31.12.2012 Ümit Enginsoy
Turkey adds two logistical support ships to its ongoing domestic navy projects. The ships will be deployed to the Mediterranean Sea and The Black Sea purchase two locally built logistical support ships, a senior procurement official said over the weekend.
The ships will be deployed to the southeastern Mediterranean and to the eastern Black Sea, two important regions, the significance of which is growing for Turkey.
The Undersecretariat for Defense Industries (SSM), the procurement agency, released a request for information for 12 of the country’s largest shipyards, and the reply time was delayed until Dec. 19. Now the SSM is evaluating the reply bids for the program.
The ships will have a large fuel section and communications equipment, the procurement official said. “It will be quite easy for us to manufacture the two logistical support ships.”
The ships, depending to their size and communications equipment, are set to cost over $100 million each. Aselsan, the military communications plant, is set to provide the equipment.
“The logistical needs of our sea fleets are quite large, and it has been decided to meet such needs on the location,” said the official. Turkey is at odds with Greek Cyprus over oil-and-gas-search activities with Israel in the eastern Mediterranean.
The ships will be protected by nearby frigates and other vessels.
The Turkish Navy has several vessel programs. It is discussing the development of new intermediate-class frigates, currently dubbed the TF100, that would replace the German-made Mekos, to be deployed to the Aegean and the Black Sea in the next decade.
“Our new main frigate will remain the TF2000. The TF100, if decided to be built, would be a follow-up to the German Meko-type frigates and would be something smaller and simpler for the transition to the TF2000 air defense frigates,” said the official last week.
The Navy also has programs to produce a land platform dock, resembling a helicopter carrier, and submarines. It also is building eight corvettes. Corvettes and frigates are the smallest warships, but frigates are the largest of these ships in the Navy of Turkey, which has no coasts on oceans.