Turkish defense technology company STM has begun work on the STM500 small submarine prototype which will be suitable for both open sea and shallow water operations.
Announcing the start of construction work, Turkish defense minister Ismail Demir the move was a “historical step” in the country’s national submarine adventure.
The milestone was announced after the country launched the second of its six new locally-built Reis-class submarines – the future TCG Hizir Reis – in May this year. While these submarines are built in Istanbul, they are not locally designed, and are based on the Type 214 design provided by German submarine specialist TKMS.
STM500 will be the first submarine developed and built in Turkey. According to STM, the boat will be 42 meters long and displace a little over 500 tons while submerged.
Featuring lithium-ion batteries and the optional air-independent propulsion, the boat will have a range of up to 4,000 nautical miles. The company says STM500 will be capable of staying deployed for 30 days with an 18-person crew and an 8-person special forces team.
The boat will be equipped with advanced warfare systems and equipment that will meet tactical needs such as reconnaissance and surveillance, special forces operations, and anti-submarine warfare. The platform will be capable of employing a total of eight heavy torpedoes and guided missiles, with four ready-to-fire torpedo tubes.
“We are proud to start production of our STM500 prototype submarine, the work of our national engineering. I congratulate all my teammates who contributed to our STM500 submarine, which has high export potential,” STM general manager Özgür Güleryüz said.