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Turkish Navy launches first Type 214TN submarine

The Turkish Navy launched its first Type 214TN submarine, TCG Pirireis, at Gölcük Naval Shipyard on 22 March.

The then Undersecretariat for Defence Industries (now Turkey’s Presidency of Defence Industries) signed the contract for the construction of Type 214TN submarines with air-independent propulsion (AIP) with prime contractor ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS) in July 2009. The EUR2 billion (USD2.7 billion) contract came into force in June 2011 and construction of Pirireis began in October 2015.

Pirireis is the first of six Reis-class AIP submarines, with the remaining five boats at various stages of construction. Pirireis was rolled out from the construction hall to a floating dry dock in December 2019 and was scheduled to be commissioned in 2022, but the Covid-19 pandemic may have changed the timeline.

Pirireis is 3.35 m longer and is heavier than other Type 214 submarines in service. The increase in length and weight is to rectify the stability problems, especially at periscope depth, reported by other navies. The submarine is 68.35 m long and 6.3 m wide, with a surfaced displacement of 1,850 tonnes and a submerged displacement of 2,050 tonnes. The 40-strong crew is 10 fewer than the current submarines in service, indicating a high level of automation.

The Reis-class AIP submarines will replace the Turkish Navy’s Ay-class Type 209/1200 submarines.

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