>Turkey signs contract for six Type 214 submarines

>On 2nd July 2009, a contract was signed by Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft GmbH (HDW), Kiel, a company of ThyssenKrupp Technologies, and MarineForce International LLP (MFI), London, for the delivery of six material packages for the construction of Class 214 submarines to Turkey.

The value of the contract is estimated as 2,5 billion €. There is %80 offset agreement. The submarines will be built in Gölcük Naval Shipyard where 11 submarines of Type 209, were previously built.

The signing of the contract was the end of a long series of bureaucratic procedures that started in 2006. In spring 2006 Undersecretariat for Defence Industries called for companies to summit technical information. In late 2006 the request for proposal was published. In December 2007, 3 companies submitted their offers:

1) DCNS – France
2) HDW – Germany
3) Navantia S.A.-Spain

HDW offered Type 214, Navanita offered the brand new S-80A and DCNS offered Scorpene with AIP. According to technical specifications, Turkish Navy wanted to have a proven and working AIP boat with 8 torpedo tubes.

This eliminated the French and Spanish contenders. Spain is the only country that has ordered S-80A submarines. But the first boat is still being built and not launched yet. S-80A was a risk for Turkish Navy as it was an unproven design and boat. As Papanikolis showed everybody that the first boat of a new design may have problems that are difficult to cure.

DCNS boat, Scorpene has a better export success than S-80A. Scorpene was selected by Chile, Malaysia and India. But none of these boats have an integrated AIP. Both Malaysia and India have option to retrofit AIP, by cutting submarine in half and inserting the AIP module. Thus DCNS was not able to show a Scorpene submarine with a working AIP capability.

In July 2008, the selection of Type-214 was announced. After that the contract negotiations have started. Mk-48 torpedoes have been selected as the main weapon for the Turkish Type 214 submarines.

Usually and naturally, the German company HDW, offers German DM-2 heavy torpedoes as the standard weapon. The technical parameters of the German torpedoes are by default configured in the the fire control software developed by another German company Atlas Elektronik. In Type 209 submarines off Turkey German torpedoes are used as standard weapon. According to media reports HDW demanded a very high sum for the integration of Mk-48 torpedoes in to Type 214. This is typical HDW. When Greece wanted to have Italian Blackshark torpedoes for their Type 214 submarines, the money HDW demanded for the integration was so high that Greece decided to use German torpedoes instead. Therefore, Turkey selected Atlas Elektronik instead of HDW as the main contractor for the integration of Mk-48 torpedoes into the Atlas Elektronik’s ISUS command and control software.

This, will a debut for Mk-48 in Turkish service. USNI’s Combat Fleets of The World reference book speculated that 10 Mk-48 were delivered to Turkey in 1980’s with Tang class submarines. But this was never confirmed by other sources.

The production Type-214’s will be the third batch of submarine production in Turkey. The first batch was the production of 3 Type 209/1200 submarines. The second batch was the production of 4 Type 209/1400 submarines also known as Preveze class. The last batch was the production of 4 additional Type209/1400 submarines with different electronics and software. These boats are called Gür class.

In all these previous productions Turkish input was limited. But in the Type-214 production, many Turkish defense companies will supply their own systems.

  • HAVELSAN will take part in creation of the command and control software of the submarines. With GENESİS project this company gained a lot of know-how for surface ships. With the Type-214 project they will also gain know-how of software integration and creation for submarine systems.
  • Koç Savuma Sistemleri will develop an torpedo countermeasure system
  • MİLSOFT will deliver Link11/22 data transfer software
  • TÜBİTAK will supply their underwater telephony system and self-noice and other signature measuring systems
  • STM will gain know-how in submarine construction and system integration.

When Greece decided to procure 4 Type 214 boats with AIP capability back in 1998, Turkish Navy decided to build 4 Gür class boats with conventional diesel-electric propulsion. For some, this was a bad decision as Greece would have modern and more capable submarines and would gain the upper hand.

Ironically, this conservative decision of Turkish Navy turned out the be the right one. 4 Gür class submarines Turkey ordered in 1998 are in active service today, whereas Greek Navy is still waiting for her Type 214 boats. And in the end they will get 3 boats instead of the original four.

The Turkish Type-214 are expected to enter into the service 2015 and will surely replace the first 4 and oldest Atılay class submarines, which will be on average 39 years old.

One Response to >Turkey signs contract for six Type 214 submarines

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