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Turkish Navy frigate TCG Istanbul successfully tests VLS MIDLAS for 1st time.

| Naval News Navy 2024

According to information published by STM on March 12, 2024, the Turkish Navy's frigate TCG ISTANBUL successfully carried out its first missile launch using the MİDLAS Vertical Launch System (VLS).
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Turkish frigate TCG Istanbul firing HISAR D missile. (Picture source: STM)

This event represented the first instance of a national air defense missile, the HİSAR-D RF, being launched from a naval platform in Türkiye. The test was part of the MİLGEM project, which aims to supply the Turkish Naval Forces Command with the 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th ships equipped with the MİDLAS VLS. The project is spearheaded by Roketsan as the main contractor, in collaboration with the Presidency of Defence Industry Agency (SSB) of the Republic of Türkiye.

The successful launch also demonstrated the integration of Türkiye's national combat management system, ADVENT, alongside other shipboard radar/sensor and firing control systems.

The TCG ISTANBUL (F-515) is the first ship in the MİLGEM İ-Class frigate project, itself an extension of the earlier ADA-class corvette project. The frigate is designed for multiple naval warfare roles, including anti-submarine and surface warfare, air defense, and reconnaissance missions. It is equipped with advanced national defense technologies such as the ATMACA Anti-Ship Missile and the Gökdeniz Close-In Air Weapon System.

Following the TCG ISTANBUL, the project includes the construction of the 6th, 7th, and 8th MİLGEM I Class Platforms, with plans to complete these additional frigates within 36 months for their delivery to the Turkish Navy.

This expansion effort is part of a broader initiative, recently reinforced by a decision to add four more İ-Class Frigates to the MİLGEM project, aiming to increase the total number of ships to eight.

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