Turkish MilGem Programme and TF-2000 project

Milgem - National Warship / Milli Gemi - is (was) project that aims to gain abilities and self-sufficiency on the following matters that can be told to be critical within the framework of flotilla design.​
  1. Design attributes of a warship - advanced simulations for signature and survivability​
  2. Concept of a warship​
  3. Design verification of a warship​
  4. Software development for a warship​
  5. Production and maintenance plans and exercises of a warship​
The project has emerged in the 70s, without being named or being called such, with the question asked by an admiral in power " Could we design a corvette by our-own, tailored for us, made by us?" and then repeatedly came into the office or into the minds and debates but had been abandoned for several reasons. Finally, at last in the end of 90s the project has emerged in a solid way aiming to develop ,initially, a corvette that suits need of Turkish Navy and fulfills future doctrine, equipped with cutting edge weapons and sensors with maximum local contribution. The programme ,despite being referred to the Ada-Class - being the first output of the project - , in fact had multiple phases and beyond of what is achieved in Ada-Class.​
  1. Design and construction of a Corvette, referred as Ada-Class.​
  2. Design and construction of a frigate to fulfill air defense duties in post-2000, new millennia, named as TF-2000.​
  3. Design and construction of a frigate equipped with cutting edge weapons and sensors with a future projection, named as TF-100.​
The story of Ada-Class, the corvette chapter of the project is mentioned in the following thread of the forum, briefly ; Evaluation of the Milgem Project-Corvette.
The story of TF-2000 project, the frigate then -- destroyer now chapter separately going to be handled in a new thread.

Before going further it is best to introduce actors within the Turkish Navy that plays an important role in the design and construction of the national warships, that are named as;​
  • Advisors board, the place where Navy doctrine and requirements for the warships are being shaped.​
  • ArmerKom, Araştırma Merkezi Komutanlığı - R&D Center Command, the place where the requirements are shaped into base concepts.​
  • DPO, Dizayn Proje Ofisi - Design Project Office, the place where the concepts become real, where contract stage is handled and project overseen.​
  • PKO, Proje Kontrol Ofisi - Project Control Office, the place where outsourced projects are managed.​
  • Tersane Komutanlığı - Shipyards Command, the place where ships are constructed, also being the roof institution for DPO and PKO, the shipyads to be mentioned are Istanbul Tersane Komutanlığı (Pendik Naval Shipyard), Gölcük Tersane Komutanlığı (Gölcük Naval Shipyard) and İzmir Tersane Komutanlığı (İzmir, Alaybey Naval Shipyard).​
Now we have seen the actors, we can further introduce another one; SSB, the place where the funds are collected, projects and procurement are overseen both financially and technically where SSIK a management board with the lead of Presidency is gathered and projects are approved or budgets are allocated.

To add another complexity for further, MSB - Ministry of Defense has established a company that is called ASFAT that privately can manage the military shipyards meanwhile SSB owns a company called STM that is being the contractor of several projects in construction or design stage. For now we can ignore the latest complexity and get into the beauty; TF-2000.

The project as told before has started with the aim of creating a design that can fulfill air-defense duties primarily with the cutting edge technologically advanced equipment. The first designs share a common architecture as seen in European air defense frigates (FFG-AAW), with a fixed-face Active Phase Array Radar (APAR) and rotating-face early-warning radar configured in low-band and 32-48 VLS, from the pictures we may guess the first designs has aimed to have Thales sensor suite. But later, the project has evolved in a strange phase which foreign contribution is approved and Lockeed Martin and BAE of UK has made offers, while LM was going along with the Turkish request on integration of Turkish subsystems into the Aegis command and weapon management system, BAE has offered a simple design along with "partnership" on what called Global Combat Ship. Meanwhile Armerkom and DPO have carried out studies in design, finally concluded in what we have seen in IDEF'19.

What we can call as the first concept, an APAR radar in company of an early warning radar. It is safe to assume these were in S and L band respectively, along with 2x RIM-116 launchers and 48 cell VLS is present for a combination of SM2 and ESSM.

Image source: Savunma ve Havacılık magazine, #161

Another design about the same time has emerged that indicates a conceptual study going on, with similar but rather different configuration, a different sensor suite and 32 VLS (probably with an additional 32 placed in elsewhere) and Phalanx CIWS in place of RIM-116 launchers. Also the first design which officially includes the CAFRAD, Multi-purpose AESA radar suite being developed by Aselsan, in company of an early-warning radar resembling thales SMART-L.

These designs, however didn't last long and finally we have met the following, most-recent form that has been created following completion of feasibility study by ArmerKom and DPO.

That is one of the following options that all studied by ArmerKom, DPO an Aselsan: One of them was a fully-integrated mast similar to the Spanish F-110.

There also have been several alternatives for use of the CAFRAD as shown above, beyond this point we can see the foreign subsystems start to diminish as Turkish producers now offer variety of weapons and sensors. The first mature-concept had the following attributes:​
  • A distributed radar system for long-range air search and illumination, thus increasing chance of survivability​
  • Change from rotating face radar to fixed face radar for long-range search, also switching from L and S band, to S and X bands, respectively​
  • Introduction of national IFF and ESM​
  • A flexible design with the introduction of flexible bay, that can either host an additional payload of helicopters, RHIB, USVs or Containers.​
  • EOTS and X-band satellite communication system.​
  • 64 VLS in 32 + 32 configuration​
  • 2 gun-based CIWS the same design has apperated with 2x Millenium gun then with 2x Phalanx.​
In last IDEF, held in August 2021, the final form of TF-2000 has been present, Thanks @Altay_TR for the pictures:

Now we can start to talk about the latest form, which TF-2000 officially became TD-2000, being referred as "Destroyer", most of the weapon and sensor systems now updated with Turkish alternatives.
In addition to previous design we can further see:​
  • Nazar DIRCM is being added to the design, 2 as ; one on fore and one on aft that increases simultaneous CIWS capability to 4. Nazar DIRCM is a soft kill system that uses directed laser to eliminate imaging seeker of the incoming missiles and laser EA to target component of the missile threats, alternatively can jam swarm attacks and directed laser can be deployed for elimination of soft-shell threats within 4+ km range. The blinding range for IR and EO seekers is unknown for now. The system can blind full range of the spectrum used by various missiles.​
  • National VLS (MIDLAS), that hosts SIPER, Hisar-RF (or G40) in quad-packs, Hisar-U and surprisingly Gezgin cruise missile, is officially included in the brochure. Navy is thinking ahead and already has planned deployment of Gezgin.​
  • The mast has been refreshed, CAFRAD's CFR module has elevated to increase the sight and to scan closer-spaces to the hull, EOTS have been increased to 3-4 from 1 and X-band communication capacity have been increased and placed on top of the mast, thus now implies a strong "network enabled warfare" capability.​
  • The exhaust system has been revisited but propulsion system left same as CODOG.​
  • One tiny detail seems to be missed by many people, the new "APU" auxiliary propulsion unit, is possibly a retractable azimuth system used in place of bow-thruster to enable emergency maneuvers, increasing sonar and hydrodynamic performance on the cruise. Moreover, the system will provide limited dynamic positioning abilities in conditions which require a positioning at the open seas (COIN and humanitarian missions). The APU further will enable unattended port approaches that will maximize the survivability in emergencies.​
  • Towed array -VDS and hull mounted sonar.​
  • Communication V(U)-HF ED/EC module
  • Radar ESM and dedicated Electronic warfare suite.​
  • UMTAS launchers (2), that is available conceptually as of now, we may expect a multi-rack launcher capable of firing 8+ missiles per launcher.​
  • 4 x 25 mm RCWS, unlike 2 in the past, where 2 additional positions are available by optional use of Umtas launchers.​

3-view of TF-2000

TF-2000 further introduces;​
  • A flexible mission bay that can equip: 10 TEU container, 4 RHIB, 1 medium-lift 15 tonnes helicopter (2 of 10 tonnes, and further multiple UAV depending on size and weight)​
  • Unrestricted operations at sea state 5, partial at 6 and 7. Survival state is not disclosed.​
  • 130-150 crew, with additional facilities for up to 200 personnel. Indicating there will be flexible missions including use of SOF teams (through use of swimmer delivery vehicle or advanced RHIB), USV and UUV teams, Aviation teams (UAV and helicopter)​
  • 45 days endurance (excluding the fuel resupply)​
  • 5000 hours maintenance interval equals to 210 days, further aimed to be 300+ days.​
  • 180 days uninterrupted operation without a dependency on the major bases.​
  • 4 RHIB stations that can deploy up to 8 RHIB/USV (4 optional in Flexible mission bay -FMB)​
  • Multi-role operations spanning from ASW, AAW, ASuW to Counter-insurgency and piracy, flotilla / base protection and finally humanitarian missions.​
Concluding the article with a pretty view of weapons and sensor configuration:
IMG_20210819_173233 - Copy.jpg

meet auxillary propulsion unit - retractable azimuth here: https://www.zf.com/products/en/marine/products_29102.html
meet NAZAR DIRCM here; https://defencehub.live/threads/idef-2021-news-discussion-updates.6779/post-107077
meet various missile programmes here; https://defencehub.live/threads/turkish-missile-smart-munition-programs.334/page-104#post-110354
meet air-defense systems here; https://defencehub.live/threads/turkish-air-defence-programs.65/page-47
meet various sensors here; https://defencehub.live/threads/turkish-sensors-and-detector-programs.340/page-24
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