarts.
- UDI regards the secondship of the Milgem class TCG Büyükada as a second prototype. Somechanges and improvements were incorporated in this ship, that werepreviously unthinkable or considered too bold. But soon a privateshipyard will be selected as the producer for the remaining Milgems.
- Marine propulsion is setas the next important milestone bu UDI. This fact was emphasizedagain today. UDI is currently in talks with MTU, MAN and other marinepropulsion manufacturers for production in Turkey. Marine propulsionis regarded very critical:
- UDI sees a considerableexport potential in Milgem, NTPB and Fast LCT classes as theseprovide original solutions for navies. And the foreign sales of theseships are officially supported by UDI.
a) It is the most crucialsub system that is not produced in Turkey.
b) If Turkey manages toinstall indigenous built propulsion in locally built warships a verybig hurdle in exporting Turkish warships will be overcome.
The trade fair willcontinue till Friday, 28 January. The conference will end tomorrowevening.