Turkish Navy Unveils Changes to its Planned TF-2000 Air Defence Ship

Foreign Affairs

Istanbul: Turkey’s navy has unveiled changes to its planned air defence vessel and shared details on the ship’s armaments. The commander of the Turkish Naval Forces, Admiral Ercüment Tatlıoğlu, visited the Istanbul Shipyard Command and the Naval Forces Design Project Office on February 28, the service announced, where he received a briefing on the design process and plans for the TF-2000 program. The design office, which is based on the same premises as the shipyard, began design efforts in July 2017.

The TF-2000′s principal mission is to detect and destroy guided missiles. According to the navy, the ship will be able to detect ballistic missiles, too. It’s unclear how many vessels the service plans to buy, how much money is set aside for the program and how long construction will take.

This vessel’s latest iteration shows changes from previous ones. For example, the original displacement was 7,000 tons. And in previous versions, the calculated speed was 28-plus knots (32+ mph). The second iteration shared in 2021 had the ship at 166 metres (545 feet) long and 21.5 metres (70.5 feet) wide, with a displacement of 8,500 tons.

In the latest design, the ship is 149 meters long and 21.3 metres wide. It has a draft of 5.75 metres. The displacement is 8,300 tons. Its main machinery is in the so-called CODOG — or combined diesel or gas —configuration, which is expected to help the vessel reach 26 knots (30 mph) or more. The ship will feature one 127mm main gun, two 25mm remote controlled weapon station and one 35mm Gökdeniz close-in weapon system.

It’s also to receive two Midlas vertical launch systems. The first one, with 32 cells, is located between the bridge and the main gun. The other, armed with 64 missiles, is located at midships between the funnels and the main mast. The principal weapons for the  will be the Siper and Hisar air defence missiles. The navy had previously said the TF-2000 would be fitted with Gezgin cruise missiles launched from vertical launch systems.

The ship also features a Levent point defence missile system. The newest version of the TF-2000 comes with structural changes, too. According to the new design, Turkey has abandoned the approach for two, separate funnels; there is now one large funnel structure.

Turkey shortened the length of the ship when it eliminated the flexible mission space. This leftover area between the funnels and the hangar were supposed to be a reconfigurable space to carry up to 10 standard ISO containers at 20 feet each; or four 12-metre-long rigid inflatable boats; or various unmanned underwater and surface vessels. There was also space for 16 Atmaca anti-ship missiles, but the newest design does not show dedicated launchers onboard.

The ship is to feature 130-150 crew members, and with accommodations for 200. The vessel’s range is estimated to be 5,000 nautical miles at 18 knots. The ship is also to have a minimum 45-day operational capability without replenishments, and perform missions for 180 days without the support from its base.