ANKARA — Turkey plans to build four frigates with assistance from foreign shipyards and likely will fund an additional four for a total cost of about $7 billion, after the current production of eight corvettes is completed between 2015 and 2020, a senior procurement official said.
The official said the frigates would be built in private shipyards but will include the contribution of foreign bidders, as the program is too complex for local companies.
The Undersecretariat for Defense Industries has said air defense frigates are needed to defend against weapons fired by aircraft and other platforms, and to provide command and control, early warning, reconnaissance, surface warfare, underwater warfare, electronic warfare and air defense warfare.
The procurement official said that Lockheed Martin, BAe Systems and Navantia were ready to participate in the program, due to be finished in 2023, the 100th anniversary of the Turkish Republic.
The frigates, known as the TF2000, are supposed to be able to cruise at 18 knots with a maximum speed of 28 knots.
Turkish firm Aselsan will develop a multipurpose radar to counter the air threats, but the program lacks armament such as the U.S. Standard Missile 2, which Turkish officials are seeking to obtain.
The TF2000, as could be understood from its obsolete name, actually was designed in the 1990s, but could not be finalized at the time due to a series of financial crises.
The procurement official said this should be the last Navy program that will require foreign participation.