Aegis Radar Appears on Italian Ship

Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri is well known for showing a wide array of designs at naval expositions, and a huge model of the Italian Navy’s sail training ship Amerigo Vespucci dominates their display at the Euronaval exposition just outside Paris. But tucked in among more than two dozen ship models is a frigate design featuring something quite different for the company — four Aegis SPY1-D radar panels on the forward superstructure, along with a Mark 41 vertical launch system.

It appears to be the first time a shipbuilder is showing the Aegis system on a ship other than a U.S. design and its Japanese and South Korean derivatives, or on frigates built or designed by Spanish shipyard Navantia for the Spanish, Norwegian and Australian navies.

Fincantieri’s “theater ballistic missile defense surface combatant” is a concept design, intended to show that the Aegis system, currently the only shipborne ballistic missile defense (BMD) system, can be installed on a ship with a hull similar to the FREMM multimission frigates built by Italy and France.

No European government has announced a current requirement to build a BMD ship, but an industry source said the design is meant to show that Fincantieri already is thinking along those lines and has a design readily adapted to the BMD role.

No formal relationship with Lockheed Martin is behind the design, the industry source said.

A Lockheed Martin spokesman at Euronaval declined comment on Fincantieri’s design, other than to say there was no formal agreement between Lockheed and Fincantieri to develop an Aegis frigate.

“They are clearly linked with Navantia on their Aegis frigates,” the industry source said of Lockheed. “But this could be a winning solution too,” referring to the Fincantieri design.

The 6,500-ton Fincantieri Aegis frigate uses the 144-meter hull of a FREMM variant designed for Brazil, powered by a combined diesel and gas turbine arrangement.

Fincantieri, however, has a strong relationship with Lockheed on a non-Aegis program. The firm owns Fincantieri Marinette Marine, which builds Lockheed’s littoral combat ship in Marinette, Wis.

And while Lockheed has produced several potential export designs of its LCS fitted with an Aegis system, there are no active plans to build such ships.

Navy, MIT join forces for new intelligence vessel

Turkey’s first large dedicated electronic intelligence ship will be jointly operated by MIT and the Turkish Navy.

Turkey’s navy and national intelligence organization MIT have agreed to jointly procure a high-tech ship for collecting electronic intelligence from newly arising regional threats in the Eastern Mediterranean. Turkish Undersecretariat for Defence Industries, or SSM, has been tasked for launching a local tender for the construction of the new ship using Turkey’s indigenous capabilities to their fullest extent.

“Turkey has earmarked $120 million for the construction effort of Turkey’s first large scale intelligence ship.” a TR Defence source familiar with the programs of the Turkish Navy reported on Friday. “This will be a dedicated SIGINT/ELINT ship that will bear a number of advanced electronic capabilities, but will lack heavy weapons.”

Several countries currently use similar electronic intelligence ships for spying on the military transmissions of target states, finding and exploiting secret radar installations, eavesdropping on and decrypting sensitive information as well as actively jamming compromised enemy communications during war time. The ship is said to be used in conjunction with Turkey’s new Gokturk series of surveillance satellites planned for launch in 2013 and 2014.

Project will be managed by SSM and follow the successful footsteps of the Milgem program. Once complete in 2015, the ship will join Turkish Navy inventory but will be partially operated by MIT in line with Turkey’s widely varying intelligence gathering needs.

It is also expected to actively participate in NATO missions and exercises around the world.


Thales Delivers Four Maritime Patrol Aircraft to Turkey

Thales has completed delivery of initial standard maritime patrol  aircraft under the Meltem II programme for Turkey, with four aircraft  entering service between February and June 2012.

Pierre Eric Pommellet, Executive Chairman of Thales Systèmes Aéroportés,  officially handed over the aircraft during a ceremony at the Tusas Aerospace  Industry (TAI) facility in Ankara attended by representatives of the Turkish  Undersecretariat for Defence Industries (SSM), the Turkish Naval Command, the  Turkish Coast Guard Command, the local contractors involved in the programme – TAI, Aselsan, Havelsan and Milsoft – the French defence procurement agency (DGA)  and the French embassy in Ankara.

Thales is prime contractor for the Meltem II programme, which calls for  delivery of six maritime patrol aircraft for the Turkish Navy  and three maritime surveillance  aircraft for the Turkish Coast Guard. The aircraft are based on modified  CASA CN-235 platforms. The programme also includes the provision of 10  additional maritime patrol systems for integration on ATR 72 aircraft in service  with the Turkish Navy. Seven of these have already been delivered to the SSM.  The 19 mission systems are based on Thales’s AMASCOS solution (Airborne MAritime  Situation & Control System).

The four initial standard aircraft underwent significant modifications to  accommodate the mission system and have completed airworthiness qualification by  the DGA in France. Turkish Navy pilots and aircrews have been trained with the  new aircraft and mission systems and performed a series of test flights covering  a range of operational mission profiles: surveillance, search and rescue, target  designation, anti-surface warfare and anti-submarine  warfare. On the basis of these test flights, the aircraft have been accepted  into operational service.

The initial standard aircraft provide the Turkish Navy with an operational  maritime patrol capability.

Mr Yakup TAŞDELEN, Department Head in SSM, said: “this delivery marks a true  milestone in the development of our maritime patrol capability. The Turkish Navy  can now rely on Thales state-of-the art solution to conduct their mission.”

Pierre Eric Pommellet emphasised: “the climate of confidence and dedication  which drove Thales and its partners during the last couple of years and which  made possible the delivery of a solution tailored to the operational need of our  customer.” Pommellet added “Thales is now looking forward to delivering the next  systems to the Navy and to the Coast Guard.”

This success marks a major milestone in the Meltem II programme and is a  further endorsement of the high level of maturity of the AMASCOS solution. It  consolidates Thales’s market leadership in maritime patrol systems and its  positioning as a world-class systems supplier and integrator offering a wide  range of mission systems to meet the specific requirements of forces around the  world.

Designed around a latest-generation integrated tactical command system, the  AMASCOS solution ties together multiple sensors – radar, FLIR, ESM, acoustic  system, AIS, MAD, SLAR radar, IR/UV scanner – to detect, identify and track  threats, maintain real-time tactical situation awareness, manage NATO and  national tactical datalinks and deploy onboard weapon systems.


Lockheed Martin remains sole bidder for new frigates

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.

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.

Missile Issue

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.


Turkey capable of building own navy

Turkish Navy's "New Type" Patrol Boat

Turkey’s shipbuilding industry has come to a level where it can produce all of its navy needs or parts – with the exception of submarines and engines – one senior procurement official said at the weekend.

“Among our armed forces, probably the most developed is the navy,” the official said. “We can produce 70 or 80 percent of all [naval] needs.

The sole exception is submarines, and we are moving with concrete steps on that,” the procurement official added.

The largest boats in Turkey’s surface fleet are the frigates, and Turkey is nearing their manufacture. It has produced two corvettes, the only ship in the warship category smaller than that. It has put to sea the TCG Heybeliada, one of them, in 2008 and last year the ship was accepted by the navy.

It also completed production of the second corvette, the TCG Büyükada. This year Turkey should select a private shipping contractor to build six corvettes. It also has to decide this year whether the Milgem corvette project will end at eight or 12, meaning the total price for the whole program will reach $2 billion or $3 billion.

Then around 2020, the country will launch what is today known as TF2000, or the Turkish frigate program. Both Britain and the United States are competing for that program with their own frigate systems.

Turkey presently can also produce a New Type Patrol Boat, Coast Guard Research and Rescue Boat and Tank Landing Ships, the procurement official said.

“We can also export the smaller ships we produce to friendly and allied countries,” he said. Islamic countries are particularly interested in those, he said.

“As part of our engine development plans, we also are developing our own engines,” said the procurement official.
Separately, a 2 billion-euro submarine deal between SSM and Germany’s HDW shipyards for joint manufacture of six modern U-214 diesel platforms for the Turkish Navy formally took effect in July 2010.

“This will be the last submarine we will be building with someone else,” the procurement official said.
In a less orthodox project, Ankara has plans to a buy a landing platform dock (LPD) a vessel that looks like a helicopter carrier and can transport up to a battalion-sized unit (more than 1,000 troops) long distances.

Turkey plans to use this ship for NATO-related missions to carry troops or refugees.

According to the size and capabilities, the Turkish LPD will cost between $500 million and $1 billion.

Presently, the Turkish Navy includes nearly 49,000 personnel and has 75 aircraft, 17 frigates, seven corvettes, 14 submarines and 27 fast missile boats.


Turkish Navy adopts new high-sea strategy

This file photo shows a Spanish platform which Spain wants to sell to Turkey. (HDN photo)

Turkey’s Naval Forces aim to protect lanes of communication on the high seas to assure global maritime security and protect national interests under an austere defense budget as part of its new strategy, a top Turkish Navy commander has said.

“Our force planners use strategic decision-making, focusing on sophisticated, modular designs that allow us to move toward economy in our operations with fewer crew and lower fuel costs. The objective is to maintain and develop a credible naval force despite budget constraints,” Admiral E. Murat Bilgel, commander of the Turkish Naval Forces, said in an interview in the March issue of Proceedings, a monthly magazine published by the United States Naval Institute.

For these purposes, the Navy must be a versatile, well-trained, and well-equipped force that can be deployed at strategic distances, Bilgel said, adding that the force must be “fully interoperable with its military and nonmilitary counterparts while protecting sea lanes of communication and being prepared to support joint and combined land activities from the sea.”

To achieve these goals, the Navy will make the best use of Turkey’s shipbuilding and design capacity at domestic naval and private shipyards, research centers, and via the defense industry, the admiral said.

The top commander also gave information on the Navy’s future strategy. In the short term, the Navy will improve its situational awareness capabilities by adding corvettes and patrol boats to its fleet.

Within a decade, the Turkish Naval Forces will focus on conducting operations other than war by building a reconfigurable landing platform with airlift capability, a combat-support ship, multifunctional frigates with unmanned and manned rotary-wing aircraft, as well as air-independent propulsion submarines.

The Navy aims to advance its limited-strike ability over the next 20 years through the acquisition of a multipurpose landing platform with organic short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) aircraft, air defense frigates and unmanned underwater vehicles.

The Turkish Navy is already planning to buy the design for its first landing platform dock (LPD) Three Turkish-led groups are currently vying for the contract that will be worth between $500 million and $1 billion.

Turkey is expected to spend more than $4 billion on defense procurement this year. In recent years it has focused on Navy programs. Multibillion-dollar naval programs have included the joint production of six modern submarines with Germany, as well as the largely local manufacture of eight corvettes.

“In line with [our] objectives, we will continue to sustain operational effectiveness and a deterrent posture through innovation, maintaining the strategy and technology interface, exploiting indigenous capacity, prioritizing projects and continuous manpower education and training,” Bilgel said.


Turkish Navy extends anti-piracy task off Somalia

Turkish Marines capturing a boat used by Somalian pirates in the Gulf of Aden.

Turkish Parliament has approved an extension mandate for Turkish naval ships to participate in international anti-piracy missions in the Gulf of Aden and Arabian Sea for one more year.

In 2009, Turkish Parliament gave the government the power to send units from the Turkish Navy to the Gulf of Aden and adjacent waters to contribute to the multinational efforts of anti-piracy. The duration of this permission has already been extended twice, once in 2010 and once in 2011. The Turkish Navy continues to protect the Turkish merchant ships sailing in the Gulf of Aden according to a U.N. Security Council decision taken in 2008 and with permission given by the Turkish Parliament in February 2009, according to the Official Gazette. On Feb. 10, 2012, Turkish Parliament’s permission was due to expire. The Turkish Navy’s tasks include performing reconnaissance and patrol duties.

BUSINESS > Turkish shipyard delivers fast intervention boats to Malaysia

Yonca Onuk, a top Turkish shipyard, has delivered the first four of 10 MRTP-16 fast intervention boats to Malaysia’s Coast Guard Command as part of a $100 million contract, a senior Turkish procurement official said yesterday.

This company photo shows a RTP-16 model fast intervention boat produced by Yonca Onuk.
This company photo shows a RTP-16 model fast intervention boat produced by Yonca Onuk.

Three of the four boats were delivered and launched earlier this year, while the fourth was unveiled this week at a ceremony at Malaysia’s Langkawi shipyard that was attended by senior officials from both countries, according to authorities.

Two of the ships were directly built by Yonca Onuk while the two others were constructed by Malaysia’s Bousted shipyard under contract, Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency Director General Adm. Datuk Mohd Amdan Kurish said at the ceremony, according to Turkish procurement officials who attended the event.

“The remaining six are expected to be delivered in June next year. Of the six, two will be built in Turkey and four here,” he said.

The fast intervention boats are slated to be used mainly in anti-piracy and anti-smuggling missions, Malaysian officials said. The MRTP-16 has a maximum speed of 60 knots and can carry 10 crew members.

For Turkey’s rapidly rising exports, Malaysia has become a top customer this year. In February, FNSS, an Ankara-based joint venture with the United States, signed a deal worth nearly $600 million with Malaysia for the joint development and manufacture of 257 8-by-8 Pars amphibious armored vehicles. The Pars was designed by FNSS, and also comes in 8-by-8 and 6-by-6 versions.

The MRTP-16 deal is the largest partnership in the defense business sector between Turkey and Malaysia apart from the FNSS contract.

Small naval platforms are among the strongest sectors in Turkey’s defense export sector. Yonca Onuk’s MRTP-related boats have been sold to several countries.

As part of a 2009 agreement signed with the United Arab Emirates, Yonca Onuk is also selling 34 fast interceptors to the Gulf country. Five boats have been delivered so far while two others have been put to sea and are undergoing tests.

The UAE boats are fitted by STAMP stabilized machine gun platforms, a well-exported item made by Turkish military electronics conglomerate Aselsan.


ANKARA – Hürriyet Daily News


Turkish Navy gives submarine, vessels job to local private yard

Turkey’s thriving naval defense industry is building specialized support vessels for the Turkish Navy in parallel to its involvement in the construction of conventional warships.

This photo shows Turkey’s first nationally built warship, the TCG Heybeliada which entered service on Sept 27. AA photo
This photo shows Turkey’s first nationally built warship, the TCG Heybeliada which entered service on Sept 27. AA photo

The latest examples of such vessels include a submarine rescue mother ship (MOSHIP) and two rescue and towing vessels (RATSHIPs), the first deal of its kind in the country.

Turkey’s procurement authorities have signed a contract with a local shipyard for the production of one MOSHIP and two RATSHIPs.

The agreement was signed the last week of October between the country’s procurement office, the Undersecretariat for Defense Industries (SSM), and Istanbul Tersanesi, a private shipyard based in Istanbul. SSM or company officials did not reveal the contract price.

Defense Minister Ismet Yilmaz said that although it took three years to conclude contract negotiations with the shipyard, it was the government’s determination to locally build the military platforms the country required for its modernization programs.

SSM Chief Murad Bayar said the Turkish Navy was intent on awarding its vessel contracts to private local shipyards.

Under the contract, Istanbul Tersanesi will deliver the rescue vessels to the Navy within three years. The Turkish MOSHIP will be able to evacuate the crew of a distressed submarine at depths of up to 600 meters, according to company officials.

The proposed vessel is 91 meters long, with a beam of 18.5 meters and draught of 5 meters. Space is provided for 131 personnel, and the ship has a maximum speed of 18 knots and a range of 4,500 nautical miles at a speed of 14 knots.

The ship also will be able to perform rescue and towing operations for broken-down, wrecked or beached vessels.

The two planned RATSHIPs will be 69 meters long with a beam of 13.5 meters and draught of 4 meters. They will be able to attain the same speed and endurance levels of the MOSHIP and have space for 104 personnel.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011
ANKARA- Hürriyet Daily News

Turkey Seeks Partner for Naval Copter Drones

ANKARA – To boost Turkey’s naval intelligence capabilities, military and procurement authorities here have launched a new program for the co-production of unmanned helicopters.

Officials with the Undersecretariat for Defense Industries (SSM) said the procurement office likely will release requests for proposals before the end of the year.

“The competition will be open to foreign bidders, but they will have to agree to work with a Turkish prime contractor,” one official said.

Industry sources said the local prime contractor most likely will be Tusas Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI). Last December, TAI’s first unmanned helicopter prototype, the Sivrisinek, made successful test flights equipped with the Cirit, an indigenous rocket developed by Turkish missile maker Roketsan.

The co-production program will involve an initial batch of up to 30 unmanned helicopters.

Procurement officials said the initial specification for the unmanned platform is a range of 180 kilometers and a flight time of up to 10 hours. In its first test, the Sivrisinek flew for an hour and a half.

According to planned contract specifications, the helicopters must be able to perform vertical takeoffs and landings since they will operate from ships.

Initially, the unmanned helicopters will be deployed on a landing platform dock that Turkey plans to purchase. Later, they will be operated on Turkish corvettes and frigates.





Published: 12 Oct 2011