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MILGEM project
F-511 TCG Heybeliada, the lead ship of the MİLGEM project, near the Prince Islands to the southeast of Istanbul, 2011.
Class overview
Name: Ada class
Builders: Istanbul Naval Shipyard
RMK Marine
Operators: Turkish Navy
Subclasses: TF-100 class
Built: 2007 - present
In service: 2011 - present
Building: 6
Planned: 12
Completed: 2
Active: 2
Laid up: 3
General characteristics
Class & type: Patrol and Anti-Submarine Warfare[1]
Type: Corvette (Ada class)
Frigate (TF-100 class)
Displacement: 2,400 tonnes
Length: 99.56 m
Beam: 14.40 m
Draft: 3.90 m
Installed power: Main: 31,640 kW CODAG
Aux: 4 x 588 kW
Propulsion: 1 gas turbine, 2 diesels, 2 shafts
Speed: Economy: 15 knots
Maximum: 30 knots
Range: 3,500 nautical miles (6,480 km) @ 15 knots
Endurance: 21 days with logistic support
10 days autonomous
Boats & landing
craft carried:
2 Rhib
Complement: 93 including aviation officers, with accommodation for up to 106
Sensors and
processing systems:

Combat Management System: G-MSYS (GENESIS MİLGEM Savaş Yönetim Sistemi)
Search radar: SMART-S Mk2[2]
Weapon control: STING EO Mk2
Sonar: TBT-01 Yakamoz
Communication: SatCom, GPS, LAN, ECDIS/WECDIS, Link 11/16
IPMS: UniMACS 3000

Others: X-Band radar, Fire Control Radar
Electronic warfare
& decoys:
Others: Laser/RF systems, ASW jammers, DG, SSTD


  • 1 x 76 mm (retractable for lower radar cross section, guidance by fire control radar and electro-optical systems), A position
  • 2 x 12.7 mm Aselsan STAMP Stabilized Machine Gun Platform (guidance by Laser/IR/TV and electro-optical systems, automatic and manual modes), B position

Anti-surface missiles:

Anti-aircraft missiles:


Aircraft carried:

Hangar and platform for:

Aviation facilities: Capability of storing armaments, 20 tons of JP-5 aircraft fuel, aerial refueling (HIRF) and maintenance systems

The MİLGEM project, from the Turkish words Milli Gemi (National Ship), is a Turkish national warship program, the purpose of which is to build a modern littoral combat warship with indigenous anti-submarine warfare and high-seas patrol capabilities, extensively using the principles of stealth technology in its design.[1]

The corvettes of the MİLGEM project are named the Ada class (ada means island in Turkish, as each individual ship of the class is given the name of a Turkish island, in particular the Prince Islands in the Sea of Marmara, to the southeast of Istanbul.) The lead ship of the class, TCG Heybeliada (F-511) is named after Heybeliada Island, where the Turkish Naval High School is located.

The project covers the construction of eight corvettes (Ada class) and four frigates (TF-100 class) for the Turkish Navy, with possible exports to other countries.[4] The first two ships of the class, TCG Heybeliada (F-511) and TCG Büyükada (F-512) were built by the Istanbul Naval Shipyard Command. According to the local newspaper Hürriyet, the cost of the lead ship TCG Heybeliada (F-511) was around US$260 million.[5] On January 3, 2013, the Turkish Undersecretariat for Defense Industries announced that RMK Marine Gemi Yapım Sanayi A.Ş., a Turkish shipbuilding company, will construct a further six MİLGEM project (Ada class) corvettes for the Turkish Navy at a cost of US$1.5 billion.[6][7][8]

End September 2013, Prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced that the MİLGEM project was cancelled and the RMK Shipbuilding is no more in charge of the production because some other shipbuilders complained about the bidding process. He added that a new bidding process will take place.[9]


When the MİLGEM project was officially launched in 1996, the initial plan was to locally build MEKO A-100 corvettes of Blohm+Voss, a German shipbuilding company which specializes in building high technology warships and submarines.

In the early 2000s, the partnership plan with Blohm+Voss was cancelled and the Turkish Navy decided to use its own resources for the design, development and construction of a completely indigenous corvette. The MİLGEM Project Office of the Istanbul Naval Shipyard Command executes and coordinates the design, development and construction works of the MİLGEM project since 12 March 2004.

By developing the MİLGEM project, Turkey aims to build a warship using local resources to the maximum extent possible, and improve national military shipbuilding capacity and skills. The objectives of the MILGEM project are to enhance the littoral warfare capabilities and to meet the operational requirements of the Turkish Navy.[4][10]

More than 50 local companies, including the largest Turkish defense firms such as Aselsan, Havelsan and RMK Marine, play a significant role in the MİLGEM project, gaining invaluable experience in warship design and construction.[11]


The project is generally described as the subclasses of multi-purpose warships capable of sustaining a sea war in a littoral combat environment.

MİLGEM Project Office (MPO) of the Turkish Navy Research and Development Center Command (ARMERKOM) designed and developed the vessel platform. MİLGEM's design concept covers a multipurpose patrol warship, which can be deployed in a range of missions, including reconnaissance, surveillance, target identification, early warning, anti-submarine warfare, surface-to-surface and surface-to-air warfare, and amphibious operations. It features a steel hull and fragmentation resistant composite superstructure. Fore and aft masts and the funnel have been constructed with sea resistant aluminium alloys. The warships of the MİLGEM 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, IR, radar signatures, and therefore, to achieve the specified level of stealth feature.[4] 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 concept and mission profile of the Ada class corvette bears similarities with the Freedom class littoral combat ship (LCS-1) developed by Lockheed Martin as the first member of the next generation of USN warships; though the Ada class corvettes are more heavily armed, while the Freedom class (LCS-1) has a higher speed and variable mission modules.[12]

GENESIS (Gemi Entegre Savaş İdare Sistemi, i.e. Ship Integrated Combat Management System), a network-centric combat management system developed by Havelsan and originally used in the upgraded G-class frigates of the Turkish Navy, was contracted for the first two Ada class corvettes on May 23, 2007.[13][14] The MİLGEM project warships have an indigenous hull mounted sonar developed by the Scientific and Technological Research Foundation of Turkey.[15] Sonar dome has been developed and produced by ONUK-BG Defence Systems, extensively employing nano-enhanced Fiber Reinforced Polymer.[16] The Ada class features a digital chart precise integrated navigation system (ECPINS) supplied by OSI Geospatial.[17] Integrated Platform Management System (IPMS), delivered by Yaltes JV, monitors and controls machinery, auxiliary systems, electrical power generation and distribution. 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.[18]


According to the MILGEM acquisition model, Turkey's Undersecretariat for Defence Industries (SSM) signed R&D contracts mostly for the two prototype ships which are considered to be development platforms for testing the design and integrated systems. Thus, being an open-end project, 1st and 2nd ships of the class are expected to be slightly different in terms of vessel design and system configuration. The subsequent ships, expected to be built by private shipyards, will have more optimised design and configuration.[10]

TF-100 class frigate

Eight of the twelve MİLGEM project warships are classified as the Ada class corvette, while four of them will be equipped with additional weapon systems and will be classified as the TF-100 class frigate.

The TF-100 class[19] will feature a slightly larger hull 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. The experience and technological know-how gained with the MİLGEM project will play an important role in determining the design characteristics and the development process of the TF-2000 class frigates, as well as the selection of the systems and equipment which will be used on these significantly larger and more capable warships.


Construction works of the first MİLGEM project warship, the Ada class corvette TCG Heybeliada (F-511), began on 22 January 2007. TCG Heybeliada was launched with a ceremony on September 27, 2008, that was attended by Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Prime Minister of Turkey. On November 2, 2010, TCG Heybeliada started undergoing sea acceptance trials before being officially commissioned.[20][21] TCG Heybeliada (F-511) entered navy service on 27 September 2011.[22]

Production of the second Ada class corvette, TCG Büyükada (F-512), commenced on September 27, 2008. TCG Büyükada is expected to incorporate weapon systems with distinctive performances, such as the ASELSAN air-search radar. TCG Büyükada (F-512) was launched on September 27, 2011 and is undergoing sea acceptance trials before being officially commissioned. The construction of TCG Burgazada (F-513) commenced on September 27, 2011.


According to a CNN Türk news report on September 27, 2008, the navies of Canada, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Ukraine and a number of South American countries have expressed interest in acquiring MİLGEM project warships.[23] The Pakistan Navy shows interest in acquiring four Ada class corvettes over a 10-year program, of which three to be manufactured in local shipyards.[citation needed] On the 6th of April 2011, Indonesia and Turkey signed cooperation agreement on defense industry including the construction of two Ada class corvettes for the Indonesian Navy.[24]

Ships in the class

Name/Pennant No. Namesake Builder Laid down Launched Commissioned Status
TCG Heybeliada (F-511) Heybeliada Istanbul Naval Shipyard Command 22 January 2007 27 September 2008 27 September 2011 On active duty with the Turkish Navy
TCG Büyükada (F-512) Büyükada Istanbul Naval Shipyard Command 27 September 2008 27 September 2011 27 September 2013 On active duty with the Turkish Navy

Image gallery

Related development

See also

References and notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 Patrol and Anti-Submarine Warfare Ship (MILGEM- Milli Gemi – National Ship) Project, SSM, Turkey
  2. Turkish Navy purchases Thales sensors, Thales Netherlands, 19 December 2007
  3. ARES-2N (Turkey), Naval Signals Intelligence (SIGINT), electronic support and threat-warning systems, Jane's Radar And Electronic Warfare Systems, 3 February 2011
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 "MİLGEM" Project, Turkish Navy
  5. Turkiyenin urettigi ilk savas gemisi Heybeliada seyirde, Umit Kozan, 12 November 2010
  6. "Savunma Sanayii Müsteşarlığı". Retrieved 2013-10-04. 
  7. "6 MİLGEM'i Koç yapacak". Retrieved 2013-10-04. 
  8. "1.5 Milyar dolarlık savaş gemisi ihalesini kim kazandı | Ekonomi Haberleri I Türkiye'nin en saygın ekonomi ve iş dünyası sitesi". 2012-08-02. Retrieved 2013-10-04. 
  9. "Koç'un aldığı o ihale yenilenecek" (in Turkish). 2013-09-27. Retrieved 2013-09-27. 
  10. 10.0 10.1 Acquisition of Design Services and Platform Construction and Outfitting Equipment for MILGEM Project Prototype Ship and Second Ship, SSM, Turkey, Retrieved 6 December 2010
  11. Today's Turkey’s MİLGEM to build military ships for Pakistan, Zaman, 29 November 2008
  12. Milgem Class Multimission Corvettes, Turkey, Naval Technology, Retrieved 6 December 2010
  13. MILGEM Project, GENESIS Combat Management System, Havelsan, Retrieved 6 December 2010
  14. Havelsan advances MILGEM integration, Jane's IDEX 2011 exhibition news, Retrieved 25 February 2011
  15. Indigenous Sonar Wet-End System Production and Integration Project, SSM, Turkey
  16. MİLGEM Corvette Sonar Dome, Onuk-BG Defence Systems, Turkey
  17. OSI Geospatial Selected by the Turkish Navy to Provide ECPINS-W for the MILGEM Corvette New Build Program, OSI Geospatial News Release, 4 June 2009
  18. YALTES MILGEM IPMS Project, Yaltes JV, Retrieved 6 December 2010
  19. "Turkish Navy set to build its own frigate". Retrieved 30 December 2012. 
  20. (Turkish) Newsletter about TCG Heybeliada, Turkish Navy, 12 November 2010
  21. First Turkish MILGEM begins sea trials, Richard Scott, IHS Jane's, 22 November 2010
  22. (Turkish) Newsletter about TCG Heybeliada, Turkish Navy, 27 September 2011
  23. (Turkish) News video of TCG HEYBELİADA being put to sea, CNN Türk TV, 27 September 2008
  24. (Turkish) Endonezya liderinden 300 milyar dolarlik davet, Zaman, 6 April 2011

External links

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