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First I-Class or Istanbul-class frigate of MILGEM project will be launched in 2020.

| 2020

According to news published on Turkish website Defense and Technology May 21, 2020, the first I-Class or Istanbul-class frigate of MILGEM project, a Turkish national warship project, will be launched in 2020. Managed by the Turkish Navy, the project aims at developing multipurpose corvettes and frigates that can be deployed in a range of missions, including reconnaissance, surveillance, early warning, anti-submarine warfare, surface-to-surface and surface-to-air warfare, and amphibious operations.
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First I Class or Istanbul class frigate of MILGEM project will be launched in 2020 925 001 Drawing of I-Class or Istanbul-class frigate of MILGEM project. (Picture source Daily Sabah)

In 2005, Istanbul Naval Shipyard Command has started the construction of the first vessel of MILGEM project, TCG Heybeliada. In 2014, Turkish defense technology and engineering company STM was selected as a subprime contractor for the construction of remaining Ada class vessels. More than 50 local suppliers, including Turkish defense companies like Aselsan and Havelsan played a significant role in developing local subcomponents for command-and-control and electronic battle management system

Within the scope of MiLGEM Project, a complex 21st Century surface warship equipped with modern technology at high standards was designed and integrated, for the first time, by maximum use of the national resources, engineering along with the support of the local industry. The project has aimed at developing indigenous Turkish warship with modern combat skills and high-seas patrolling capabilities with extensive use of the principles of stealth technology.

In this project, the roles of Turkish Company STM are to provide, design services, integration of the main propulsion system, acquisition of systems, materials and equipment. The first-three Ada Class Corvettes were entered into Turkish Navy service in 2011, 2013 and 2018 respectively. The construction of No.4 corvette is currently in progress in Istanbul Naval Shipyard.

STM has been officially authorized to conduct export operations of MiLGEM - Ada Class Corvettes and similar platforms including all types of surface combatants.

The I-Class or Istanbul-class frigate is an enlarged variant of the Ada class anti-submarine corvette, with enhanced endurance and the fitting of a Mark 41 vertical launch system for a multi-role capability.

In addition to retaining the guns, self-protection and anti-submarine warfare systems of the Ada class, the Istanbul-class frigate will have twice the number of anti-ship missiles and will be equipped with the Mk.41 VLS, capable of firing RIM-66 Standard, RIM-162 ESSM and VL ASROC missiles, along with other systems for improved multi-role combat capabilities.

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