Sat, 06 Mar 2021

Ankara [Turkey], January 23 (ANI/Sputnik): Turkey launched its first domestically built frigate Istanbul (F-515) on Saturday and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan took part in the launch ceremony.

"We have become a country that meets needs of friendly and allied countries as well as itself in terms of land and sea vehicles. We are among the 10 countries that can design, build and maintain their own warships. We are among the top three or four countries in the production of drones, including combat ones. The whole world is watching our drones with envy," Erdogan said at the ceremony.

According to the president, in 2002, the country implemented 20 projects in the defense industry, while today this number has grown to 700.

The first I-class frigate has become the fifth vessel produced as part of Turkey's MILGEM project to build indigenous war ships. A total of four frigates are expected to be built under this program. Turkey previously launched four Ada-class corvettes.

The 113-meter-long (43-foot-long) frigate is expected to be delivered to Turkey's Naval Forces Command in 2023 and will perform advanced air defense, surface warfare, submarine defense warfare, and patrol activities. (ANI/Sputnik)

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