President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Monday that Turkey expects to complete and deliver the domestically made submarines to the Turkish Naval Forces Command within five to six months.
Speaking at a ceremony for the docking of the Hızır Reis submarine and the first welding of the Selman Reis submarine at Gölcük Shipyard Command in northwestern Kocaeli province, the president said Turkey aims to take into service a new domestically made submarine each year, to ensure that the navy has six new submarines by 2027.
"Our submarines, which weigh 1,856 tons above water and 2,042 tons when submerged, can go to a depth of more than 300 meters. Our submarines, which can operate for three days underwater, can stay in water for 12 weeks without the need for resupply. The submarines, which are equipped with effective weapons against underwater, surface and land targets, have the ability to launch various types of torpedoes, missiles, and mines. We are also integrating our national torpedo Akya and our national anti-ship missile Atmaca into our submarines with air-independent propulsion capability,” Erdoğan said.
The president added that the Hızır Reis submarine will be put into service in 2023 and the Selman Reis in 2027.
“Starting from this year, we will put one of our submarines into service every year, and we will add six new type submarines to our navy until 2027."
"We have realized many projects that will render our navy stronger and more deterrent for the security of the Blue Homeland," Erdoğan added.
"Nearly 30 domestic companies of ours have assumed responsibility in this critical project with their designs and productions for submarine platforms and underwater technology. Moreover, many other companies of ours are contributing as subcontractors to the production process of our submarines. I thank on behalf of myself and my nation all who have contributed to the production of these submarines that will add to our strength in seas," the president said.
Erdoğan also highlighted the recent boost in Turkey's defense industry, saying that the reliance on external sources has been minimized.
"While the foreign dependency in the defense industry was 80% when we took office, we have today reached a domestic and national production rate of over 70%. We are currently carrying out more than 750 defense industry projects half of which we have launched in the past five years. We have realized many projects that will render our navy stronger and more deterrent for the security of the Blue Homeland," he added.
The president also added that Turkey's preparations for the domestically designed submarine, MILGEM, which is expected to be built with mostly domestically developed systems also continues. "We will begin building the MILGEM in 2025 in Gölcük Shipyard," he said.
The MILGEM (National Ship) marine platforms project is a Turkish warship program that aims to develop multipurpose corvettes and frigates that can be deployed in a range of missions.
These include reconnaissance, surveillance, early warning, anti-submarine warfare, surface-to-surface and surface-to-air warfare, and amphibious operations./DS