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Turkey receives TCG Istanbul, its first locally-built frigate

Photo: STM

In a ceremony at Sefine Shipyard in Yalova Province, northwest Turkey, the Turkish Navy officially commissioned the TCG Istanbul, the nation’s inaugural domestically-produced frigate.

The TCG Istanbul, part of the Istanbul class developed under the MILGEM national warship program, stands as a testament to Turkey’s ambition to bolster its maritime capabilities.

At the ceremony attended by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and high-profile guests, the frigate, weighing close to 3,000 tons, showcased an 80% localization rate, surpassing its initial target. The construction involved the collaboration of 220 Turkish companies and 80 subcontractors.

Designed for a versatile array of missions, from anti-submarine warfare to reconnaissance, the TCG Istanbul incorporates advanced indigenously built components. General Manager of STM, Ozgur Guleryuz, emphasized its global standing, stating, “TCG Istanbul, MİLGEM İstif-Class Frigates have taken their place among the five most advanced frigates in the world.”

Turkey’s naval expansion continues with the TCG Istanbul being the first of eight planned Istanbul class frigates. The second, third, and fourth vessels—TCG İzmir, İçel, and İzmit—are currently in various stages of construction at different shipyards within the TAIS consortium, with a timeline for their delivery and deployment by early 2026.

Beyond its capabilities in anti-submarine warfare, the TCG Istanbul, boasting a length of over 371 feet, features a propulsion system, including two diesel engines from MTU Friedrichshafen, a General Electrics LM2500 gas turbine, and controllable pitch propellers, allowing speeds of up to 30 knots and a 5,700 nautical mile endurance range.

With the TCG Istanbul’s entry into service, Turkey takes a step toward a self-reliant naval force, reducing dependence on foreign-built vessels. The frigate’s technology, including the domestically developed ATMACA anti-ship missile and GOKDENIZ close-in weapon system, underscores Turkey’s commitment to enhancing its naval prowess on a global scale.