President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan attended a ceremony for the launching of the Istanbul Frigate (F-515) and the groundbreaking of MILGEM Corvette Project's third ship on January 23.
Turkey's first I-class vessel produced in the MILGEM project, Frigate Istanbul, is expected to be delivered to Turkey's Naval Forces Command in 2023 after the tests to be done. The 113-meter-long frigate will perform advanced air defense, surface warfare and submarine defense warfare.
“It is an obligation, rather than a choice, for us to be strong in military, economic and diplomatic terms. In this spirit, we have mobilized starting from 2002 all our means so as to maximize the share of domestic production in the defense industry," said President Erdoğan at the ceremony.
President Erdoğan also stressed that Turkey is among 10 countries capable of designing, building and maintaining their own warships. “We will bolster our navy power in five years with five major projects," Erdoğan added.
Meanwhile, President Erdoğan made the first welding of the third ship to be built for the Pakistan Navy under the MILGEM project in the ceremony.
Drawing attention to cooperation between Turkey and Pakistan in the defense industry, President Erdoğan stated that the construction of MILGEM warships was another milestone in Turkey-Pakistan defense ties.
The contract for four MILGEM class corvettes was signed between Turkey's state-owned defense contractor ASFAT Inc. (Military Factory and Shipyard Management Inc.) and Pakistan Navy in 2018.