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Association between Philippines and Turkey to modernize PH Navy

According to information published by Daily Sabah on April 22, 2021, the Philippines is currently looking for ways to modernize its navy and collaboration with the Turkish government is among the options as the South Asian country explores ways of enabling this, state-run media said.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Vice Adm. Giovanni Carlo Bacordo, Hulusi Akar and Adnan Özbal (Picture source: Tamgazete)

The chief of the Philippine navy, Vice Adm. Giovanni Carlo Bacordo, told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) that a delegation visited Turkey last week at the invitation of a Turkish state-owned defense contractor, the Military Factory and Shipyard Management Corporation (ASFAT).

He said ASFAT is particularly interested in providing capacity and technology solutions, and participating in acquisition projects for naval vessels and other defense equipment.

ASFAT undertook the manufacturing of Turkey’s domestic warships under a project dubbed MILGEM (National Ship). The Turkish navy has so far received four Ada-class corvettes – the TCG Heybeliada, the TCG Büyükada, the TCG Burgazada and the TCG Kınalıada – as part of the project and the TCG Istanbul, the first frigate and largest warship domestically designed and manufactured by Turkey, which was recently launched.

Those Ada-class corvettes are not only operated by Turkey but they have also enabled the country’s defense industry to make one of the worthiest exports in its history. The Pakistan navy signed a contract with ASFAT in July 2018 to acquire four MILGEM-class ships.

Four ships are being manufactured for the Pakistani navy with the project including production at Pakistani ports and technology transfers.

Ukraine is also a buyer of such corvettes with the possibility of technology transfers included.

Bacordo also added that the successful engagement with the Turkish Naval Forces Command (DzKK) could jumpstart future cooperation in maritime security through joint exercises, personnel exchanges and education and training.

The ships are propelled by a RENK CODAG Cross-Connect propulsion plant. It consists of a gas turbine rated at 23,000 kilowatts (31,000 hp) and two diesel engines rated at 4,320 kW (5,790 hp). Each diesel engine drives one controllable pitch propeller via a two-speed main reduction gear. The cross-connect gear splits the power from the gas turbine via both main reduction gears to the two shafts. The ship can be operated in Diesel mode, in single gas turbine mode, or in CODAG mode. CODAG is where diesel and gas turbine engines are providing combined power (27,320 kW).

The design concept and mission profile of the Ada-class corvette bears similarities with the Freedom-class littoral combat ship developed by Lockheed Martin, as the first member of the next generation of U.S. Navy warships. The Ada-class corvettes are more heavily armed, and are equipped with more capable radar and sonar systems. The Freedom-class has a higher speed and variable mission modules.