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Ada class corvettes of the Turkish Navy
Ada class corvettes of the Turkish Navy
Başlatan turkdefence, Kas 25, 2017, 05:16 ÖS
Kas 25, 2017, 05:16 ÖS
: Kas 25, 2017, 06:37 ÖS by Sabri Ünal
Written by D-Mitch
Modified photo of an Ada class corvette. For a high resolution image click
Click to enlarge and save the image to view the details: modified photo of Ada class corvette. For a high resolution image click
The MILGEM project, from the Turkish words Milli Gemi (National Ship), is a Turkish national warship program with the aim to design and build locally a fleet of hi-tech stealth multipurpose corvettes and frigates that will replace older ships which are currently in service. Through this ambitious program, Turkey seeks to improve national military shipbuilding capacity and skills and ultimately to achieve independence from foreign weapon producers, designers and manufacturers. More than 50 local companies, including the largest Turkish defense firms such as Aselsan, Havelsan and RMK Marine, play a significant role in the MILGEM project, gaining invaluable experience in warship design and construction. The MILGEM Project Office of the Istanbul Naval Shipyard Command executes and coordinates the design, development and construction works of the MILGEM project since March 12, 2004. The programme initially included the construction of 12 ships in two batches (blocks, due to important differences among the batches). The first batch would have included eight (8) multipurpose corvettes the so-called MILGEM Block I (Ada; island in Turkish) class while the last four (4) would be of the TF-100 frigates equipped with vertical-launching system (VLS) for surface-to-air (SAM) missiles. This plan changed recently as the first batch will include only four corvettes of the Ada class, while all the rest ships will be designated as MILGEM Block II.
In 2014, the head of naval projects for SSM, said that a request for proposals (RfP) for the Batch II (from ship 5) corvettes (also known as MILGEM -G) was expected to be issued by the end of the year. At the same time he said that work on the previously planned TF-100 project for a light frigate to replace some of Turkey's older MEKO 200 frigates had been stopped as "this role will now be covered by the Batch II MILGEM ". The new ships will have an increased length of about 10m and they will include in their equipment
a) an Mk41 VLS for Evolved Sea Sparrow Missiles (ESSM),
b) Phalanx CIWS instead of RAM (logically from the decommissioned Gabya-class frigates),
c) two more quadruple SSM launchers,
d) perhaps 25mm RWS/guns such as STOP (instead of STAMP),
e) further combat system upgrades,
f) new anti-torpedo system and
g) diesel engines.
The ships of the MILGEM Block I will replace gradually the six D'Estienne d'Orves-class/Burak class corvettes while the MILGEM Block II will replace the non-modernized Gabya/O. H. Perry class frigates (4 in service) and the Yavuz (MEKO 200TN Track I) class frigates (4 in service). This year the designation name of the new Batch changed to I-class.
Till today (June, 2015) only two corvettes have been commissioned by the Turkish Navy and two more are in different phases of construction. The lead ship of the class, TCG Heybeliada (F-511) was launched at the TNFC's Istanbul Naval Shipyard on September 27, 2008. The cost of the lead ship was around US$260 million. The ship entered in service on September 27, 2011. On the same day and at the same shipyard, the TCG Büyükada (F-512) was launched and exactly two years later, in 2013, she was commissioned into Turkish Navy. The same day the keel for the third ship TCG Burgazada (F-513) was laid. However, the MILGEM programme encountered major setbacks in 2013 that cast doubt over the project's future. Under the original planning a nominated private Turkish shipyard was to work together with Istanbul Naval Shipyard on the third and fourth ships in Pendik in order to transfer the know-how required for the construction of subsequent ships in its own facility, and RMK Marine was selected in January 2013. However, contract negotiations were halted in mid-2013 when a complaint from SEDEF Shipyard sparked a probe. In August the prime minister's inspection office concluded that the tender for follow-on ships was not held in a competitive manner and should therefore be cancelled. The SSM's (Turkish Undersecretariat for Defence Industries) executive committee acknowledged the findings of the inspection office inquiry during a 26 September 2013 meeting and set out a revised procurement strategy in which it was decided that the fourth corvette would now also be built at Istanbul Naval Shipyard while a new tender was opened for the I-class ships. The experience and technological know-how gained with the MILGEM project will play an important role in determining the design characteristics and the development process of the anti-aircraft warfare TF-2000 class frigates.
Kas 25, 2017, 05:23 ÖS
: Kas 25, 2017, 06:07 ÖS by Sabri Ünal
The general characteristics of the class is a displacement of approximately 2,300tons at full load, length of 99.5m, beam of 14.4m, maximum speed of +29 knots and a range of 3,500n.m. with the cruising speed of 15 knots. The crew is only 93 people while there is accommodation for 106 passengers including flying crew and technicians (11 people). The propulsion is combined diesel and gas (CODAG) propulsion system, which consists of a gas-turbine and two diesel engines delivering a power of around 30,000kW. The ships carry one medium helicopter (S-70 Seahawk) which can be accommodated in a hangar. Additionally, each corvette carries two rigid-hulled inflatable boats (RHIB). The ships feature a steel hull and fragmentation resistant composite superstructure. Fore and aft masts and the funnel have been constructed with sea resistant aluminum alloys. The warships of the MILGEM project are designed to fully operate at sea state 5 and partially operate at sea state 6. Reduction and management of the ship signatures was taken as the major input during the whole design phase. Many classified precautions were taken in order to reduce hydrodynamic, acoustic, magnetic signature, Infrared Signature (IR), Radar Cross Section (RCS), and therefore, to achieve the specified level of stealth feature. Collective Protection Zones are designed to ensure the ships ability under NBC conditions. Locally designed degaussing system minimizes the magnetic signature for protection against the magnetic mines. The design focused on reduced Life Cycle Cost while the configuration is easily adaptable to technological improvements and changes due to operational requirements.
Each ship of the class is equipped with a fully automatic OTO Melara Super Rapido main gun of 76mm/62cal fitted with a stealth cupola and located on the bow deck. The gun is capable to intercept air and surface targets at a distance of 16 km (the effective range is between 5 and 8km) unleashing 120 rounds per minute weighting greater than 6 kg each. In comparison with the basic Compatto of the same manufacturer Super Rapido has an increased rate of 35 rounds per minute. The revolver magazine in the mount holds 85 ready rounds. The gun is remotely controlled but there is provision for an emergency local control as well.
The OTO Melara Super Rapido of Heybeliada. Photo: niki-zlatev.blogspot.com
Except the main gun, for the purpose of asymmetric warfare and coastal defense, the corvettes are equipped with two Aselsan Stabilized Machine Gun Platforms (STAMP) with 12.7mm heavy machine guns. STAMP incorporate advanced features, such as remote operation, built-in electro-optic sensor system, day and night operation, automatic target tracking (detect, track and fire on the move) stabilized turret and ballistic computation. The infrared and daylight TV cameras of the system enable detection and recognition of targets that would not be possible with naked eye. The system is capable of ballistic calculation and automatically tracking the targets and enabling a high hit probability by accurate firings. STAMP System has a stabilized turret which enables the line-of-sight of the gun to be aimed at the target at all times. Due to the stabilization feature, the system can perform precise firings against stationary or moving targets while the platform is on-the-move. System can be operated remotely by using the remote gun control unit and hence provides gunner protection against counter fire. System has additional features of defining firing zones both in azimuth and elevation.
STAMP RWS. Photo: Aselsan
For specialized anti-aircraft and anti-missile defense (CIWS), the vessels of the class have only one Mk 49 Guided Missile Launching System (GMLS) with 21 missiles each ready to launch RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) (Block 1A). The launching system is located atop the helicopter hangar. Together, missiles and launching system comprise the RAM Mk 31 Guided Missile Weapon System (GMWS). RAM is a class-leading weapon system providing a full perimeter protection to the vessel operator. The Block 1A missile has infrared guidance system that enables it to intercept missiles that are not emitting any radar signals while the Block 0 passive radar homing capabilities have been retained. The range exceeds the 9 km and the speed surpasses the 2 Mach. It is obvious though the lack of medium range anti-aircraft capability such as an ESSM or other missile in the same category. The new Block II will eliminate this disadvantage.
The RAM launcher
Each corvette is equipped with eight (8) Boeing RGM-84L Harpoon anti-ship missiles in two Mk141 quad launchers amidships. Turkey is one of the few countries in the region (together with Egypt) that have this advanced variant (Harpoon Block II missiles are designated -L-) in their military inventory. Harpoon Block II offers an expanded engagement envelope, enhanced resistance to electronic countermeasures and improved targeting. Specifically, the Harpoon was initially designed as an open-ocean weapon. The key improvements of the Harpoon Block II are obtained by incorporating the inertial measurement unit from the Joint Direct Attack Munition program, and the software, computer, Global Positioning System (GPS)/inertial navigation system and GPS antenna/receiver from the SLAM Expanded Response (SLAM-ER), an upgrade to the SLAM. The Harpoon Block II missile can discriminate target ships from islands and other nearby land masses and thus and it provides the Harpoon with a littoral-water anti-ship capability. The Harpoon missiles have a range greater than 120km, a sub-sonic speed of 860km/h (Mach 0.9) and they carry a warhead of 221kg. Harpoon missile has a low-level, sea-skimming cruise trajectory, active radar guidance and it is capable to perform pop-up maneuver which it is a rapid climb of the missile to about 1,800m before diving on the locked target. Once the target is detected, the missile approaches this in a flight height of 2 to 5 meters until impact. The warhead does not discharge directly on impact, but with a time delay, so that the explosion takes place inside the ship and significantly more damage than at a contact igniting weapon.
Harpoon launcher of Heybeliada
For Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) the ships are equipped with two twin Mk32 (Mod 9?) 324mm torpedo launchers in fixed positions for Honeywell Mk46 Mod 5 or Mk54 active or passive/active acoustic homing lightweight torpedoes. The Mk46 torpedoes have a range of approximately 8,500-11,000m at 45 knots (maximum speed) and they carry a very powerful warhead of 44.5kg for this category of lightweight torpedoes. They are designed to attack fast submarines and to engage them even over 400m below sea level as well as surface targets (latest variants such as Mod 5). The Mk54 torpedo is the next generation of Mk46 torpedo as it combines the expensive Mk50 search and homing system with the propulsion system of the Mk46 torpedo for optimized performance in the most challenging littoral scenarios. It has a speed over than 40 knots and it carries the same warhead as the Mk46. The decoy system is the BAE Systems Mk 36 Super Rapid Bloom Offboard Countermeasures (SRBOC) Chaff and Decoy Launching System. It is a shipboard, deck-mounted, 6-barreled 130mm mortar-type array that launches type-specific countermeasures against a variety of threats. Following launch and dispersion, Mk36 SRBOC chaff and infrared countermeasures are designed to lure hostile missiles away from ships under attack by creating false target sets. The Mk36 SRBOC launching system is controlled from the ship's combat management system (see last paragraph), and it is dependent on information provided by the ship's detection and threat analysis equipment. The Mk36 SRBOC consists of the Mk137 launcher, firing stations at the bridge and CIC, the Mk160 power supply, Mk5 Mod2 or Mod4 Ready Service Lockers (RSLs), and a selection of munitions. Each vessel is equipped with two or four Mk137 launchers. The launching systems are controlled by the KALKAN Decoy Control System that links the decoy launching systems to the ship's ESM, wind and navigation sensors.
Twin Mk32 launcher of Heybeliada. Photo via turkishnavy.net
As it was mentioned earlier, each corvette carries one S-70B Seahawk helicopter. In Turkish service the Seahawks carry a variety of anti-ship missiles such as Penguin Mk2, Hellfire (AGM-114K) and the new long-range ASM developed by Roketsan, the Mizrak-D (variant of UMTAS) as well as Mk46 and the Mk54 lightweight anti-submarine torpedoes. The S-70 can be accommodated in the ships' hangar. The aircraft ship-integrated secure and traverse (ASIST) helicopter handling and tracking system, developed by Curtiss-Wright, ensures the safe landing of the helicopter. There is space in the hangar for UAV.
View of Heybeliada's hangar
Two Rigid-Hull Inflatable Boats (RHIBs) are carried by the corvettes. One of them with its davit is located at port side of the ship. The second RHIB is located over the steering gear room with a boat ramp at the stern.
The corvettes of the class are equipped with the British Ultra Electronics Sea Sentor Surface Ship Torpedo Defence (SSTD) system. The system consists of an acoustic passive towed array, a towed acoustic countermeasure, a single-drum winch, a processing cabinet, two display consoles, two expendable acoustic device/countermeasures launchers (port and starboard) and 16 expendable acoustic devices (8 in each launcher). The passive acoustic towed array is specifically designed to detect torpedoes and has additional in-built non-acoustic as well as acoustic intercept sensors. Through advanced AI processing it is able to generically identify torpedoes as well as classify specific weapon types and modes and undertake threat evaluation and posturing analysis. The system provides tactical advice dependent upon the specific threat weapon, mode and posture to maximize vessel survivability, which typically involves vessel manoeuvres and also includes the deployment of countermeasures. The countermeasures - both towed and expendable variants - lure the threat away from the vessel in a soft-kill manner by transmitting an acoustic decoy signature in the water. The system equips also the Royal Navy's Type 23 (Duke) class frigates.
EAD launcher. Photo via turkishnavy.net
From the 3rd ship and after, the system will be replaced by the indigenous and more advanced Aselsan HIZIR SSTD. HIZIR is an advanced Surface Ship Torpedo Countermeasure System composed of Towed Array, Towed Decoy, Winch, Electronic Cabinet, Launcher and Expandable Decoy subsystems. The system is integrated with the Sonar, Combat Management System and Ship Data Distribution Unit. HIZIR system is capable of detecting torpedo threats from a distance required for instant counter reaction. Using advanced Detection, Classification and Localization algorithms, the system advises the operator the most suitable tactic required to escape from threat. This includes an evasive maneuvering advice for ship, related parameters and timings for towed decoy and deployment time of expandable decoys.You can watch how the new system works in the following video (
Aselsan HIZIR. Image: Aselsan
Kas 25, 2017, 06:03 ÖS
: Kas 25, 2017, 06:06 ÖS by Sabri Ünal
The corvettes are equipped with the SMART-S Mk2 which are manufactured locally by Aselsan under license. This system is Thales's latest 3D multibeam radar that operates in S-band (E/F-band) and it is optimised for medium-to-long-range air and surface surveillance and target designation in littoral environments. The latter consisting of a mix of sea, land, islands, coastal rains and thunderstorms and a multiple of radar targets including small surface targets, helicopters and anti-ship missiles. SMART-S Mk2 is extremely suitable as the main air and surface surveillance radar in a one radar concept for light frigates, corvettes and large landing ships. Pulse-Doppler processing enables fast target track initiation and stealth target detection, even in a cluttered environment. With its 2 main modes, 250-km range for air targets and 80km for surface targets, a track capacity of about 750 tracks, special helicopter mode, surface fire channels, easy installation, high reliability and easy maintainability, SMART-S Mk2 is one of the most advanced radars in its category. Moreover, SMART-S Mk2 is an optimal sensor for target indication to a fire control tracking system. By providing 3D tracks the radar supports correct classification and rapid acquisition.
From up to down: SMART-S, ARES, VMFT, ALPER and STING. Photo: niki-zlatev.blogspot.com
STING-EO Mk2 of Thales is a highly capable, medium range, lightweight, dual band (I and K) weapon control system, primarily for ships' gun control. The system offers support functions such as sector search (with automatic target detection), missile launch detection, projectile position measuring during gun fire and kill assessment support, it supports gun fire control, it performs kill assessment and makes a valuable contribution to classification and identification of threats. In addition, the system can be used as a surveillance sensor, even under radar silence conditions. STING-EO Mk2 combines a 1.2 m radar director with a full set of electro-optic equipment (TV/IR/laser), including optronic tracking and an automatic 'best sensor' selection process. The three data sources (I, K and EO) provide high redundancy, high performance and ECCM resistance. A shell-measuring feature is incorporated to support facilities such as Pre-Action Calibration (PAC) and Miss Distance Indication (MDI). The fully solid state STING-EO Mk2 provides the best weapon control for medium-sized vessels. The instrumental ranges are 72km in X-band and 17km in K-band.
Sting EO system of Heybeliada. Photo: niki-zlatev.blogspot.com
Aselsan ALPER is a low probability of intercept (LPI) X-band naval radar system for the detection of sea surface targets in all weather conditions. Developed specifically for wartime navigation of military vessels, ALPER's LPI characteristic is vital in detecting surrounding targets while not being detected by enemy vessels. ALPER's design allows for integration with Warfare Management Systems and existing navigation radars on the vessel, and hence can be operated via a mutual console. The maximum range of detection is close to 67km.
ALPER LPI Radar. Photo: Aselsan
The corvettes carry two Sperry Marine (Northrop Grumman) VisionMaster FT S-band navigation radars, some of the most advanced radars in this category. The radars offer a user friendly interface, an advanced automatic clutter suppression for outstanding small target detection, target tracking capability of 100 radar targets and 240 AIS targets, integrated route planning and trail maneuver for safe navigation and multi-layer user defined radar maps. Automatic clutter suppression technology makes it easier for watch keepers to identify small, weak targets in the presence of sea or rain clutter without manually adjusting gain or clutter controls. VisionMaster FT Radars automatically acquire and track targets at relative speeds up to 150 knots, allowing the watch keeper time to address any other requirements of the bridge rather than manually acquiring targets. Targets can be acquired by either two annular acquisition zones or two operator-configured polygon zones. Digital controlled inter-switching allows the interface of up to six transceivers to up to six displays, resulting in screen redundancy and flexibility in user operations. The Dual-Channel option provides the ability to display data from two independent transceivers onto the same screen and targets can be tracked on both channels. The overlapping of the information from the two radars eliminates any blind spots that may occur when a single radar is restricted providing unsurpassed situational awareness.
The aft VMFT, AselFlir and one STAMP. Photo: niki-zlatev.blogspot.com
The forward VMFT above ALPER. Photo: Aselsan
Aselsan Laser Warning Receiver (LIAS) is a state-of-the-art threat warning system that equips the ship responsible to detect, classify, identify and give warning of hostile laser threats aiming on the platform. LIAS is designed to detect almost all of types of the laser threats available in the world military inventory. Laser Range Finders (LRF), Laser Designators (LD) and Laser Beam Riders (LBR) threats operating on various optical bands can be detected by the system. LIAS is comprised of one Processor Unit and several Sensor Units installed on the body of the platform. Each Sensor Unit has 90º field-of-view in azimuth and ±40º field-of-view in elevation axes. At least 4 Sensor Units are required but this number can be increased to 8 depending on the size of platform. With this approach total coverage of the platform is guaranteed. Sensor Unit includes detector and after detector electronics to detect the laser signals. Sensor Unit creates and sends the parameters of the threat laser signals to Processor Unit. The Processor Unit gathers the information from Sensor Units, evaluates the signal parameters and classifies, identifies, tracks and declares laser threats to a host computer (such as Electronic Warfare System - EWS) to be alarmed and displayed on the MMI. Processor Unit can also perform the direct and immediate initiation of the countermeasure (CM) system(s) if available onboard.
Sea Sentor SSTD launcher and one laser warning receiver. Photo: turkishnavy.net
Aselsan ASELFLIR-300T Advanced Targeting System is a multi-sensor electro-optical targeting and surveillance system. ASELFLIR-300T System consists of a Thermal Camera, a Laser Range Finder/Laser Designator, a Laser Spot Tracker, a Color TV Camera and a Color Spotter Camera.
Aselsan ASELFLIR-300T EO sensor. Photo: turkishnavy.net
Within its operating frequency range (2-18 GHz) Aselsan ARES-2N offers a wide range of solutions for naval platforms. The system has the capability of detecting, intercepting, identifying, classifying, tracking, Direction Finding (DF), localizing, audio warning, platform correlating and recording the electromagnetic emissions. It provides wideband intercept of radar signals; single DF in wide frequency band and high signal processing speed facilitate the processing of complex radar signals. A key feature of the system is its precision parameter measurement and advanced emitter characterization capabilities. The system can trace marked emitters automatically and locate them. The system has high probability of intercept capability with its wideband receiver architecture. The high processing sensitivity provides long range detection capability and low LPI radar detection capability. Bandwidth selectivity allows the system to be immune to the desensitization that occurs in wide-open systems when CW signals or pulse Doppler signals are present in the environment.
View of the bridge and the main mast. Below the SMART-S (top) there is the ARES-2 electronic warfare system
The MİLGEM project warships have an indigenous hull mounted mid-frequency active/passive sonar, the TBT-01 Yakamoz, that is developed by the Scientific and Technological Research Foundation of Turkey. The sonar dome has been developed and produced by ONUK-BG Defence Systems, extensively employing nano-enhanced Fiber Reinforced Polymer.
The MILGEM class corvette is equipped with the UNIMACS 3000 series highly sophisticated Integrated Platform Control Monitoring System (IPMS) developed by Yaltes, to maintain continuous and reliable operations, reduced reaction time and simplify ship management. Main propulsion system, electrical power distribution, auxiliary systems and other ship service systems are controlled, managed and monitored by ICMS. The main systems integrated in IPMS include a power management system, fire detection system, fire fighting and damage control system, CCTV system and stability control system.
MILGEM class ships have a nationally developed network-centric Combat Management System (CMS), the GENESIS (Gemi Entegre Savaş İdare Sistemi, i.e. Ship Integrated Combat Management System), which is fully distributed and collects information from all the sensors on board. GENESIS is developed by Havelsan and originally used in the upgraded Gabya-class frigates of the Turkish Navy. CMS processes this information and assigns weapons accordingly. CMS also shares information with other units in the task force via tactical data links. MILGEM's CMS infrastructure consists of dual distributed data bus covering the whole ship, and it's open system architecture is upgradable to inherit new systems and capabilities. The CMS includes operator consoles (OPCON) and tactical consoles (TACON), land-based test system units, inter-console units, a commander unit and combat system video network. In total there are 5 Operator Consoles (OpCons), 2 Tactical Consoles (TaCons), 1 Commander Unit (COU) and 8 Inter Console Units (ICUs). All these consoles were designed and manufactured by Yaltes.
Elements of the Ada's CMS. Image: SSM
The Ada class features a digital chart precise integrated navigation system (ECPINS) supplied by OSI Geospatial. Among others they are equipped with Aselsan X-band SATCOM terminals, GPS, LAN, ECDIS/WECDIS and Link 11/16. Definitely these warships are some of the most advanced ships in their category worldwide.
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Ada class corvettes of the Turkish Navy
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