Türkiye's First National Frigate TCG ISTANBUL Successfully Conducts the First MİDLAS VLS Fired

12.03 2024


Türkiye’s first national frigate, TCG ISTANBUL (F-515), built under the main contractorship of STM, successfully tested Turkey's first national Vertical Launch System (VLS) MİDLAS.

As part of the MİLGEM 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th Ships Vertical Launch System Procurement Project initiated by the Presidency of Defence Industry Agency (SSB) of the Republic of Türkiye to meet the needs of the Turkish Naval Forces Command and carried out under the main contractorship of Roketsan, a critical milestone has been achieved.

The National Vertical Launch System MİDLAS, which has completed sea acceptance tests, successfully fired the HİSAR-D RF missile for the first time from the TCG Istanbul frigate. With this test, for the first time in Türkiye's, a national air defense missile was fired from a naval platform using a national launcher.

Another important success in the conducted firing tests was the integration of the national combat management system ADVENT and other ship radar/sensor and firing control systems on TCG Istanbul to launch the HİSAR-D RF missile.

Present at the firing activity were Defence Industry Agency President Prof. Dr. Haluk Görgün, Admiral Ercüment Tatlıoğlu, Commander of the Turkish Naval Forces; Presidency of Defence Industry Agency Vice Presidents Hüseyin Avşar and Gökhan Uçar, Roketsan General Manager Murat İkinci, Aselsan General Manager Ahmet Akyol, Havelsan General Manager Mehmet Akif Nacar, and STM General Manager Özgür Güleryüz.

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In his statement, Prof. Dr. Haluk Görgün congratulated the personnel of the Naval Forces Command and the companies Roketsan, Aselsan, Havelsan, and STM for their involvement in this critical success. He expressed his best wishes for the "vertical launch capability" of our warships and the "national air defense umbrella" gained by our navy.

STM General Manager Özgür Güleryüz, in his tweet, wished the development to be beneficial to the Turkish Navy and the Turkish Defense Industry and stated:

"As the main contractorship of STM under the leadership of the under the leadership of the Defence Industry Agency (SSB), our frigate TCG ISTANBUL (I Class Frigate), which has the highest ındigenous content ratio in Türkiye's, will make a striking impact in Blue Homeland defense with its weapons, electronic warfare, and sensor systems. As Türkiye's naval engineering power, we will continue to equip our Navy with advanced technology pioneer combat platforms.

Türkiye’s First National Frigate TCG İSTANBUL

The contract for the construction of the TCG İSTANBUL (F-515) – the first ship in the MiLGEM İ-Class frigate project under Phase 2 of the MiLGEM ADA-class corvette project – was signed on 12 April, 2019 between STM and the Defence Industry Agency (SSB). Following the launch of TCG İSTANBUL (F-515) on 23 January, 2021, the ship rigging in a dry dock and port acceptance tests were subsequently launched in May 2022.After the completion of the port acceptance tests, TCG İSTANBUL was put to sea for the first time for Sea Acceptance Tests after a flag hoisting ceremony held on 20 June, 2023.

TCG İSTANBUL joined the 100-ship official parade held by the Turkish Navy in the İSTANBUL Strait to mark the 100th anniversary of our Republic and the 250th anniversary of the Turkish Naval Academy, thus being introduced to citizens and sailors. TCG İSTANBUL was delivered to the Turkish Naval Forces Command at a ceremony held on 19 January, 2024.


Features of TCG İSTANBUL

As the first Turkish frigate designed by Turkish engineers, the structure of TCG İSTANBUL (F-515), as well as that of the other İstif-Class frigates earmarked for construction, will differ from the ADA-class corvettes in their ability to carry and launch homing surface-to-air missiles.

The frigate has been developed for anti-submarine and surface warfare roles, anti air warfare and reconnaissance, surveillance, target detection, identification, recognition and early warning missions, and measures 113 meters in length with a beam of 14.4 meters. TCG İSTANBUL was constructed at Istanbul Naval Shipyard and has been integrated with advanced national solutions, including the ATMACA Anti-Ship Missile and MİDLAS Vertical Launch System (VLS) developed by Roketsan; the Gökdeniz Close-In Air Weapon System and Cenk-S AESA Radar developed by ASELSAN; and the ADVENT Combat Management System developed by HAVELSAN under the guidance of Naval Forces Command. A total of 220 companies have contributed to the project, including 80 subcontractors working on the supply of more than 150 systems.

Eight İ-Class Ships to Be Built

Works on the construction of the sixth, seventh and eighth MİLGEM I Class Platforms, which will be sister ships to TCG İSTANBUL, Türkiye’s first national frigate, were launched in partnership with STM and TAİS in 2023.

A ceremony was held for the first sheet metal cutting of the national frigates (TCG İZMİR, TCG İÇEL and TCG İZMİT) on 10 April, 2023 with the participation of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.  The intention is to complete the construction of the three frigates within 36 months and to deliver them to the Turkish Navy. At a meeting chaired by President Erdoğan on 3 January, 2024, the Defence Industry Executive Committee (SSİK) decided to extend the MİLGEM project with the construction of four further İ-Class Frigates (numbered 9–12), increasing the number of İ-Class frigates to be built in programme to eight.


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