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Turkey will launch its first frigate of Istanbul-class built under national MILGEM project on January 23.

The 113m warship is expected to be delivered to Turkey’s Naval Forces Command in 2023, Anadolu Agency reported today.

The vessel will be equipped with indigenous electronic assault system; guided missiles and anti-torpedo shields; as well as ASELSAN infrared search and tracking systems.

The MILGEM project aims at developing multipurpose corvettes and frigates that can be deployed in a range of missions, including reconnaissance, surveillance, early warning, anti-submarine warfare, surface-to-surface and surface-to-air warfare, and amphibious operations.

It covers 4 Ada-class anti-submarine warfare (ASW) corvettes, 1 ELINT corvette, 4 Istanbul-class multipurpose frigates and TF2000 class anti-air warfare destroyers for the Turkish Navy and 4 Jinnah-class frigates for the Pakistan Navy.

The Istanbul-class (I-class) an enlarged variant of the There is-class and will feature a slightly larger hull for improved endurance. In addition to retaining the guns, self-protection and ASW systems of the There is-class, I-class ships will have twice the number of anti-ship missiles and will be equipped with the Mk 41 VLS, capable of firing Atmaca, HISAR, RIM-66 Standard, RIM-162 ESSM and VL ASROC missiles, along with other systems for improved multi-role combat capabilities.

An I-class frigate will have a displacement of 3,000 tonnes and will be able to attain a maximum speed of 29 knots (54 kmph).

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