Turkiye's first reconnaissance vessel, TCG Ufuk, is built with national engineering capabilities, Turkish President Erdogan says.
Turkiye is among 10 countries in the world with the national capabilities to design, build, and maintain a warship, the country's president has said.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan attended the commissioning ceremony of an indigenously built testing and training ship, the TCG Ufuk, at the Istanbul Maritime Shipyard on Friday.
"Our country's first reconnaissance ship, Ufuk, was built via national engineering capabilities," said Erdogan, adding that Turkiye had made a good start to the year with important advances in critical defence industry projects.
Built by the Turkish defence industry, the TCG Ufuk is a corvette and the latest addition to the nation's security forces.
The vessel can cruise non-stop for 45 days under severe climate and sea conditions, including through international waters.
Defence exports to exceed $4B
In his speech, Erdogan said that thanks to its defence industry purchases and advances, Turkiye had become "a playmaker in its region and a country that spoils the dirty games" of other actors.
Emphasising that the number of countries using defence industry products made in Turkiye was increasing every year, Erdogan said, "We expect our defence and aviation exports to exceed $4 billion by the end of this year."
Until recently, the country imported vertical launch systems — the main weapon group of its frigates — but now has homegrown systems, Erdogan underlined.
So far, the country has exported 180 naval platforms to 25 countries, he added.
Navy to be further strengthened
Erdogan said that four frigates built domestically under the country's national warship program MILGEM, including the TCG Istanbul, which is currently under construction, would be equipped with indigenous air defence missiles vertical launch systems.
He also stressed that Turkiye would further strengthen its navy over the next two years, adding that bidding on its TF-2000 destroyer would begin soon.
"We're putting into service our amphibious ship Anadolu, on which we can conduct air operations with helicopters and UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) that we will deploy, and which will have a striking effect on our sea and air power."
Touching on the country's space-related efforts, Erdogan said, "Our eyes are on space. We continue to work on developing both launch systems and satellite systems in space."