Turkish Navy’s intelligence-gathering ship starts sea trials

The Turkish Navy’s first dedicated intelligence-gathering ship has started sea acceptance tests. Ufuk (A 591) was observed sailing in the Gulf of Izmit on 18 July.

The Turkish Navy’s first dedicated intelligence-gathering ship has started sea acceptance tests. The TGC Ufuk (A 591) was observed sailing in the Gulf of Izmit on 18 July according to British magazine Janes.

The future TGC Ufuk , Turkey’s new intelligence-gathering ship, is pictured sailing in the Gulf of Izmit on 18 July. The vessel is currently undergoing sea acceptance tests. (Oğuz Eroğuz)

The new ship was designed by STM and built at Istanbul Shipyard under a contract awarded in 2017. The vessel was laid down in 2018 and launched on 9 February 2019.

Ufuk is derived from the MilGem (Ada-class) corvette design, but features a different main propulsion system and changes to the superstructure.

It features the same hull dimensions as the Ada class, with an overall length of 99 m, a beam of 14.1 m and a draught of 3.6 m. However, Ufuk is expected to be at least 100 tonnes heavier than the Ada corvettes at around 2,400 tonnes.

Unlike the Ada class, the intelligence-gathering ship has no hangar or armament – although it is equipped with a flight deck to support a 10-tonne helicopter and will be equipped with some small calibre machine guns for self-protection (although these have not yet been installed).

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Other changes include the addition of an all-diesel main propulsion system, whereas the Ada-class corvettes have combined gas turbine and diesel engines. The top speed of Ufuk is more than 18 kt, which is considerably slower than the 29 kt top speed of the Ada-class corvettes.

The ship’s main mission systems are being supplied by Aselsan.

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