The Turkish Navy commissioned its first locally-developed and built signal and electronic intelligence gathering (SIGINT) ship TCG Ufuk (A-591) in a ceremony on January 14.
The ship, whose name translates to ‘Horizon’, entered service after its launch in February 2019. The defense ministry ordered the ship in late 2016 and work officially got underway in May 2017. The main contractor on the delivery of the ship was STM and the shipbuilder was Istanbul Naval Shipyard.
In addition to SIGINT capabilities, TCG Ufuk will also serve the Turkish Navy as a test and training ship.
Based on the design of MİLGEM corvettes, TCG Ufuk measures 99.5 meters in length and displaces 2,400 tons. It also features a helipad that can accommodate a 10-ton helicopter, and can operate at sea continuously for 45 days.
Aselsan was responsible for the design and integration of radar, communication, and ship navigation systems, while Havelsan delivered the ADVENT combat management system. With the involvement of over 190 domestic companies in the project, the rate of local content reached 70 percent.
Speaking at the commissioning ceremony, Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said the vessel would significantly increase Turkey’s intelligence gathering capability. He also said that with the commissioning of the ship, Turkey became one of ten nations worldwide capable of developing and building such a warship.