>A New Photo Of Milgem


This is the latest photo of Milgem. The painting of the hangar area seems to be completed. The main gun is installed. It is a 76mm OTO-Melara. It has the new stealth cupola for reduced radar cross section but it is different than show previously on documents on Milgem.

Apparently the installation of the weapon systems with the exception of the anti ship missiles are completed.

The scaffold around the mast indicates that there is still work to do there.

The second Milgem class corvette, TCG Büyükada can be seen as the red hull in construction, behind TCG Heybeliada.

>New Photo Of Milgem


There is a new photo of MILGEM, which is quite interesting. It shows that there has been considerable progress in her construction.
  • The installation of her main radar Smart-S Mk2 seems to be completed.
  • The construction of the ARES-2N ES antennas located just below the Smart-S Mk2 seems to be completed as well. The complete system was developed by Aselsan.
  • The two STAMP, remotely controlled guns are installed at the both sides of the funnel.
  • Under the blue tarpaulin at the top of the helicopter hangar is the Mk-49 RAM surface to air missile launcher. The launcher is either currently being installed or the installation was recently completed.
  • Most importantly we can see the aft of the ship now. All photos of TCG Heybeliada since she was launched were showing her from bow on. But now we can see her aft. This means she moved and that further means that the harbor acceptance tests has been started.      

>A New Photo of Milgem And First Photo Of Special Forces Infiltration Boat Ever

>Today was a good day for ship spotting. I was able to observe the construction of MILGEM, from a distance.

The work on her mast seems to be almost completed. The housing for the ESM/ECM sensors is finished and soon the sensor will be installed. The work on the aft seems to have progressed. The weapons are yet to be fitted. But this will be done at the last stage I guess.

Most of the progress is happening without a doubt inside the ship which is not ours to see.

Another important ship a boat rather that was visible to day was the first example of the new infiltration boats for Turkish Naval Special Forces.

On 31 November 2008 a contract was signed between Undersecretariat for Defense Industries and Yonca Onuk shipyard for the consturuction of two boats. The MRTP 22 U class infiltration boats are 24 meters long and have 48 tons displacement. Powered by two 2200 hp engines and water-jets, they can make up to 55 knots.

Yonca Onuk has established it self as the leading fast boat producer in Turkey. They have sold 43 boats in Kaan 15, Kaan 19, Kaan 29 and Kaan 33 class. They have exported similar boats to Georgia, Pakistan, United Arab Emirates.

The infiltation boats were under construction for some time but no photos of them have been ever published showing them on the water yet. So this photo is a world’s first if I may say so. Click here for the video.

>New Photo of Milgem (Part-2)


Another photo of Milgem has emerged. Some small changes can be seen compared to her lasf photo of late March.

Photo from Mr. Turgay and it is used with his permission.

>New Photo of Milgem


A new photo of Milgem has emerged. Previously she was in the dry dock. The installation of her sonar transducer and sonar dome seems to be finished. The alignment of her shafts and her propellers also seems to be done.

Photo from user oceangoing of Savunma ve Strateji forum. Used with permission.

>New Photo of Milgem


F-511 TCG Heybeliada, first ship of MILGEM class corvettes, is now visible on Google Earth.

Electronic Warfare Exercise With Unmanned Vessels

This week, Turkish Naval Forces conducted an electronic warfare exercise off the coast of Antalya.

The embedded short video shows ULAQ unmanned surface vessel with an EW suite and antenna. This version of ULAQ was made public when it was shown to the members of the Ankara Military Attache Corps.

The details of the new configuration have not been shared with the public. However, on the panel The Future of Unmanned Naval Systems and Turkey’s Potential held during the SAHA Expo last week, it was reviled that the Sefine Shipyard – Aselsan joint venture the Merlin USV was also in Antalya.

The Merlin took part in REPMUS 22 and Dynamic Messenger 22 exercises held at the Maritime Operational Experimentation Center (CEOM) in Troia, Portugal.

Besides the USV, there was one Yavuz class frigate, one Ada class corvette, and one Kılıç class fast attack craft participating in the exercise.

The presence of two especially for electronic warfare configured unmanned surface vessel indicates that the Turkish Navy is spending time learning the potential of these vessels closely and developing concepts to use these vessels in action.

One Ada class corvette in the background and one Yavuz class frigate off the coast of Antalya during the electronic warfare exercise. Photo: Mert Şekersoy. Used with permission.

New Sensors For Gabya Class Frigiates

A photo of TCG Gaziantep with the new electro-optic sensor. Photo: Oğuz Eroğuz. Used with permission.

The Turkish Navy started to upgrade the Gabya class frigates with a new electro-optic sensor.

The sensor was first observed on board TCG Gökçeada a couple months ago, the new electro-optic sensor appeared on board TCG Gaziantep this week. The ship was in overhaul. The E/O seems to be installed on a special pedestal on top of the bridge.

While there are no official announcements either from the Turkish Navy or Aselsan the system used on board seems to be the Denizgözü-Ahtapot version.

According to Aselsan Ahtapot is an E/O reconnaissance and surveillance system. The system has high-performance IR, HDTV and Spotter cameras, and an eye-safe laser range finder.

The sensor was specifically designed for naval use on board large ships. The first ship it was installed was on TCG Burgazada.

The lack of a dedicated E/O reconnaissance and surveillance system on board Gabya class frigates was an important shortcoming. With the installation of Ahtapot E/O, this shortcoming will be rectfied.

First Steel Cut For The New OPV

The first steel is cut for the Turkish Navy offshore patrol vessel Akhisar on 9 April 2022.

The OPV is being developed by Asfat and is based on the Milgem class corvettes. By using the hull of the Milgem class ships the OPV will be built in a shorter time and at a lower cost.

The OPV will have a very different main propulsion system from the Ada class corvettes. These ships will have a combined diesel-electric or diesel engine combination (CODELOD). This combination will give the ships a cruising range of 4500 miles and an economical speed of around 15 knots with very low fuel consumption. The crew will be 104.

According to Asfat these OPVs will be built with the fitted for but not with design philosophy, which will allow the integration of newly developed national weapon and sensor systems.

TCG Kınalıada Joins Turkish Navy

TCG Kınalıada in Istanbul Naval Shipyard. This photo was taken on May 2019 by Gökhan Karakaş.

The fourth and the final Ada class Corvette TCG Kınalıada was commissioned to the Turkish Navy on 29th September 2019.

TCG Kınalıada has entered into service 8 years after the first ship of the class was commissioned. Her entry also means the completion of Milgem class corvette production for the Turkish Navy.

On the outside, TCG Kınalıada may very much look like the first ship TCG Heybeliada, but she incorporates significant improvements reflecting the advance of the Turkish defense industry during the last decade:

  1. TCG Kınalıada is the first ship ever to be fitted with the indigenous Atmaca anti-ship missile. The corvette is expected to conduct a live firing of the missile in November. When officially commissioned Atmaca will be fitted back to the existing warships in the inventory.
  2. TCG Kınalıada and TCG Burgazada are fitted with Aselsan Seaeye-Ahtapot electro-optic sensor on the aft mast while the previous ships use Aselflir 300. Aselflir 300 was originally designed for airborne platforms and was installed without much modification for a service on a warship. Thus the meantime between regular maintenance is quite short for a maritime system and the whole sensor must be taken down for the maintenance. These shortcomings are rectified in Seaeye-Ahtapot. It has a better tracking range and resolution.
  3. TCG Kınalıada and TCG Burgazada have Aselsan made Hızır countermeasure system for torpedo attacks.  The system consists of two decoy launchers on both sides of the funnel and one towed array and decoy. Though the system is very similar to a torpedo countermeasure system SeaSentor manufactured by Ultra, used the other ships. The logistics of a locally constructed system is preferred by the end-user.
  4. Another important change inside TCG Kınalıada is the new Genesis Advent combat management system with network-enabled capability. This new CMS has native data link capability and can manage Link 11,16 and 22 at the same time. It increases situational awareness. When ships are installed with Genesis Advent they will be able not only to see and share the same tactical picture but also to control and train each other’s sensors and weapon systems.

When I was watching the commissioning ceremony, I couldn’t stop thinking about, what would have happened, if the tender for the construction of 6 Milgem class, won by RMK Marine Shipyard had not been canceled back in 2013. Since the cancelation of the project happened before the completion of the contract negotiation thus we will never know the planned delivery dates. But surely we would have 2 to 3 more Milgem type corvettes in inventory as we do have now.

Even the best ship cannot be in two places at the same time.  And we need more warships now both to rejuvenate our aging fleet and to protect our interest in the blue homeland.

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