New Image Of TF-2000



The computer created image of TF-2000. Image: Turkish Navy

Turkish Navy published a new computer rendering of TF-2000 air defence warship. Since the ship design is not finalised yet, this image should be seen as an indicative. As is, the ship resembles the contemporary European AAW warships very much. A proven and familiar design shows that Turkish Navy has chosen a more or less conservative approach in designing TF-2000.

According to the image the ship will have the following sensors and weapons:

  1. 1 x (2?) Seahawk helicopter
  2. 4 x STAMP remote controlled gun systems
  3. 2 x 21 cell Mk49 RAM launcher
  4. 5 x 8 cells of VLS, probably for air defence missiles
  5. 2 x 2 torpedo launcher
  6.  Long range search radar, probably L-band
  7. Electro-optic sensor mast
  8. 16 x surface to surface missiles
  9. ÇAFRAD phased array radar
  10. 8 cells of VLS
  11. 1 x 127mm gun

It is interesting to note that there is two different kind of VLS, indicating that there will be at least two different types of air defence missiles. The smaller VLS (10) might also be reserved for another type of weapon such as cruise missiles.

The anti-ship missile load, conservatively located in amidships, is the double of what we usually see on Turkish warships.

The development of the main sensor system of the ship was contracted to ASELSAN in 2013.

It is nice to see that the TF-2000 air defence warship project is coming along slowly but nicely.


Local Air Defence Missile System For TF-2000


A model of Hisar air defence missile. Photo: Roketsan.

Defence acquisition agency Undersecreteriat For Defence industries (UDI) has started a development project for air defence missiles to be used TF-2000 warship.

According to the website of UDI, the aim of the project is to procure short/medium and long-range air defence missile,  which can be integrated with the combat management system, multi-purpose phased array radar system and TF-2000 platform and capable of force and zone air defense.

The project model is local development. There will be a short/medium ranged missile and a long ranged missile. The shot text also mentions the system of the missile. What we should understand from it is at the moment a bit unclear. The UDI states that a request for proposal regarding the design and development phase is under preparation.

At the moment Turkey has developed two air defence missiles:

  • Hisar-A low altitude missile system
  • Hisar-O medium altitude missile system.

These missiles were developed for the army to protect military bases, ports, facilities and troops against threats from the air. Their targets are military aircraft, attack helicopters, cruise missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles. According to Roketsan producer of the missiles, they present a modular structure with the integrity of a family and are designed to be compatible with different platform integrations.

Both missiles have high explosive fragment warhead, mid-course guidance with inertial navigation and data link terminal guidance with IIR (imaging infrared seeker). The range of Hisar-A is 15 km and the range of Hisar-O is 25km. It is too early to say, whether the recently announced naval air defence missiles will be developed from the existing Hisar missiles or build from the scratch.

The command and control and fire control systems for the land based Hisar air defence system is done by military electronics company Aselsan. Aselsan is also developing the phased array radar to be used for the TF-2000 air defence frigate. Thus the development of the electronics for the air defence system will be carried out by them.

With the initiation of this project, Turkey takes another step to the realisation of TF-2000 air defence frigate.

Why Turkey Rejected UK’s Global Combat Ship

Well, marketing is not selling. The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) and the contractor BAE paid a high price to learn this elementary lesson in selling.

Actually they did a good marketing campaign to gain favor among Turkish decision makers. BAE attended every important defence related exhibition in 2011. During these events the representatives of BAE tried to spread the scope of the project as much as possible and they took time to talk to bloggers like yours truly in order to make their message heard.

The UK government invited the representatives of large Turkish companies and high ranking defence bureaucrats to UK to discuss potential business opportunities.

When the Turkish president was visiting UK, he was given a tour on board of the new RN Type 45 destroyer HMS Dauntless to show the results of British shipbuilding industry.

Yet all these – and probably other – efforts failed to convince Turkey to join the Type 26 / Global Combat Ship project. Why?

I think, the UK side failed to deliver the positive change Turkey would gain by joining this project in clear and precise terms.

In this case the Type 26 / GSC project was already in an advanced stage when Turkey was asked to join. As it was late to join, the Turkish participation would have increased the cost. Or Turkey would have had to review its requirements in accordance existing plans prepared by BAE for the British Navy. But the requirements and the traditions of Turkish Navy is very different from the requirements and the traditions of the RN so that a compromise is not feasible.

In sales, every successful sales happens because the buyer comes to believe the product or service will make a positive impact. And the buyer needs to see that the value of the product or service he wishes to buy outweighs its price. It seems that the Brits missed this single important point of a successful sales effort.

BAE Lost The Turkish Bid, Before The Acquisition Process Started

The Turkish daily, Hürriyet Daily News, published an article by Mr. Özgür Ekşi, reporting that the Turkish Defense Ministry sent a letter informing their British counterparts, last month saying that Turkey was “no longer interested” in BAE Systems’ offer. Thus the hopes of BAE to take part in the next big Turkish naval acquisition project TF-2000 are terminated.

TF-2000 air defence warship, is one of the important naval future naval projects for Turkish Navy and for Turkish naval shipbuilding industry. Turkish Navy uses the Gabya class frigates for area air defence missions as they have the SM-1 anti-air missile. But both the missiles and the ships are getting past their prime ages, though Turkish Navy invests heavily in modernising the Gabya class ships with MK-41 VLS, ESSM missiles, Smart s 3D radar and with modern CIC and combat management software.

According to the long termed defence acquisition plans of Turkish Navy, it is envisaged that around  year 2020,  Turkey will need dedicated air defence warships that will defeat the modern aerial threats and provide cover for friendly ships and conduct support functions such as command and control, reconnaissance, early warning, electronic warfare.

The British defence giant BAE Systems, started in marketing their Type-26/GCS platform as a candidate for the TF-2000 programme. The British Goverment backed up BAE by designated Turkey as a strategic partner. In 2010, Prime Ministers Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and David Cameron signed a new Turkey/United Kingdom Strategic Partnership in Ankara. During his visit to UK, the President Abdullah Gül even visited HMS Dauntless.

So BAE was considered one of the main players in TF-2000 project along with Navantia as shipyard and Lockheed Martin as sensor and combat management system supplier. Till today.

U.S. defense industry giant Lockheed Martin has been left as the only bidder in the $3 billion project for the joint manufacture of six frigates for the Turkish navy after Ankara rejected the remaining contender BAE Systems’ proposal.

The project, however, may still not be awarded to Lockheed Martin if an agreement cannot be reached on the technical aspects of missile integration. Such an eventuality would cause the project to be shelved and then reshaped.

The long-delayed project envisions the TF-2000 frigate as a regional anti-air warfare vessel that would respond to aerial threats and also provide support functions such as command control, communication, reconnaissance and early warning. It would be bigger, heavier and more efficient in terms of war capacity than the vessels the navy has today.

The Defense Ministry last month sent a letter informing their British counterparts that Turkey was “no longer interested” in BAE Systems’ offer, an official familiar with the tender told the Hürriyet Daily News.

BAE is currently working on a new type of frigate, Type 26, which is internationally known as the Global Combat Ship (GCS). “BAE has already started the project. It was late to join. Our needs would have increased the cost. Or we would have had to review our requirements in accordance with the British Navy, but our requirements are different. BAE had also asked for a ‘license fee.’ The partnership offer would have become a model in which Turkey was financing BAE’s project,” the source told the Daily News.

But I think it is also to early for LM to pop-up champagne and to start partying.

Turkey’s defense procurement agency, the Undersecretary of Defense Industries (SSM), has come close to formally selecting Lockheed Martin, but it needs to hear the Turkish Navy’s decision on the choice of missile systems, which is the most critical part of the project. The ship will be designed according to the missile systems, because of their enormous weight.

Selecting the Lockheed SM2 missile system would simplify everything, as it is not heavy. The SM3 system would mean more negotiations on many aspects. It has a wider range, which means that the system would overlap with some of the Air Forces’ air defense duty. Missile integration is another subject to be solved.

Lockheed uses AN/SPY1 radar, while Turkish company Aselsan has started working on a smaller system called Multifunctional Phased Array Radar project (ÇAFRAD). Lockheed Martin has a Ship Integrated War Administration System called Aegis, which includes the AN/SPY1 radar, but Turkish Havelsan has already manufactured a smaller version called Genesis. Turkey wants ÇAFRAD to be inserted into AN/SPY1, Genesis to replace Aegis, and this combination to be integrated with the SM3 system.

If the two sides fail to resolve the missile integration question, then a second option will be considered. Turkey has successfully manufactured a corvette under the so-called Milgem project.

Milgem would be re-designed to manufacture a light frigate for air defense warfare and would be named TF100. “We have to develop something based on Milgem or we will waste all our know-how,” an industry source said.

I must add the following point for clarity: The formal acquisition process for TF-2000 has not started yet. According to the web site of  Undersecretary of Defense Industries ” The feasibility studies for the TF-2000 project are completed. The model of the project will be created after the examination of feasibility studies”.  The official start of the TF-2000 project  is at least a couple of years even may be one decade away, dependimg on the avaliable budget.

Turkey said “Thanks, but no thanks” to BAE becuase of obvious and in my personal view from right reasons. But creating a new ship from scratch with a mixture of divers and sophisticated US and Turkish sensors, management software and weapons is a daunting task for every project manager.

For further reading:
The Battle For The TF-2000 Project Has Started
BAE Systems, Global Combat Ship And Turkey (Part 1)
My Impressions From 4.Naval Systems Seminar
IDEF’11 Update Part 2: Companies
IDEF’11 Update Part 1: Ongoing Naval Projects
UK – Turkey: Naval Industry Inward Mission (Part 2)

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.


For further reading click here.

The First Step For The TF-2000 AAW Frigate

During the latest meeting of the Turkish Defence Industry Executive Committee on 5th January 2012, Aselsan was chosen to develop a Multi-functional Phased Array Radar. This radar will be the main sensor of the TF-2000 air defense warfare frigates Turkish Navy wants to acquire in the next decade.

The Turkish Defence Industry Executive Committee assigned the Undersecretariat For Defense Industries to start, contract negotiations with Aselsan for the first phase of the development of a multi-functional phased array radar.

This is a small but very important step for the TF-2000 AAW frigate project as the design of the ship and its weapons will be  directly shaped by the outcome of the Aselsan’s success of developing the MFPA radar or its failure to do so.

BAE Systems, Global Combat Ship And Turkey (Part 1)

In November Turkish President Abdullah Gül will visit United Kingdom. This visit has two highlight particularly important from naval point of view: First during his visit he will visit the BAE System’s shipyard in Portsmouth. Second an agreement (probably a Letter of Agreement) about joint defense R&D with UK will be signed. A similar agreement was signed with India last month.

Why are these two highlights of Mr Gül’s visit important? They are important because they represent a significant milestone in the British efforts to increase the defense cooperation between Turkey and UK.

United Kingdom is one of the largest exporters of defense equipment in the world. But their market share in Turkish defense market is almost non existent.

Since 1950, with the exception of four used Milne class destroyers, the main UK export products for Turkish Naval market were 10 AWS-6 Dolphin, 8 AWS-9 radars, 6 Type 2093 MCM sonars and some Mk24 Tigerfish torpedoes and Sea Skua missiles.

The British Government designated Turkey as a strategic partner. Prime Ministers Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and David Cameron signed a new Turkey/United Kingdom Strategic Partnership in Ankara on 27 July 2010. According to the British Embassy in Ankara, this new partnership reflects many common strategic interests of the two countries. It brings together commitments in the fields of bilateral relations, trade and investment, Turkey’s EU accession, regional stability and peace, a Cyprus settlement, defense, global security and terrorism, illegal trafficking of weapons, illegal migration, energy security and a low-carbon future, intercultural dialogue, and education and culture.

Well the issues like Turkey’s EU accession, regional stability and peace, a Cyprus settlement are there just for lip service. The real deal behind the strategic partnership is to increase bilateral trade and investment and especially in defense field. The British government is investing a considerable amount of political capital to create a government to government connection. The next step is to create a navy to navy connection. This will be followed by a industry to industry connection.

The reason the British government and the British defense industry is investing in a cooperation with Turkey can be explained with the current state of the British defense budget. Britain must find new markets for its defense products as the British defense budgets is not large enough to support the British defense industry anymore. So Turkey appears as a lucrative market for the British. And the untouched naval market offers a good opportunity for a start.

From this perspective it is very understandable why there such large attendance of British companies in IDEF 2011 Defence Exhibition and 4th Naval Systems Seminar (UKTI DSO, BAE Systems, Rolls-Royce, BMT, IHS Janes, Johnson Controls, MBDA).

The British marketing efforts in Turkey, spearheaded by BAE Systems, is concentrated around the Global Combat Ship project.

The Global Combat Ship (GCS) is the export variant of UK’s Type 26 frigate. BAE Systems Surface Ships (BAE SSS) has been designated lead ship contractor and systems integrator. The company was also awarded a 127 million GBP contract by UK MoD to lead a four-year assessment phase in March 2010.

The Type 26 is a versatile ASW combatant and is intended to form the workhorse of the Royal Navy (RN). Entering into service from 2021 the Type 26 ships will replace the existing Type 23 frigates. The RN plans to have 13 Type 26 ships, compromising eight ASW version and five general purpose variant.

Both RN and BAE SSS have their own good reason to push the Type 26/GCS to export markets.

For RN the export success of GCS is important because as Dr. Julian Lewis puts it neatly if the RN is to have any chance of restoring the escort fleet, it must make the Type 26/GCS as cheap as chips.

In order to create the economics of scale to make the ships as cheap as chips a lot of GCS’s need to be exported. Otherwise the Royal Navy may not stay ahead of Belgium or Danish Naval Forces.

For BAE SSS is Type 26 may be their last hope to become a global naval shipbuilder. BAE Systems is one of the top five defense contractors in the world. They have build every thing from submarines to tanks, airplanes etc. But the company has yet to prove itself as a serious player in international naval market. And definitely this is not going to be a smooth sail.

The BAE SSS suffered a series of set backs in the recent years in international projects.

Greece: In March 2011 BAE SSS announced that it has pulled itself from the contract with the Elefsis. BAE SSS cited the lack of payments for the project by Greek government as the reason for its departure.

The construction of Super Vita corvettes is or was the biggest warship construction project in Greece besides the construction of 6 Type 214 AIP submarines.

Brunei: In 2005 BAE SSS had to sue the Sultan Of Brunei, one of the world’s richest men, over a row involving over $1-billion order for three Nakhoda Ragam class corvettes, as the sultan has refused to accept them because they allegedly fail to meet his specifications, the paper said

All three completed vessels remain unsold and are laid up at Barrow-in-Furness, and are waiting for a customer.

Trinidad & Tobago: The Caribbean island Trinidad & Tobago ordered three patrol ships from VT Shipbuilding in April 2007. After BAE acquired VT in October 2009 the project encountered considerable delays so that in September 2010 Trinidad & Tobago had to cancel the deal causing BAE SSS a loss of 150 million GBP.

Malaysia: BAE SSS encountered delays due to difficulties in the systems integrations of the weapons and weapons control system before the delivery of these frigates to Malaysia. The problems were overcome in the end but a plans for the purchase and construction of two Batch II Lekiu Class frigates from BAE Systems have been scrapped. A report in the British newspaper The Times in August 2009 quoted a BAE spokesperson as saying that both parties had agreed to not continue with the deal due to cost cutting measures by the Malaysian government, although BAE offered a cheaper alternative in the form of offshore patrol vessels.

Oman: The delivery of three corvettes destined for the Royal Navy of Oman has been hit by the discovery of a series of engineering problems found during sea trials of Al Shamikh, the first of class being built by BAE Systems Surface Ships.

BAE SSS is trying to fix the problems as Oman is a key export market for the British defense industry. BAE is involved in talks with the Gulf State government to complete a multibillion-pound deal to sell Typhoon fighters to the air force.

Some of the above mentioned problems can be attributed to the fact that BAE SSS’s rapid growth by buying other naval shipbuilders and the related management issues arising after such mergers.

Never the less the RN is currently the only important customer of BAE SSS, but the number of projects the company is running for this customer is decreasing with the diminishing defense budget.

So the Type 26/GSC can really be the last ticket for the BAE Systems to the global naval shipbuilding market along with other key players such as DCNS, Navantia, HDW, Fincantieri. Failing to succeed the BAE SSS will remain predominately a supplier for the RN and UK Mod and may face a significant downsizing reflecting the UK defence spending.

And the fact that since the export success of Leander (Type 12) frigate 40 years ago Britain failed to come up with a frigate design acceptable by foreign customers does not make things easier.

The above explained circumstances clearly show why the Royal Navy and BAE Systems SS is acting together and getting the political back-up from the British government.

These efforts of British government and defence industry has not been without success. So far UK established dialogues with Australia, Brazil, Canada, India, Malaysia, New Zealand and Turkey. Canada has already refused to take part in Type 26 program and has chosen its own course.

Is there a market for the GCS in Turkey? According to a BAE Systems military advisor, Read Admiral Chris Clayton UK is keen to establish a strategic partnership with Turkey, to jointly develop future naval capability. One potential area for co-operation is the Global Combat Ship (GCS) programme. This would see us jointly developing the expertise to deliver state-of-the-art warships that meet the demands of global maritime customers into the middle of the 21st century.

In Part II, I will share my thoughts on Turkey’s participation on Global Combat Ship project.

UPDATE: I never wrote Part II.

My Impressions From 4.Naval Systems Seminar

On Monday and Tuesday, I was in Ankara attending the 4th Naval Systems Seminar, a highlight for the Turkish naval industry. This is the first part of my impressions from the seminar. In this part I will focus on the general mood of the seminar and will share what I found important from the opening key speeches. In the next part I will try to share my impressions from company presentations I have attended.

If I try to summarize the general mood of the 4th Naval Systems Seminar I would say “Steady as she goes” and “Patience”. The last one actually said by the Undersecretary FoRDefense Industries Mr. Murat Bayar. Why patience? Because the Turkish defense industry and the foreign companies need to be patience in the coming years regarding Turkish naval projects.

I start my impressions of the 4th Naval systems Seminar by telling who was absent from the event:
The most obvious absentee was the Turkish Navy. The number of the officers in uniform were less than the fingers in my one hand.

This absence can be interpreted in two ways: First the navy is pulling itself backwards as a procurement source and redefines its role as the requirement definition authority and end-user. But even then representatives of the navy should be present to exchange ideas, to observer new technologies and to talk about new projects. The second explanation for the absence of the Turkish Navy may be the shock of the Sledgehammer. At a time when 26 out of 48 admirals of the Navy are being bars, the navy may net be in a mood for new acquisition.

The absence of new projects was also very noteworthy. In previous Naval Systems Seminars the companies were very keen to tell you in an excited way about their new solutions, upcoming systems. They were eager to tell you about the things they will be doing in the future. This year most of the companies told us how they are doing things and what they did. The lack of new building projects was remarkable. The only announcement for a new project was the the declaration of the contract signing date for the Moships and Ratship: 28th October 2011.

The Turkish shipyards that are currently constructing ships for the Turkish Navy were also absent: RMK, Yonca-Onuk, Dearsan.

So who was there? The British. They were there and were doing full court press. UKTI DSO was one of the guest supporters of the seminar and provided additional support for the simultaneous translation service. All large-caliber British guns such as BAE Systems, Rolls Royce, BMT Defence Services, MDBA, IHS Janes, UKTI DSO were present was well as representatives of British armed Forces.

The large Turkish defense contractor like Aselsan and Havelsan were present. Also present were shipyards ADIK and Istanbul Shipyard. The other companies attending the seminar were mostly subsystem or component suppliers.

For me it was nice to see that the number of the attending universities was more than previous seminars. This means that more and more young people are interested and doing academical research in defense related issues. If an effective way to convert promising R&D projects from our Universities into commercial products can be found then the future will be bright for the Turkish defense industry.

I believe the speeches made by the Undersecretary For Defense Industries Mr. Murat Bayer and Mustafa Şeker, Head of Naval Systems,Undersecretariat for Defence Industries (UDI), at the opening session were brilliant in capturing the sprit and the mood.

Mr. Bayar started his speech by talking about the long distances covered by Turkish naval shipbuilding since the initiation of the Milgem project. He told that after the decrease in commercial shipbuilding, all the shipyards in Turkey were looking up to the naval projects for survival. But the coming naval projects were not enough for the survival of the shipyards doing business with the Turkish Navy let alone to allow new players to enter into market.

He told that Turkish shipyards must find new markets in order to remain profitable and to stay in business. Mr Bayar added that any military systems, that Turkey owns the intellectual rights was successfully exported. Therefore the key for the successful export of Turkish naval industry lies in creating new designs that can be exported without the need of an export approval from a third country.

Mr. Bayar views propulsion and weapon systems as two key areas where Turkey should invest more. Other than these two, Turkey is capable to produce all the major subsystems of a modern warship.

Turkish naval exports

The last 5 years were good times for the Turkish naval shipbuilding industry. The value of the signed contracts is more than 2 billion USD. At least 5000 people are working on military ship building projects in Turkish yards. But the future is not as rosy as the coming projects are smaller. This is why Mr. Bayar told to the audience that we should have patience and find new markets for our growing naval shipbuilding industry.

Mr. Mustafa Şeker, the newly appointed Head of Naval Systems,UDI, started his speech by explaining the new structure of the undersecretary for Defence Industries. This restructuring of the UDI can be attributed to the growing concern for the life cycle support management of the initiated projects. As the number of the indigenous ships and sub systems used by Turkish Navy increases, the support these ships and the subsystems through their life becomes an important issue. With the new structure inside UDI it is hoped that the institution can now focus more on this issue.

Like Mr. Bayar, Mr. Şeker also advises caution to protect the gained capabilities and trained human force in the shipbuilding industry. He talked about the Turkish naval exports both potential and realized and stressed that the export of Turkish naval products seems to be a valid option for the continuity of the success.

At the end of this speech Mr. Şeker highlighted the following issues as critical for the future of the Turkish naval shipbuilding industry:

The work and the performance of the selected firms, by the strategic goals must be monitored and supported

The sub-contractors should be given opportunities or the sub-systems development and procurement by increasing the proportion of local content

The acquisition of new technologies must be emphasized

Materials/systems suitable for dual use should be developed

Export-oriented international cooperation should be supported

IDEF’11 Update Part 2: Companies

This is the second installment of my impression from the IDEF’11. In this post I will try to focus more on companies and products rather than procurement projects. As 621 companies attended the fair I will focus about those that made the most impressions.

Acoustic decoys for submarines and surface ships

Aselsan: This company had the biggest stand of the fair and showed a number of many different equipment ranging from echo sounder to a main battle tank. ASELSAN has proved that it is a powerful company in military electronics. Currently they are capable to produce:

Remote controlled, stabilized gun platforms
Fire control guns for guns
Launcher and command and control system for ASW rockets
Torpedo countermeasure systems and decoys for submarines and surface ships
Integrated communications suites
Laser warning receivers
Electro optical systems
Electronic warfare suites and sensors
Radar systems

The ARES-2N naval radar ES system detects, intercepts, identifies, classifies, tracks, Direction-Finds (DF), localizes, platform correlates, records and provides audio warnings of threat signals within the 2 to 18 GHz frequency band.. The system is integrated into Milgem ans selected for Ay class submarine modernization program.

The ASELFLIR 300D includes a high resolution IR camera, a laser rangefinder/designator, a laser spot tracker, a CDTV, and a spotter TV camera. This EO system is used on Heybeliada, Coast Guard SAR and New Type Patrol Boat classes.

They are developing expendable active jammers which can be fires from the existing chaff/flare launchers.

In a short future the company will be able to provide all the necessary electronics for a warships plus the self defense systems including decoys.

Roketsan: Roketsan is producing the rocket of the ASW rocket system. The rockets individually wrapped in a fiberglass hull have a HE explosive warhead and a time fuse. The maximum range of the rocket is 2000 meters. The aiming and launching is controlled from a purpose built console by ASELSAN.

Havelsan: Havelsan has established themselves as a combat management systems provider. The GENESIS systems architecture they have received from ARMERKOM is the base of all the current CMS developed by Havelsan. The orginal GENESIS CMS developed for G class frigates has derivatived into CMS for MILGEM and New Type Patrol Boats. CMS by Havelsan will be used in New Type 214 submarines, LST’s and LHD’s too.

One of the contracts signed during the fair was between Havelsan and Lockheed Martin for the integration of SPY phased radar systems to the CMS made by Havelsan. The SPY radars are the backbone of the US Navy’s AEGIS air and anti ballistic missile defence system.

Well this question must be asked: On one hand there is a local electronics power house like ASELSAN that is trying to develop naval radar systems on the other hand you sign a deal with a US company about the most important and significant air defence radar systems. How will this deal effect the local development and why it was necessary.

Gate: This company is developing a range of underwater remotely operated vehicles. The ROV Gelibolu can operate at depths up to 1500 meters. It’s primary use will be submarine rescue on board Moship. Other tasks are deep sea survey, seismic research, sample collection and such. The ROV has two manipulator arms and 7 thrusters.

Another underwater vehicle build by GATE is GMK-C. Unlike the Gelibolu GMK-C is autonomous. It can operate up to 100 meter depth and can be equipped with forward looking or side-scan sonars, cameras and other types of sensors or transponders.

Rolls Royce: I must admit that I was quite surprised to see a model of a fully developed supply ship in the both of this company. I knew that they were supplying gas turbines and nuclear reactors for ships and submarines but I had no idea that they were also producing ships. It is too early to say whether this new ship will become a new Silver Shadow for the company but it is a logical step. Rolls Royce already produces a wide range of shipping equipments such as engines, bearings, rudders, water jets, stabilizers, steering gear, deck machinery just to name a few. Well the only and most obvious omission in this portfolio was a ship hull and they have it now.

The ship in contest for a Norwegian bid resembles in general design and specifications the Berlin class EGV ships of German Navy.

BAE Systems: When BAE systems bought UDI in 2005 they have become a partner in UDI’s joint venture with Nurol Makina in Turkey. This JV, FNSS is a major manufacturer of tracked armored fighting vehicles and personnel carriers. Now BAE wants to expand its business in naval area too. I will report in depth my talk with BAE Systems separately.

Lürssen, Abeking Rasmussen, B&V, HDW: These companies, once dominated the IDEF were present, but in a more humble and subtle way. More or less a shadows of their past.

IDEF’11 Update Part 1: Ongoing Naval Projects

F-511 TCG Heybeliada

Today is the last day of IDEF’11, 10th International Defence Industry Fair. I was visiting the fair for the least two days. It was very tiring event. But there are very to share.

I visited the first IDEF twenty years ago. And I can tell you that there has been a considerable change in the industry. Twenty years ago all the international house hold names of defence industry would come and show their latest gadgets or products and we would marvel at them. Now they are still here but much more humble and sincere. Twenty years ago BAE Systems would show its Type 26 Global Combat Ship and would try to sell it as is. Now they are looking for cooperation and work share and they are ready to have Turkish Navy configure the this as it wishes. I was able to talk about Type 26 with BAE systems in detail. I will write about it later.

The last fair two years ago had a very distinctive naval flair. This year that was not there. Well the obvious reason for this is that the projects of then are swimming ships of today. F-511 TCG Heybeliada, the first ship of Milgem class, P-1200 TCG Tuzla the first ship of the New Type Patrol Boat class were available for external sighting. All these ships were on project phase during the last fair.

This fair’s main attractions were tanks, armoured fighting vehicles, UAV’s and helicopters. But never the less there were a lot of important developments regarding the ongoing naval projects.

Milgem: The first ship TCG Heybeliada will be commissioned in Turkish Navy in July. At the same day the second ship, F-512 TCG Büyükada will be launched.

The model of Moship

Moship/Ratship: The design phase for the submarine rescue ship Moship and two rescue and towing ships Ratship is continuing. I learned out to my surprise that Istanbul Shipyard, the builder was responsible for the whole ship inclusive the mission equipment. That means it is the shipyard will also provide the ROV, the McCann bells and other necessary equipment. It must be a steep learning curve for them. The contract for the production of these ships not signed yet. There was a speculation that it might be signed during the fair but this did not happened.

Model of LST

LST: The contract for the construction of a new LST’s was signed between Ministery of Defence and ADIK_Furtrans shipyard on 11 May 2011. The value of the contract was not disclosed but the ship will be delivered in 48 months. The ships will carry 525 persons, 17 MBT and between 24 – 60 vehicles.

The armament consists of 2 single barrelled 40mm Oto Melara guns, 2 Mk15 Phalanx CIWS, 2 machine guns on a stabilised remote controlled chassis.

The ships will have a Smart Mk2 3D air/surface search radar (which not common for an amphibious ship) 2 AselFLIR 300D EO director, torpedo counter measures systems, laser warning receiver and Link16/22 system. All these sensors and weapons will be controlled by a 5 consoles of GENESIS CMS.

New Type Patrol Boats: The first boat of this class P-1200 TCG Tuzla was launched in 2011 and was handed over to Turkish Navy in 4 January 2011. The second boat P-1201 TCG Karaburun was handed over to Turkish Navy on 19 April 2011 for temporary acceptance. The third and fourth boats, P-1202 TCG Köyceğiz and P-1203 TCG Kumkale are launched as early 2001 and they are currently under going sailing acceptance tests and harbour acceptance test respectively. The fifth boat P-1205 TCG Tarsus will be launched in this month.

In the mean time the construction of the two boats ordered by Turkmenistan in October 2010 is continuing. Dearsan shipyard has shipped the boats in kits, along with the equipment necessary for the construction. According to IDEF’11 Show Daily, the construction of two boats is about to be completed and the installation of the propulsion system will commence soon. These have a very similar weapon and sensor configuration to Turkish boats. The main difference is the Turkmenistan boats will have a Thales Variant 2D air/surface search radar and a pair of 25mm Aselsan STOP systems.

Type 214 Submarines: Interestingly there was very little information available about the current status of this programme. But credit contract for this programme was signed at the end of 2010 thus I assume everything is going as scheduled. Currently STM the main subcontractor of this project is sourcing 18000 components and materials to be used. This is a time consuming process. I do not expect any important development in this project before summer.

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