Turkey began construction of Istanbul, its first Istanbul-class (I-class) frigate, at the Istanbul Shipyard Command on 19 January.
The first frigate, out of a total of four, is planned to be completed in 2021.
The Istanbul-class frigate is the continuation of the country's MilGem (National Vessel) concept, that lead to the earlier and smaller Ada-class corvettes.
Turkish defence minister Fikri Isik, speaking on 19 January during a ceremony for the event, said, "Turkey has made a long way in recent years in developing its own warships." He added that it was one of the government's top priorities to enable the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) to have a strong navy equipped with locally made arms, as Turkey is surrounded by three seas.
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