Will TKMS Pay Penalty For the Delays In Reis Class Construction Project?


This presentation by TKMS shows the local Turkish content in the upcoming Type214TN submarines. which is substantial compared to the previous submarine construction projects.

The German newspaper Handelsblatt run a story about the penalty to be paid by German submarine constructor Thyssen Krupp Marine Systems (TKMS) to Turkey. The reason for this payment is the delay in, construction of 6 Type 214 TN submarines Turkey as agreed to buy From TKMS in 2009.

On 2 July 2009, a contract was signed between Turkey and Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft GmbH (HDW), Kiel, a company of TKMS, and MarineForce International LLP (MFI), London, for the delivery of six material packages for the construction of Class 214 submarines which are now called as the Reis class.

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. According to the original contract terms the construction was to start in 2011, and the first sub delivered in 2015.

The reasons for the delay of the construction is both technical and commercial.

The technical delay is related to the much reported to the stability problems the Type 214 submarines experienced. The stability problem was one of the main reasons why Greek Navy refused to accept its first Type 214 HS Papanikolis years ago in the first place. The solution to the stability problem by TKMS was to add weights to certain places in the submarine in order to create a stability. But Turkish Navy was not satisfied with this come up with its own solution where the center of gravity of the submarine was relocated,by adding extending the length of the submarine. The solution has to be validated by TKMS and this is one of the delay in the project. This also means that Turkish Navy is working seriously in submarine design and problems associated with it.  In the end Turkish Type 214 submarines will be a few meters longer than the other nations Type 214 submarines.

The Type 214 construction project is the last project where Turkish Navy will construct a submarine to a foreign design and subsystems. It is not a secret that the next submarines constructed by Turkish Navy will be local design with most of the critical components ans sub systems produced with local input. It is not surprising to see the large Turkish industrial participation in the Type 214 project as this project is regarded as preparation phase for the Milli Denizaltı  (Milden). Milli Denizaltı means National Submarine in Turkish. So it is understandable for the Germans to drag their feet in the Type 214 project especially when they know that this is the last of its kind.

TCG Heybeliada Commissioned. A New Era For Turkish Navy

F-511 TCG Heybeliada

Yesterday was the 473. Anniversary of the Battle of Preveza. This day is also celebrated as the Turkish Navy Day. This years highlight was not the launching of the second Milgem class corvette F-512 TCG Büyükada but the commissioning of the first ship F-511 TCG Heybeliada.

The MILGEM class corvettes have a 99m mono hull with many stealth features incorporated into the design of the ship. The planned displacement was around 2,000 tons but apparently in grow to 2,300 tons. The armament is one 76mm Oto/Melara gun, 8 RGM-84 Harpoon missiles and 2 Mk-32 twin torpedo launchers. For self defense the ship is armed with a 21 cell RIM-116 RAM, 2 STAMP remote controlled stabilized weapon stations and Ultra SeaSentor torpedo counter measure system.

But I just I don’t want to talk about the specifications of these ships but I would like to stress what the MILGEM project means for Turkish Navy and how it will shape the future.

The combat information center of TCG Heybeliada. Note the map on the big blue screen at right! Photo: from NTVMSNBC

For Turkey the MİLGEM is the most important naval procurement project, going on. MILGEM is an acronym of the Turkish word Milli Gemi (National Ship). This high priority project is pivotal as it will form the foundation for experience and know-how for the design, production and integration of a complex warship through local means. The programme is also critical in defining the future of the customer – producer relationship between the Turkish Navy (as end-user and the builder of the first two ships), the Undersecretariat for Defense Industries (as procurement agency) and private shipyards (as suppliers). The successful conclusion of this project will mark a new era for naval ship building in Turkey and will shape the Turkish naval ship building industry and the big future projects like TF-2000 air defence frigate.

The history of MILGEM goes back to the late 1990s. In 1996 Turkish Navy declared that it wanted to procure eight corvettes under the project MILGEM. As the name shows a maximum of Turkish contribution was desired from the beginning. When the project first started, a German shipyard immediately offered their corvettes design which was then still largely on drawing board. This move was logical as they did not wanted to lose a lucrative market for them.  After delays due to severe economic crises, MILGEM was brought into life by Defense Industry Executive Committee (DIEC) in February 2000. Initial acquisition numbers were eight platforms plus four optional.

Despite the fact that twelve shipyards acquired the Request for Proposal, only two submitted proposals, both of which were found to be invalid due to the deficiency in the bid bonds.

Thus it seemed for a couple of years as if the MILGEM project was put on ice. In 2004 in an unprecedented move a dedicated design office was created for MILGEM by Turkish Navy. MILGEM Project Office (MPO) which is located at Istanbul Naval Shipyard was tasked with all design and construction activities regarding the ship.

After the MPO started to design the ship, the Undersecretariat for Defense Industries, the main defense procurement agency in Turkey, started in cooperation with Turkish Navy, the bidding process for various sub systems of the ship. In parallel, a series of workshops were organized in order to arouse the interest of the commercial ship building, machinery and supporting industries. This was necessary in order to obtain a high degree of local contribution.

The bridge of TCG Heybeliada. Photo: from NTVMSNBC

Thus MILGEM grew above being just a simple ship building program, as some of the important sub systems, equipment and sensors are being produced for the first time for MILGEM. For example the hull mounted sonar to be used in MILGEM class warships was developed by TUBITAK. It is worth to note that the sonar installed in TCG Heybeliada is the first ever sonar designed and constructed in Turkey. Similarly, the fire control radar for the main gun developed by Aselsan, is the first fire control radar ever designed and produced in Turkey. Many sub systems and sensors developed from MILGEM will be used in the future ship building projects of the Turkish Navy for sure.

With this project many small or medium sized Turkish companies specialized in their own fields such as water treatment or marine subsystems production started to do business with Turkish Armed Forces. For these companies doing business with the armed forces was a steep learning process. Many companies found the military standards and the test to prove that the products are up the these standards very high. The preparation of the necessary usage and maintenance documents was also a challenge especially for the smaller companies as it required a dedicated staff. In my eyes the success of the MILGEM project is to create the synergy and the excitement for all participants and giving the support for overcoming the difficulties in a harmonious way.

The success or the failure of the MILGEM programme, will directly influence the procurement model for the all planned major combat ship projects such as TF-2000. Turkish Navy has a requirement for a dedicated anti air warfare frigate to create a wide reaching air defense umbrella for its task forces, if necessary. Turkish Navy is defining her requirements and Undersecretariat for Defense Industries is defining its acquisition model. TF-2000 programme will start probably when MILGEM production is handed over from Istanbul Naval Shipyard to private shipyards. The current plans forecast 4 frigates to be commissioned in 2018-2020 time frame.

New UAV For Turkish Navy

Undersecretariat for Defense Industries (SSM) will soon publish a request for information (RfI) for a  vertical-takeoff-and-landing unmanned aircraft capable of operating from ships.

According to information on daily Hürriyet the aim is to have an unmanned helicopter which will be stay airborne for 10 hours with a range of 180 km. The UAV is expected to be able to carry a payload between 50 -150 kg. The UAV should be able to land and launch vertically from a narrow platform on a moving vessel.

20 to 30 vehicles are planned for the initial production. A Turkish company will be the prime contractor for this project. If the information giving in the daily is correct converting an existing manned helicopter into an unmanned systems is also acceptable.

The new UAV is intended to used on board of the LPD when the ship is finished. Later the UAV’s will be deployed on board of the smaller vessels as frigates and corvettes.

The requirements for the future Turkish UAV mentioned, are similar to the capabilities of US Navy’s MQ-8C Fire Scout vertical-takeoff-and-landing unmanned aircraft. After the initial combat experience of this UAV in Libya, interestingly US Navy started a program to convert Bell 407 helicopter airframes into an unmanned system to meet an urgent operational requirement.

>The Producer Of Super Vita Boats Asks For Bankruptcy Protection


HS Roussen. Photo from Wikipedia by K. Krallis
The Greek shipyard Elefsishas asked for conciliation procedure as it is facing the doomingliquidity problems .
The owner of the shipyardNeorion Holdings, announced that they were asking protection fromdebtors under the Article 99 of Law 3588/2007 as they wererestructuring the dept of the shipyard.
The shipyard one of thebiggest private shipyards in Greece was producing Super Vıta classcorvettes fro the Greek Navy with BAE naval Systems.
At the beginning ofthis month, BAE Systems Surface Ships announced that it has pulled itself from the contract with theElefsis. BAE Systems cited the lack of payments for the project byGreek government as the reason for its departure.
The construction ofSuper Vıta corvettes is or was the biggest warship constructionproject in Greece besides the construction of 6 Type 214 AIPsubmarines. The submarine procurement program also faced enormousproblems which have been discussed lengthy over the last months.
The Super Vita / Roussenprorect started in 2000 when BAE Systems signed a contract withElefsis Shipyard, for the production of 3 Super Vita corvettes, inGreece. BAE Systems was to supply the design, and combat systemintegration service. Furthermore the constructions facilities atElefsis were to be modernized. The contract also incorporatedtechnology transfer.
The first boats covered inthe initial contract are already delivered to Greek navy. In 2003options for 2 additional ships and in 2008 again for further twoships were executed by Greek Navy. However only the first ship of theoptions is delivered to the Greek Navy. The remaining three are indifferent stages of production.
Now with BAE systemswithdrawn from the contact and the Elefisis is asking for protectionfrom bankruptcy, it the fate of the remaining three ships is verydubious.
The 62 meters long vesselshave a displacement of 671 tonnes and carry 8 MM40 Excocet anti shipmissiles, 21 RAM anti air missiles. The gun armament consists of one76mm main gun and 2 30mm secondary guns. The boats are quite wellarmed for their dimensions.  

>A New Frigate For The Russian Black Sea Fleet


The new Project 11356 frigate for RBSF.
© RIA Novosti. Igor Zarembo

According to RIA Novosti, the construction of a Project 11356 Class frigate destined for the Russian Black Sea Fleet will start today at the Yantar Shipyard in the Baltic exclave of Kaliningrad.

Yantar won a tender to build three Project 11356 frigates in October. The Black Sea Fleet chief earlier told RIA Novosti the construction would begin in January 2011.

The frigate, with a displacement of 4,000 tons, will be equipped with a 100-mm gun, a Shtil surface-to-air missile system, two Kashtan air-defense gun/missile systems, two twin 533-mm torpedo launchers, and an anti-submarine warfare helicopter.

The Russian Navy chief, Adm. Vladimir Vysotsky, earlier said one or two Project 11356 frigates will join the Black Sea Fleet every year starting 2013.

There must a change of the plans at the Russian Naval HQ in the last few weeks. Previously it was reported that Russian Black Sea Fleet would receive six Admiral Gorshkov class (Project 22350) frigates, six Lada (Project 677) diesel submarines, two Ivan Gren class (Project 11711) large landing ships, four ships of other projects, modernized bombers Su-24M instead of obsolete versions, and ASW aircrafts, Il-38 instead of amphibious aircrafts Be-12 till 2020.

There were rumors that Russians were not very happy with the progress of the Admiral Gorshkov class. This might be one of the reasons why BSF is getting the Project 11356 class frigates (also better known as Talwar class), instead of Admiral Gorshokov’s. The fact that the Talwar is a proven and successfully build design might have contributed to the change too.

Project 11365
Displacement (tons)
Length (m)
Beam (m)
Draught (m)
2 shaft gas turbines, 57,000 hp
2 shaft, diesels, gas turbine, 32,250 hp
Speed (knots)
Range (nm)
4500 (@18kts)
3500 (@15 kts)
Project 11365
Antiship Missile
8 x SS-N-27
8 x Harpoon
1 x 100mm
1 x 76mm
Antiaircraft Missile
24 x SA-N-7
21 x RIM 116
Torpedo Tubes
4 x 533 mm
4 x 324 mm

When we compare the Project 11356 with Milgem, we see that both ships have similar capabilities in armament, though the ships are in different types and have considerable difference in dimensions.

One other important similarity is that both ships are designed with incorporated stealth features.

If everything goes as Russians have planned we will see modern warships in the Black Sea Fleet in the comming years.

I have expressed my personal opinion of the news about the rejuvenation of the BSF previously hereherehere and here.

On a related news however the Yantar Shipyard, the one that builds the Indian and Russian Project 11356 frigates asked for additional $100 million for completion of three frigates built by the yard for $1.6 bln under Indian Navy’s order, and asked to postpone deadline of the contract execution.

This is definitely not a good omen.

Hat tip: Kobus.

>First Fast LCT For Turkish Navy Launched


On 2nd October in Istanbul the first fast LCT for Turkish Navy was launched. The construction of Ç-151, the first ship of a class of 8 was started in January 2010.

ADİK shipyard was won the bid to produce 8 LCT’s for Turkish Navy and in June 2009, a contract was signed between SSM and ADİK. The exact value of the contract was not made public but it is estimated to be around 100 million EUR.

Specifications for the LCT’s:
Length o.a: 79,85m
Beam: 11,70 m
Displacement 1155 tons full load
Speed: 20kts
Range: 400 nm / 16 kts
Propulsion: 2 x 2320 kW
Weapons: 2 x 25mm; 1 x 12,7mm
Crew: 22
Cargo: 320 tons / 250 troops


This is A-585 TCG AKIN. She is a swimming piece of history. She was build as a Chanticleer class submarine rescue ship, named ASR-10 USS Greenlet. She was launched in 1942 and commissioned in USN in 1943.

She saw action in World War Two. She was in Tokyo Bay, when Japan surrendered in 1945. She saw action in Korean War and in Vietnam War. In 1973 she was transferred to Turkish Navy.

She is the sole submarine rescue ships in Turkish Navy. Currently Turkish Navy operates 14 conventional diesel-electric submarines. There is no other NATO nation that operates more diesel-electric submarines.

It is obvious that this old, grand lady cannot cope with the operational tempo and range of the Turkish submarine fleet.
In a case of Subsunk, she would spend many valuable hours on the way. Her ability to help the crew escape from distressed sub is limited as well. The only way TCG Akın can reach a distressed sub is, by the Submarine Rescue Chamber, a modified McCann Bell she caries. These deficiencies were address two fold. First Turkey became a member of the International Submarine Escape and Rescue Liaison Office (ISMERLO).

Secondly, Turkey started a new accusation project for a new and modern submarine rescue ship. This project, also know as the Moship project, is run by Undersecretariat For Defense Industries.

When this project is completed, Turkish Navy will have a modern and capable submarine rescue ships and TCG Akın will have her well deserved rest.

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