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First two Turkish Navy Akhisar-class OPVs launched

The first two Akhisar-class OPVs for the Turkish Navy were launched at Istanbul Naval Shipyard on 23 September. (Devrim Yaylali)

The first pair of Akhisar (modified MILGEM)-class offshore patrol vessels (OPVs) under construction for the Turkish Navy were launched at Istanbul Naval Shipyard on 23 September.

First steel for first-of-class Akhisar (P 1220) was cut in August 2021, and work on second ship Koçhisar (P 1221) started in November 2022. Under current planning, Akhisar is scheduled to be delivered on 9 June 2024, followed by Koçhisar on 9 October 2024.

Based on a modified MILGEM design with a ‘fitted for but not with' concept, the class has an overall length of 99.56 m, a beam of 14.42 m, a draft of 3.77 m, and a full load displacement of 2,300 tonnes.

The ships are powered by a combined diesel-electric or diesel (CODELOD) hybrid propulsion system, consisting of four diesel generators and two electric motors driving two shafts with controllable pitch propellers. The OPVs will have a maximum speed of 24 kt and a range of 4,500 n mile at 12 kt.

The ships are equipped with a landing platform and a hangar to accommodate SH-70 Seahawk-sized helicopters and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in the future.

The primary missions of the ships will be intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance, search-and-rescue, counter terrorism, maritime surveillance operations, and maritime special operations. As secondary missions, they will perform naval air operations, electronic warfare, land bombardment, defence against asymmetric threats, protection of maritime assets, convoy protection, support of amphibious operations, and conduct training.

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