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Turkish Navy commissions four new vessels into the fleet

TCG Istanbul (F 515) was commissioned into service on 19 January. (C D Yaylali)

Three new ships and an unmanned surface vessel (USV) joined the Turkish Navy's inventory during a commissioning ceremony held at Sefine Shipyard in Yalova on 19 January, the Turkish Ministry of National Defense(MND) confirmed the same day.

TCG Istanbul (F 515), the lead frigate in its class, was commissioned into service alongside the navy's new fleet replenishment ship (Dimdeg) TCG Derya (A 1590), logistic support ship TCG Üsteğmen Arif Ekmekçi (A 575), and Marlin armed USV.

Istanbul is the first of eight planned frigates in its class, which is also known as the MILGEM II and I/Istif class. Laid down at Istanbul Naval Shipyard in 2017 and launched in 2021, Istanbul's commissioning follows the completion of sea acceptance trials, which have been ongoing since June 2023.

The simultaneous construction of the first three follow-on ships, İzmir, İzmit, and İçel, is also under way at Anadolu, Sedef, and Sefine shipyards respectively, in collaboration with Turkish defence company STM under a contract signed in April 2023. Following a steel cutting ceremony in April, the three ships are planned to be delivered within 36 months. In early January 2024 the Turkish government also announced plans to build a further four frigates, bringing the total number to eight, although further details on timelines have yet to be provided.

The Istanbul class is an evolution of the navy's Ada (MILGEM 1)-class corvettes, featuring a lengthened hull (by

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