Turkish New Type Patrol Boats Launched With a Ceremony

In the light of the operational requirements of the Naval Forces Command, in

Issue 21

Speaking at the ceremony Prime Minister Erdo?an said, “We reached a decision on 19 January, 2005, in a meeting of the Defence Industry Executive Committee on the acquisition of 16 new type patrol boats. On 23 August 2007 a contract was signed relating to this acquisition and an agreement was reached with Dearsan on the building of 16 boats for a cost of 402 million euros. The fact that the first boat is being launched in less than two years is a means of pride for all of us. A first has taken place in the Turkish ship building industry and these boats have been realized completely through domestic design. That the leading defence industry corporations in our country Havelsan and Aselsan will equip the command control system for the new type patrol boats is an additional source of pride for us.”

Erdo?an continued by saying, “This project bears the fruits of the close collaboration of two of our strategic industries. Above all it has strengthened our domestic industry’s capabilities in these strategic areas and possibly even more important it has increased the export potential of our defence industry.”

Providing information on the ship building industry, Erdo?an stated that, “While the total exports of our ship building industry in 2002 was only 290 million USD, in 2008 it increased nine fold to reach 2.7 billion USD. Despite the global crisis in 2009, the exports of the ship building industry reached 1.8 billion USD. On the other hand, total sales of the defence industry has a whole was 2.3 billion USD in 2008. While defence industry exports during the same year were 800 million USD, R&D has reached 500 million USD. Erdo?an emphasized that whereas Turkey was once nearly 100 percent foreign dependent in the defence industry, today she can build her own ships, submarines and satellites and even export them.” In particular during the last few years many advanced technologies required by the Turkish Armed Forces are now met by Turkish companies with their domestic design and production projects and even more important the defence industry products made by new companies are finding buyers in every geographical region of the world and is met with interest and liking.

Explaining that, “the manufacturing of ship machinery had not yet started due to the global financial crisis but that it would commence in a short time.” Erdo?an went on to add that when these steps have been taken, than the domestic rate including manufacturing will reach not 70 percent but God willing 90 percent. Our target is to completely succeed in this respect.

In his remarks the Prime Minister also gave the good news on new projects. “Turkey is one of the few countries in the world that can build submarines. At the present time we have started the initiatives with the building of six new submarines. We have reached a certain stage in this project. We will give the go ahead for this project in a short time. The first of the MILGEM corvette, that is being build completely with local contributions, was launched two years ago. The electronic integration of this ship is continuing. The building process for the second ship is at this moment continuing as well. Again, a ship named MO-SHIP, MP and a frigate are at the tender stage. We will commence with the building of these vessels in the shortest possible time. Turkey has reached these levels,” said Erdo?an.

Speaking at the ceremony, the Naval Forces Commander, Admiral E?ref U?ur Yi?it noted that the fluctuations in regional security and stability were the result of global effects and that the dimensions of future security had started to take shape in the surrounding geographical region and in today’s conjuncture the position of Turkey had become even more important.

Indicating that the renewal of vehicles and equipment based on the latest technology were important, Yi?it said: “Our responsibilities and obligations whether it be national or international, will continue to be accomplished in an outstanding manner as a competent naval force, and will continue to be the most important guarantor and protector in the sovereignty and interests in the future on the seas for Turkey.”

“After the Cyprus Peace Operation, being subject to an embargo, the negative consequences as a result of a war industry that is foreign dependent were lived and experienced,” mentioned Yi?it, and stated that, the actual defence power of a nation can only be measured with a production capacity that is integrated with science and technology.”

Within the context of this period, the infrastructure of military shipyards were expanded and including submarines, the personnel to build all types of vessels had been raised and that from the point of shipbuilding engineering and labour world standards had been reached.

Speaking at the ceremony, the Minister of National Defence Mr. Vecdi Gönül said that, “The successful delivery for use of these boats, whose world market share is high, will also contribute to the export potential of our country and, “The New Type Patrol Boat Project has already resulted in discussions with many Asian and Middle East countries to meet their ship requirements from us.”

In his remarks Mr. Gönül indicated the importance in having military ship building taking place in private sector shipyards and that within this context in the last five years 2 billion USD of various shipbuilding projects were carried out in five private sector shipyards in Tuzla and underlined the fact that, “The expansion of the defence industry and decreasing the foreign dependence of the Turkish Armed Forces on weapon systems has started to bear fruits and that the Turkish defence industry had reached a stage that is widely acknowledged in the world.”

The Undersecretary for Defence Industry Mr. Murad Bayar in his remarks noted that Dearsan had carried out all of its commitments under the project and had completed the boat on time and that another two boats being built by the private sector would be launched this year. Completely locally designed by Turkish engineers, the first boat would be delivered to the inventory of the Naval Forces Command by the end of the year, said Bayar and that they hoped to send ships from this shipyard to the sea forces of friendly nations.

Speaking to the participant at the ceremony, the chairman of the board of Dearsan, Mr. Baki Gökbayrak indicated that the new type patrol boat had the distinction of being the first combat vessel to be built by the private sector. Gökbayrak noted that: “At the present time six more boats are currently being built and that they were working together with 60 contractors of which 55 were local. Stating that with a 70 percent domestic effort, an important contribution had been realized for domestic industry and business lines, Mr. Gökbayrak explained that in order to reach the domestic rate indicated, the products of organisations like Havelsan, Aselsan, Roketsan and TUBITAK were designed and produced for the first time in Turkey and that the first applications had been realized with the New Type Patrol Boat Project.

The patrol boat carries the feature of being the first combat boat built by the private sector and is 56.90 m in length, 8.90 m in width and with a complete load is 395 tons in weight. It carries 32 personnel with a 44 mm double barrel gun and two 12.7 mm heavy machine guns and will be used by the Naval Forces Command.

Through the boats that will be established according to the Acquisition of 16 units New Type Patrol Boat Project signed in 2007 between Undersecretariat for Defence Industry and Dearsan, the reconnaissance, surveillance, patrol and anti-submarine warfare requirements of Turkish Naval Forces Command will be met and the defence of base and harbors will be supported. The boats are certified by the Turkish Lloyd in terms of machinery, power design, production, construction and installation/fitting. The construction of these boats successfully is enabling Dearsan to take an important place in military shipbuilding industry.

Within the scope of this project Havelsan performs design, supply/production, integration and test activities of the warfare systems of the boats as a turn-key project and Aselsan provides Electro-optic Director, Gyro, Artillery Fire Control System, Stabilized Machine Gun Platform and Communication System.