The Battle For The TF-2000 Project Has Started

F-105 SPS Cristóbal Colón

Last week the marketing department of the Spanish shipbuilder Navantia send the following press release to a small group of Turkish defense journalists, about the latest Spanish F-100 class frigate F-105 Cristóbal Colón.


On 9th. January, the F-100 class frigate “Cristóbal Colón”, under construction in Navantia for the Spanish Navy, left the shipyard dry dock after a period of dry docking for hull and platform readiness for sea trials, that will take place in March 2012.

During this month, Navantia will proceed to the completion of the Combat System integration functional trials, in order to have the sea trials in May. The frigate is now in the final phase of construction, and after the sea trials it is expected to be commissioned next July.

The fifth frigate incorporates new solutions and technology that will fullfill the most demanding challenges for present and future threats:

Multipurpose Vessel excellent performance in all types of sea states Multipurpose ship
Medium-size ocean escort vessel.
Optimised for operating as flagship in conflict scenarios with capability to be part of an allied fleet and support expeditionary forces.
Capability to flexibly operate in littoral waters or high seas conditioned to conflict challenges.
High air warfare capability.

It also incorporates important improvements in systems and equipment:
Lockheed Martin Aegis System linked to Radar SPY-1D (V).
Integration of new Spanish sensors and weapons into the Aegis System by means of a new version of CDS developed by Navantia- FABA Systems.
New IPMS developed by Navantia – FABA Systems.
Updated system of the Navigation Data Distribution Network.
Navantia/Caterpillar Bravo 16V propulsion engines.
RAS sliding padeyes.
Retractable bow thruster for ship manoeuvring and emergency.

Main features:
– Waterline Length ……………………..133.20 m
– Full Load Displacement ………………6,041 t
– Full Load Draught ………………………5.00 m
– Maximum speed …………………………28.5 knots
– Cruising speed ………………………..18 knots
– Endurance at Cruising Speed ………….4,500 miles
– Crew ………………………………. 234 persons

Significant shipbuilding data:
– Number of compartments: 573
– Tons of Hull Steel: 2.450 t.
– Metres of cable: 315.000 m.
– Metres of piping : 37.000 m.

Just Two days after Navantia send the press release the following news of UK’s Financial times about the BAE, found its way into one of the Turkey influential newspapers Hürriyet. The original FT story is behind a paywall, therefore I am putting here a slightly shortened version of it.

BAE looks abroad to save UK shipyards

By Carola Hoyos, Defence Correspondent

BAE Systems, Europe’s largest defence contractor, is in talks with Brazil and Turkey, to secure orders for the company’s most advanced warship in the hopes it could save its UK shipyards from closure.

The company is reviewing its business in light of cuts in UK defence spending, including considering whether to close one of its three shipyards in Glasgow and Portsmouth. 

In contrast to the UK, Brazil and Turkey are expanding their navies, with BAE earlier this month having sold Brazil three ocean patrol boats for £133m – the biggest naval deal with the country so far. Now BAE hopes to sell them the Type-26 Global Combat Ship, its newest warship, which will support anti-submarine capabilities and have the potential to add air defence capabilities, but is still in the design stage.

Many of the world’s emerging economies, including Brazil and Turkey, want to build as much of their fleet as possible at home.

But experts say the T-26 is so technically complicated that the first few examples may need to be built in the UK with Turkish and Brazilian engineers learning the production process before they take the knowledge home to build subsequent ships there. Such an arrangement would extend the life of BAE’s shipyards.

BAE said it was actively looking to work with Brazil and Turkey on its naval expansion plans. “This includes exploring the potential for Turkey to bring its maritime expertise to the Global Combat Ship programme to jointly develop ships for Turkey.” 

BAE’s says by reviewing its shipbuilding business it is keeping its part of the deal. Filling the gaps left by order delays and cuts has proved far from easy and BAE has already come under fire from unions and politicians for cutting jobs in its jet fighter business.

The future – at least in the medium term – lies with new orders from countries that may want to do the work themselves, but still need the UK’s infrastructure and experienced engineers to help them learn how to do it. To secure the shipyards in the long term, BAE will have to keep on the edge of technical advancement and hope that its biggest customers’ budgets and military ambitions recover.

Shopping for ships: Where BAE sees opportunities for its Type-26 Global Combat Ship


  • The current national ship-building programme is called Milgem, which is for the construction of corvettes – small, lightly armed warships – already under way in Turkey by Turkish industry
  • Turkey has ambitions to strengthen further its naval fleet and BAE is exploring opportunities for partnerships in the maritime sector, and that could include the Global Combat Ship, which is still in the design stage


  • The national naval equipment programme Prosuper includes a requirement for five ocean patrol vessels, five frigates and one logistics support vessel
  • BAE claims that the recent sale of three OPVs to Brazil, plus the manufacturing licence, positions the company well for future contracts.

I do not believe in coincidences much. And personally I do not think there is room for coincidences in the highly competitive marketing of defense industries. So why did two of the biggest shipbuilders of Europa reminded themselves to the Turkish public?

It is obvious that The Battle For The TF-2000 Project has started and the interested parties are drawing their lines.

TF-2000 is the next big deal for the Turkish Navy. And unlike the current on going constructions projects of the Turkish Navy, there is a huge income potential for the foreign defense companies. TF-2000 will be an anti-air warfare frigate that will survival in the presence of aerial threats and will provide also support functions such as command control and communication, reconnaissance, early warning, surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare and electronic warfare. Technicaly speaking TF-2000 will be larger and more complex than the Milgem and any other frigate in the inventory of the Turkish Navy.

While the mayor foreign input on Milgem was limited to weapon systems, radar and main machinery. But as the TF-2000 ships are going to have more complex software, sensors and weapon systems there is more room for foreign companies to push their solutions.

There are two full breed AAW solutions avaliable for Turkish Navy:

1) AEGIS sensor and command and control software suite + SM-2/3 Standart SAM missile family

2) S 1850M + EMPAR / SAMPSON sensor and command and control software suite + Aster 15/30 SAM missile family

A third option is a mix of the above mentioned systems: SMART-L + APAR sensor and command and control software suite + SM-2/3 Standart SAM missile family

Spain and Norway have chosen the first solution. Italy, France and UK opted for the second solution. The Netherlands Denmark and Germany have chosen the third way.

I regards the above statements from Navantia and BAE Systems as the opening shots of  The Battle For The TF-2000 Project. We all will see where the events will take us from here.


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5 Responses to The Battle For The TF-2000 Project Has Started

  1. Dave Shirlaw says:

    Looks like Navantia has lost the Canada sale for AOR replacement in favor of the Berlin Class.

  2. Mehmet says:

    why no germans?

  3. Pingback: BAE Lost The Turkish Bid, Before The Acquisition Process Started «

  4. Antonio Mirko Levando says:

    BAE Lost because, at Ottoman Time they Ordered from UK Already Paid Warship, but they did not give to Ottomans. So why we trust UK now? Never TF2000 Warship will be purely Turkish Made.

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