Turkey launches ‘local and national’ warship
ISTANBUL – Anadolu Agency
AA photoPresident Recep Tayyip Erdoğan reiterated Turkey’s goal of self-sufficiency in defense as he launched a new warship on June 18.
The president previously vowed that Turkey’s defense industry will be self-sufficient by 2023, the centenary of the declaration of the republic.
Burgazada is the third Ada-class corvette produced under the MILGEM project. The first was the Heybeliada, launched in 2008.
The ships, which are named after the Princes’ Islands off Istanbul, are designed for search and rescue, patrol and anti-submarine warfare duties. They are armed with a 76-millimeter gun, missiles and torpedoes and carry a Seahawk helicopter.
The ships have a displacement of 2,400 tons, a maximum speed of more than 29 knots (33 miles an hour) and a range of 3,500 nautical miles.
Erdoğan performed a “welding ceremony” on the TCG Kınalıada, another MILGEM corvette that is due to be completed in May next year.
Defense Minister Fikri Işık said Turkey was among the top 10 nations in military ship production.
“Turkey’s domestic production rate in the defense industry increased to 60 percent from 24 percent,” he said, adding that reducing dependence on foreign arms imports is a key goal of the Turkish defense industry.
Also present at the ceremony, Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said the government had invested $30 billion in the defense industry over the last 14 years.
“Turkey is in a circle of fire and many oppressed nations are waiting for our support. So we have to improve our defense and deterrence capability, using local and national resources,” Yıldırım said.