Naval Ship Projects for the Turkish Navy: Opportunity for Maritime Equipment Makers

Turkish shipyards are quickly building naval ships for the Turkish Navy. There is much foreign equipment being used on board these ships which could provide a good opportunity for Norwegian ship equipment makers. 


Turkey is one of the top 10 shipbuilding nations globally. During the last 10 years Turkey has built a number of ships for Norway and many other countries and still is. Turkish ship builders are now more focused on specialized ships such as fishing vessels (trawlers, long-liners, purse-seiners etc.), ships for aquaculture  and energy industries, ferries (double ended, ro-ro, battery powered), offshore support/construction/seismic vessels, tug boats of all sizes (LNG powered, anchor handler etc.), research vessels,  different naval ships etc.

Naval Ship Production Program 

The Turkish government has started a program for building locally built Navy vessels for the Turkish Navy in the early 2000s. A few of these vessels are being constructed in naval shipyards in Turkey but many are being built in private  shipyards in the Tuzla Shipbuilding Zone, in the eastern part Istanbul. The program still continues with good pace in  naval shipyards, but more strongly in private Turkish Shipyards. Turkish Navy vessels are built according to NATO and domestic standards.

Naval Shipyards

Istanbul Navy Shipyard has been building a series of Corvette type ships. These are larger and more capable than patrol boats, but smaller and less capable than frigates. The shipyard has already completed two “Island Class” Corvettes and other two are under construction. Istanbul Navy Shipyard is aiming to build a series of “i Class” Frigates now in coming years and the design process has already begun. The construction will start in 2017 to deliver first vessel in 2021. These “i Class” frigates are an opportunity for Norwegian equipment suppliers.


Photo: Milliyet Daily Newspaper. Gölcuk Naval Shipyard: Submarine construction.

Gölcuk Naval Shipyard has been working with submarine construction since 1975 and they are now working on building new “Reis Class” submarines; a slightly altered German design. The construction of the first vessel “Piri Reis” started in October 2015 and it will be delivered in 2020. Five more submarines will be delivered up until 2025.  In 2009, a contract was signed by Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft GmbH (HDW), Kiel, a company of ThyssenKrupp Technologies, and Marine Force International LLP (MFI), London, for the delivery of six material packages for the construction of these Class 214 submarines to Turkey. In this construction Turkish companies will also provide systems. Batteries will also be built in Turkey.

Private Shipyards

Since the early 2000s private Turkish shipyards have been building ships for the Turkish Navy which has become even more important after 2008. A series of patrol boats, coast guard vessels, several sizes of landing vessels, sophisticated submarine rescue ships with dynamic positioning systems and ROC capabilities (only the US has similar ones) and many other naval logistic vessels have been successfully constructed in Turkish private shipyards. About 10 of the Turkish yards have clearance to build vessels for the Turkish Navy according to NATO standards. These yards are continuously building vessels for the Turkish Navy providing a great opportunity for interested Norwegian equipment manufacturers.

Local Content

The aim is to be able to build 100% locally constructed and equipped Naval ships in the future. However, many systems and equipment have to be purchased from other nations. The current target is 60% local and 40% foreign produced Naval ships. It seems like the level of local content at this time is around 50%, creating good opportunities for Norwegian ship equipment manufacturers.


Photo: Istanbul Shipyard. Submarine rescue ship with DP, helicopter and ROV capabilities.

Multi-functional Landing Helicopter Dock: A Small Aircraft Carrier

The highlight of the naval projects to be built in a private Turkish Shipyard is a Landing Platform Dock, a small aircraft carrier. Only Spain and Australia have similar vessels. Sedef Shipyard in Tuzla Shipyard Zone has won the tender opened by the Under-secretariat of Defense Industries. The contract was signed in June, 2015. After many bureaucratic procedures the construction is due to start in 2016. Sedef Shipyard is working with Navantia Shipyard of Spain on design in order to build a similar version of the Spanish Navy’s ship. The project cost is estimated to be 1.2 billion USD.

The planned amphibious assault vessel will carry a battalion-sized unit of 1,200 troops and personnel, eight utility helicopters, three unmanned aerial vehicles and transport 150 vehicles, including battle tanks. It also will have an aircraft platform for vertical take-off and landing. A ski jump at the front of the deck can be used to launch fighter aircraft. The vessel will have a full fledge hospital that can also be used in natural disasters such as earthquakes.


Photo: Spanish Navy. L61. Juan Carlos I.

We foresee that there will be approximately 50% foreign content in this ship. It was originally planned to be completed in 2021. We predict that this will take longer. The first plate cutting started in May 2016. Equipment supplies for this ship should be an opportunity for Norwegian equipment makers.

Photo: Sedef Shipyard. Design of the new LPD project.

Photo: Sedef Shipyard. Design of the new LPD project.


The Turkish State through Under-secretariat of Defense Industries will continue to build ships for the Turkish Navy in private Turkish Shipyards in Tuzla and Yalova Shipyard Zones (in addition to the two Naval shipyards). They intend to make new ships with local content in Turkish Shipyards at least until 2023, but will likely continue beyond this. These ships will continue to require foreign equipment for years to come including, but not limited to, main engines, automation systems, navigation systems, possibly propulsion and rudders, dynamic positioning systems, ROV systems, defense systems and equipment, arms and many other smaller equipment. Norwegian equipment makers should take advantage of these opportunities as a fellow NATO member.

Upcoming maritime exhibition

Expomaritt Marine Industry, Technology and Trade Exhibition in Istanbul will take place on 21 to 24 March 2017 in the, Tuzla Area in the eastern part of Istanbul. It is a bi-annual exhibition which the Turkish Chamber of Shipping and Turkish Shipbuilders’ Association support. There will be national and international stands and seminars. It is a good opportunity to exhibit and/or visit if you are a maritime equipment supplier and interested in entering the Turkish market.

For more information and details please contact:
Çaglar Erdogan
Senior Market Advisor, Innovation Norway in Istanbul

Telephone: +90 212 284 43 62


Next blog posts in series on Turkish Maritime Opportunities (coming soon):

  1. Turkish Shipbuilding Industry: Fishing Vessels
  2. Turkish Shipbuilding Industry: Ferries
  3. Turkish Shipbuilding Industry: Tug Boats


Turkish Naval Forces,
Undersecreteriat of Defense Industries,
Spanish Naval Forces,
Al Monitor,
Naval Technology,
Sedef Shipyard,
Milliyet Daily Newspaper,
Expomaritt Exhibition,


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