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SSB launches tender for follow-on Istanbul-class frigates

The Turkish Presidency of Defence Industries (SSB) launched a request for proposals for the acquisition of three follow-on Istanbul-class frigates on 22 December.

The tender is open to Turkish shipyards that have already executed or are currently conducting a military surface platform surface vessel design/construction project with the SSB.

The additional ships will be built to the same design as first-in-class Istanbul (F 515), excluding any systems that need development, improvement, nationalisation, and localisation.

The follow-on frigates will be constructed and fitted with a maximum local industrial input. Proposals are expected to be submitted by 17 March 2022.

The Istanbul class – also known as the MilGem batch II and I/Istif class – is being developed under Turkey's MilGem programme as a follow-on to an initial batch of four Ada-class corvettes. Based on the Ada-class hull, the Istanbul-class variant is stretched by 14 m to include an indigenous vertical launch system, additional (up to 16) anti-ship missiles, and increased fuel capacity.

Istanbul has been under construction at Istanbul Naval Shipyard since 2017. It was originally planned to enter service this year but the schedule has slipped and the frigate is now scheduled for commissioning in September 2023.

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