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Follow-on Istanbul-class frigates to feature more VLSs

First-in-class TCG Istanbul will feature 16 VLS cells. (STM)

Follow-on Istanbul-class frigates,İzmir, İzmit, and Içel, will feature additional vertical launching systems (VLSs), a TAIS Shipyards official confirmed to Janes.

Speaking at the IDEF 2023 exhibition in Istanbul, the official, however, declined to comment further on how many additional VLS cells the three frigates would be equipped with.

TCG Istanbul, the first vessel of the class, will feature 16 cells of Turkey's locally produced National Vertical Launch System, MIDLAS. The ship commenced sea trials in June.

TAIS Shipyards is a consortium of privately owned Turkish shipyards, which have been involved for the first time in the construction of a MILGEM-class vessel. İzmir is currently under construction at Anadolu Shipyard, İzmit at Sedef Shipyard, and Içel at Sefine Shipyard, the official confirmed. A steel-cutting ceremony for the three vessels was held at the Sedef Shipyard in April.

In the July edition of its company magazine, Aselsan stated that the frigates will be equipped with its Hisar-D RF (radio frequency) fire-control system.

The frigates are 113.2 m long, 14.4 m wide, and have a draught of 4.05 m. The lead vessel of the class, Istanbul, is powered by combined diesel and gas (CODAG) with General Electric (GE) Marine's LM2500 gas turbine engine and MTU diesels. GE signed an agreement at IDEF 2023 with TAIS Shipyards to provide LM2500 gas turbine engines for the follow-on frigates. It is however unclear if the three frigates will be powered by MTU dieselsas well.

The frigates will feature a high share of domestic systems, including weapons and sensors. They will be equipped with the naval variant of the Hisar missile for air defence and Atmaca anti-ship missile.

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