Non-combat unit: the first corvette for the Ukrainian Navy was launched in Istanbul

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Non-combat unit: the first corvette for the Ukrainian Navy was launched in Istanbul
Non-combat unit: the first corvette for the Ukrainian Navy was launched in Istanbul
4 October, 18:48Army
Turkish shipyard RMK Marine has launched the first Ukrainian MILGEM-class corvette. It was named "Hetman Ivan Mazepa". The launched ship is the first of two corvettes ordered for the Ukrainian Navy in 2020.

Alexander Sychev

The corresponding agreement concerned not only warships, but also cooperation on joint projects for the construction of unmanned aerial vehicles and all types of turbine engines.

Initially, it was planned that by the end of this year, the ship, only partially equipped, would be towed to the Ukrainian shipyard, where it was supposed to complete its construction. Over the next year, the corvette was to be equipped with all the missing equipment and weapons and transferred to state tests. Now, these plans will not be implemented - the Russian navy will not let the ship to the Ukrainian coast.

The design of Turkish corvettes uses technologies to reduce their radar visibility. Ships were developed to combat submarines in coastal waters, as well as to patrol on the high seas. Initially, they were intended exclusively for the Turkish naval forces, but the ship turned out to be quite good, and foreign buyers drew attention to it. Moreover, the Turkish corvette, although similar in design and combat use to the American littoral ships of the Freedom type, developed by Lockheed Martin, has more powerful weapons, radar and sonar systems.

Turkish ships are set in motion by propulsion systems, which include a gas turbine with a capacity of 31 thousand horsepower and two diesel engines of 5790 horsepower. Each diesel engine drives one propeller.

The propulsion system is organized in such a way that the corvette can sail only using diesel engines, only on a gas turbine, but there is also a function of the combined operation of the entire power unit. When diesels and turbines are turned on, the combined power reaches almost 39,000 horsepower.

On their corvette, the Turks installed the GENESIS Integrated Ship Combat Control System (Gemi Entegre Savaş İdare Sistemi) and the network combat control system developed by Havelsan. The warships of the MİLGEM project have inside the hull sonar developed by the Scientific and Technological Research Foundation of Turkey.

For a long time, official Kyiv kept silent about the weapons systems that were planned to be installed on corvettes after they arrived at Ukrainian shipyards. Now, it looks like the classification of the information has been removed. Apparently, they considered that it would not be possible to get ships anyway.

The Turkish-built corvettes were planned to be equipped with American Harpoon anti-ship cruise missiles as the main strike system. If the deal with American missiles did not work out, then the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense does not exclude the possibility of opting for the Turkish Atmaca long-range missile or the Norwegian Naval Strike Missile (NSM). At worst, Kyiv is ready to use its own Neptune anti-ship missile.

As an air defense system, the French VL MICA shipborne anti-aircraft complex, launched from vertical launch silos, is mentioned. However, in several photographs of the launched corvette, the mines are not visible. They were not on the poster, which was presented to the press during the ship's laying ceremony.

In addition to the listed weapons, the Ukrainian military also talk about 76-mm Super Rapid automatic guns from the Italian company Leonardo and Turkish remote-controlled stabilized machine guns of 12.7 mm STAMP caliber, created by Aselsan. It was supposed to defend against underwater threats with a light Franco-Italian MU90 torpedo. The maximum range of destruction is up to 25 kilometers.

But all these plans seem to be hopelessly outdated. What the Ukrainian government now intends to do with the built corvette is not reported. Perhaps he decides to complete the construction in Turkey - the financial resources that Washington is transferring to Kyiv will be enough. So? Unequal fight? Wandering through foreign ports? Selling to everyone? The question is open, but the answer will be given soon enough.

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