K. Burak CODUR / firstname.lastname@example.org
The official delivery to Turkish Naval Forces Command (TNFC) of the two Emergency Response and Diving Training Boats built by DESAN Shipyard was made at the DESAN Shipyard facility in Tuzla on 23 August, marked by a ceremony. The Emergency Response and Diving Training Boat Project has left its mark on Turkish naval history with the delivery of all boats ahead of schedule, and with a 71 percent indigenousness rate.
The ceremony was held at the DESAN Shipyard facilities where the ships were built, which is Tuzla’s leading shipyard in terms of its total crane lifting capacity. Attending the ceremony were President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan; Hulusi Akar, Minister of National Defence; General Yaşar Güler, Commander of the Turkish Armed Forces; and Prof. Dr. İsmail Demir, President of Defence Industries, as well as many other important guests. In addition to the two Emergency Response and Diving Training Boats, the ceremony also saw the official delivery of the MRTP24/U SAT boats and MRTP12 Fast Patrol Boats built by Yonca-Onuk Shipyard, which have already entered into service.
Special Needs, Special Boats
The Emergency Response and Diving Training Boat Project was launched by the Presidency of Defence Industries (SSB) in 2015 to meet a requirement of the TNFC. As the main contractor in the project, DESAN Shipyard has designed and built two boats that will be utilised in diver training, emergency response and emergency diving support operations.
The Emergency Response and Diving Training Boats will operate in Turkey’s coastal waters and in the surrounding seas at ranges of up to 30 nautical miles (nm) from the coast, and will be utilised for the following tasks:
- Shallow and deep water practical diving training of diver personnel
- Supporting rescue diving and emergency response operations in the event of accidents
- Assisting in the determination of the locations of damaged, stranded and sinking ships in the Black, Mediterranean, Aegean and Marmara Seas, and supporting emergency diving missions in response to such situations
- Transporting underwater repair/diver team personnel
The optimized size of the vessels and the low maintenance costs will make diving training more cost-effective, while still meeting operational requirements.
The Emergency Response and Diving Training Boats are designed and built to cruise for nearly 400 hours, and are planned to stay in the inventory for at least 30 years.
Defence Sector Looking to the Future with Confidence
Delivering a speech at the ceremony, President Erdoğan highlighted Turkey’s determined progress in the area of defence: “Our accomplishments in the defence sector have contributed to a great number of our strategic achievements, both within and outside our borders. Nations who fail to grow strong and independent in the defence area cannot look to the future with confidence.”
Stating that technological independence has become more critical than ever for national defence and security, and for the establishment of a deterrence effect in the international area, President Erdoğan noted: “Both the public and private sector are working together to launch a wide range of projects, from human resources to the development of technologies, with this understanding in mind. The defence sector is not a sector that can handle stagnation. We must always go further and produce more advanced systems. We consider each of our achievements to be the initiator of the next step. Every single project carried out by our public and private defence institutions help us look to the future with more confidence.”
President Erdoğan added: “Turkey has one objective, and that is to protect its legal rights and those of its allies. Our greatest sources of confidence are the operations of the Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) in the field, equipped with exceptional systems.” Expressing his pleasure at the results of the efforts to eliminate foreign dependency in the defence sector, President Erdoğan said: “Increasing the project stock from 62 to over 700, and the budget from $5.5 billion to over $60 billion has become possible as a result of our confidence. Exceeding 70 percent in indigenous and national content is of importance, but remains insufficient considering the open and undisclosed embargoes we are facing. Our objective is to build a manufacturing infrastructure that requires no foreign sourcing in any critical areas. For our country, this means also becoming one of the world’s leading exporters in the defence sector.”
Noting that Turkey’s representation with seven companies on the list of the top 100 defence companies in the world is promising for the future, President Erdoğan added, “Through our initiatives, becoming a country that makes and breaks the games in its region and that leads developments is only a start. The maritime sector is an area in which we have come a long way, and have launched the greatest number of projects.”
Goal is Aircraft Carriers
Regarding the achievements in the naval platforms, President Erdoğan said: “Turkey is among the 10 countries in the world that is able to design and manufacture its own warships, and many of our marine vessels have been modernized with the latest technologies in line with today’s requirements. The marine vessels that we have built and modernized are equipped with domestic and national armaments, radars, and communication and electronics systems. We have also made significant progress in the installation of critical weapons and sensors, in addition to platform development, by integrating our national missile ATMACA onto our ships. With the completion of such stages, our navy has strengthened its position, earning us the confidence of our allies and spreading fear among our enemies.”
President Erdoğan continued: “We are working, producing and struggling, keeping in mind that there is no time to lose, and are continuing our works with even larger projects. Within the next five years we aim to launch five projects for ships that will join our navy for the first time. At the end of this year, we will bring our testing and training ship UFUK into service; and next year, our multi-purpose amphibious assault ship ANADOLU will be operating in our seas. We have the requisite ship building industries here. I am calling out to them: We have built ANADOLU, now let’s build one, two or more aircraft carriers. We can do it, can’t we? Our seas need this deterrence. ANADOLU alone is not enough; we must take the next steps as well.”
President Erdoğan went on to share his vision for the future of naval power: “[Our vision] is to reach a position where our land, air and sea agents are able to operate together, in addition to our UAVs and UCAVs. To this end, we are equipping all of our naval platforms, from our submarines to our aircraft carriers, with technologically advanced, domestic and national sensor systems. We need to move on to the next stage in the defence sector, and to become a country that leads rather than follows, that produces rather than consumes, and that pioneers innovation.”
Strong Defence Sector for a Strong Army
Speaking at the ceremony, Hulusi Akar, Minister of National Defence, emphasised the importance of the defence sector: “Having an effective, intimidating and respected army that is equipped with products of the national defence sector has become an obligation, rather than a preference, for us. Our operations in the country and beyond our borders, which we have carried out effectively through the use of domestic and national defence products, have shown this need to be indisputable. The effectiveness of our advanced technological, national and indigenous weapon systems in the operational field, and the success of our personnel while using such systems, have attracted global attention. We take pride in the numerous products of the defence sector that have become export products, and particularly our UCAVs.
A strong defence sector means a strong army. In this sense, the operational capacity, confidence and motivation that our indigenous and national products have provided to our selfless and heroic personnel is of great importance, and must never be ignored. This confidence and motivation can be seen also in our defence companies, who are now making a name for themselves in the international arena. We are following these developments with great pleasure. The Turkish defence sector is today able to meet the requirements of TAF, and is among the key actors in the competitive international defence market. We are extremely proud to see seven of our companies ranking among the recently announced top 100 defence companies list. Today, we have seen what we can produce and achieve in the defence sector, and we will keep on producing.”
Platforms Strengthening the Navy
Speaking at the event, General Yaşar Güler, Commander of the Turkish Armed Forces, stated that the new platforms will strengthen the Turkish Navy even further: “Diver training boats, equipped with national systems and devices that have a 70 percent indigenousness rate, will ensure high quality training and increased diving safety for our personnel who take part in risky diving operations that require detailed planning. Our patrol boats will contribute to establishing the safety of naval bases and critical facilities from the sea, while our SAT boats will contribute to operations by providing fire support to our underwater attack teams through different phases of their manoeuvres in the field.”
Advanced Capabilities of the Private Sector
Taking the stage at the ceremony, Prof. Dr. İsmail Demir, President of Defence Industries, underlined the capabilities of the private sector: “Today, the Turkish defence sector comprises nearly 1,500 companies, research institutions and universities – from main contractors to Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) – who are using every means possible. One of the most important outputs of this structure is the ship building projects being carried out by both our private and military shipyards. I must say that the leading segments of the defence sector in which the capabilities and competitiveness of the private sector are most advanced are the marine vessel market and the naval ship-building sector. In addition to the projects we carry out in our military shipyards, such as MİLGEM and the Turkish Navy New Type Submarine Project, there are many other projects underway, including those for the Multi-Purpose Amphibious Assault Ship, DİMDEG, amphibious landing ships, patrol boats, auxiliary vessels, seismic vessel ORUÇ REİS and coastguard boats, all of which are being carried out in our civil shipyards … Today, we can say that our national companies have acquired the necessary capabilities and means to build unique ships at competitive prices.”
A Project of Firsts
Cenk İsmail Kaptanoğlu, Chairman of the Board of DESAN Shipyard, who hosted the ceremony, stressed that many firsts had been achieved in the project. Addressing President Erdoğan, Kaptanoğlu spoke about the willpower behind the achieved rate of indigenousness: “The easiest way would be to purchase the propellers from Germany, the propeller shafts from Denmark and acoustic monitoring systems from the United Kingdom for the project. However, we have worked in line with the objective proposed by our esteemed President, and have produced these systems in Turkey, undertaking the associated risks. Certain outcomes cannot be achieved without taking risks, and our esteemed President and his colleagues are fully aware of this. History remembers those who know how to take and manage risks. We keep in mind what our ancestors said, ‘This nation makes the masts from silver, sails from satin and ropes from tram silk when it wills!’”
According to Kaptanoğlu, among the many firsts and achievements in the project:
- The engineering works in the project were carried out entirely using national and domestic sources.
- For the first time in a ship building project conducted by the SSB, the building phase started only after the design phase was completed.
- For the first time in a shipbuilding project conducted by the SSB, the propellers and propeller shafts of the ships were produced in Turkey, and classified by Türk Loydu.
- The acoustic detection and monitoring systems were produced entirely through domestic and national means.
- The diving systems and the pressure chamber were produced in Turkey using the latest technologies.
- The data distribution systems and the entire electronic infrastructure were designed by Turkish companies.
- For the first time in a military ship project in Turkey, the vessel was delivered after the completion of the main system and the port and sea trials.
- Despite the 10-month design phase and all the above firsts, both ships were built within DESAN’s indoor facilities at the same time, and delivered to TNFC 1 month 13 days, and 4 months and 13 days ahead of schedule, respectively.
- An indigenousness rate of 71 percent was achieved – a record for Turkey in both civil and military ship building projects.
Concluding his speech, Kaptanoğlu said: “As DESAN Shipyard and the Kaptanoğlu family, which has been providing services within the maritime sector of Turkey and the world for 116 years, we aim to take part in many more projects in the future in the service of our beautiful country, and to launch national export projects. I would like to conclude my speech with the words of my late grandfather, Hacı İsmail Kaptanoğlu: ‘May Allah protect our ships’ bows from the storms and the sterns from the land!’”
At the end of the ceremony, after memorial gifts had been presented, President Erdoğan presented Certificates of Service to the commanding officers of the boats. The ceremony was concluded after the participants were shown around the boats and the memorial pictures were taken.
Erdoğan’s Call Echoes in DESAN Shipyard
The call made by President Erdoğan related to aircraft carriers has echoed in DESAN Shipyard after the ceremony. In a statement made on 29 August, Cenk İsmail Kaptanoğlu, Chairman of the Board of DESAN Shipyard, said: “President Erdoğan’s call for the launch of an aircraft carrier project in the ceremony in our shipyard on 23 August has been a source of great excitement for us and the sector as a whole. Turkish shipyards certainly possess the necessary civil and military capabilities to carry out such a project. With the appropriate cooperation model, we can carry out an aircraft carrier project and produce a masterpiece that our country can be proud of.”
He stressed that a strong consortium would be necessary to carry out such a project: “With a cooperation model that will be created involving the SSB, universities, private and military shipyards, private companies and public institutions related to the defence sector, we can produce a national and indigenous aircraft carrier very soon, and at a low cost. This strategic call of our President is particularly important in these times. As DESAN Shipyard, we are ready to take the initiative as a main contractor and lead the process, using every means available in terms of our national resources.”
Emergency Response and Diving Training Boat Project Technical Features
|Overall Length||35.73 m|
|Maximum Beam||8 m|
|Maximum Draft||1.9 m|
|Maximum Speed||16+ kts|
|Economic Speed||12 kts|
|Main Propulsion||Two 1,100 kW diesel engines|
|Diesel Generators||Two 150 kVAs|
|Propellers||Two fixed-wing 5-blade propellers|
|Cruising Range||400 nm at economic speed|
|Class||Türk Loydu TL +1 N5 K50 21D11 +M AUT N6h LA D1 RPX%50|
|Personnel||Crew of 6 15 trainees|
|Navigation Capabilities||Cruse radar with all ARPA functionsMagnetic compassAISGPSGyroEM-Log (Electromagnetic Log)FathometerNAVTEXUnderwater telephoneAcoustic Detection and Monitoring System|
|Rescuing Capabilities and Diver Equipment||Fixed Pressure Chamber (SABOS) in two parts, for four personnel in totalElectronic Diving Board Surface-supplied diving up to 90 meters with mixed gas Surface-supplied diving up to 57 meters with air Tank Refill Station for scuba divingHigh-pressure Diving Air Compressor Low-pressure Diving Air CompressorStage accommodating up to three diversCrane with a lifting capacity of 1 tonne, able to hoist to the surface and onto the deck from 90 meters Inflatable boat carrying up to six fully-equipped personnelDiver’s telephone with helium scrubber|