01 June 2014 Alex Pape, London - IHS Jane's Navy International
The New Turkish National Fast Attack Craft (Türk Tipi Hücumbot) programme is progressing towards the issue of a request for proposal (RfP) in 2014, industry sources have told IHS Jane's .
The Turkish Naval Forces Command is understood to prefer its next-generation FAC to be a compact vessel smaller than the missile-capable Kiliç-class vessels (which are based on a 62 m Lürssen design) and to be capable of sprinting at 60 kt, reaching about 800 n miles at 28 kt, and operating in up to Sea State 5.
The vessels are also due to be equipped with a substantial systems suite, comprising a 76 mm main gun, two smaller-calibre naval guns, a Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) launcher, anti-ship missiles, torpedo decoy systems, a 3D surveillance radar, and an electronic support measures/electronic countermeasures (ESM/ECM) system.
However, several sources have suggested this challenging combination of requirements may be revised by the time the RfP is issued.
Design challenges include accommodating the specified systems in a vessel less than 60 m in length, and also finding the right hull shape and level of installed power to propel the vessel at the required speeds.
Innovative hull concepts may provide one answer. The Norwegian Skjold composites-built surface-effect-ship concept may provide a reference point, for example. However, local industry is not convinced that it would offer the required seakeeping and crew comfort in higher sea states. As a result, most design approaches considered to date appear to favour steel monohulls.
One company noted that a state-funded research and development project into advanced high-speed hull designs would be a useful precursor approach. Failing that, installed power of about 40 MW will likely be required and, given the planned compact size of the vessel design, would have to be based around gas turbines. The propulsion system design will also have to consider the challenge of power output drop-off in higher ambient temperatures, particularly for turbines.
1-ADIK is understood to have proposed a steel-hulled 64 m, 800-ton vessel with a combined gas and gas turbine (COGAG) propulsion system centred around an LM2500 boost turbine.
2-Dearsan, meanwhile, has worked on a 65 m steel-hulled vessel with a combined diesel and gas turbine (CODAG) propulsion system powering the vessel to around 45 kt.
3-ARES' initial proposal uses a wave-piercing, very low radar cross section, 70 m steel hull designed by Rolls-Royce and capable of speeds of about 50-55 kt.
4-RMK Marine said it has worked on a proposal in co-operation with partners in the United States and Sweden, but would not be drawn on details.
5-Yonca-Onuk noted that a derivative of its 250-ton composite-hull MRTP 48 design with diesel propulsion able to generate 40 kt-plus speeds may fit the bill. If fitted with gas turbines, the craft could also meet the 60 kt requirement. The company currently has a very busy export order book.
According to the request for information (RfI) issued by the Turkish Defence Industries Undersecretariat (SSM) in July 2013, Turkish companies STM, Aselsan/Havelsan, and Roketsan are leading the development work in the areas of propulsion, combat systems, and armaments respectively.
The initial buy is expected to cover four vessels, with a further six craft possible under optional later batches. Initial batch deliveries may commence in the 2018-19 timeframe, if a contract can be signed by the end of 2015.