The Turkish Navy recently commissioned a new surveillance and intelligence-gathering ship into service.
The Turk Loydu-classed TCG Ufuk (“Horizon”) was built by Istanbul Naval Shipyard and STM Defence. Although officially designated as a Test and Training Ship (TTS), it is the first Turkish-built and -operated vessel to be capable of performing signals intelligence (SIGINT) and electronic intelligence (ELINT) missions.
Ufuk has a length of 99.5 metres, a beam of 14.4 metres, a draught of 3.6 metres, and a displacement of 2,400 tonnes. The ship can sail at a maximum speed of 18 knots and is crewed by 110 personnel.
The ship is also equipped with an advanced active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar similar to the ones that will be fitted on the Turkish Navy’s future TF-2000 air defence destroyers. A flight deck with hangar can accommodate a 10-tonne utility helicopter.
The vessel uses the same hull as the Turkish Navy’s Ada-class corvettes, allowing it to stay out at sea for up to 45 days. STM said this endurance can be achieved even as the ship is operating in an area characterised by harsh weather and sea conditions. Unlike the Ada-class ships, however, Ufuk’s armament will be limited only to light-calibre machine guns for protection against small boats and explosives-carrying saboteurs. The vessel’s defence against more potent threats will instead be provided by escorting Turkish Navy warships during actual operations.
Isbir supplied four 750kVA generators to provide power for the onboard systems while Aselsan installed the mission systems including the radar as well as communication and navigation sensors. Havelsan meanwhile provided the ship’s combat management system, the data distribution system, the integrated information system, and the array of CCTV cameras.
Ufuk will be deployed primarily in the eastern Mediterranean and Aegean Seas. It will be operated jointly by the Turkish Navy and the National Intelligence Organisation, Turkey’s state intelligence agency.
|Type of vessel:||Surveillance and training ship|
|Builders:||Istanbul Naval Shipyard, Turkey; STM Defence, Turkey|
|Hull construction material:||Steel|
|Superstructure construction material:||Steel|
|Deck construction material:||Steel|
|Length overall:||99.5 metres|
|Generators:||4 x Isbir, each 750 kVA|
|Maximum speed:||18 knots|
|Other electronics:||Aselsan mission systens; Havelsan combat management system; Havelsan data distribution system; Havelsan integrated information system|
|Operational area:||Eastern Mediterranean Sea; Aegean Sea|
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