Turkish Shipyard lays keel first Ada-class corvette for Ukraine
Turkey’s RMK Marine Shipyard laid the keel of Ukraine’s first Ada-class corvette during a ceremony held in Istanbul on 07 September. The ceremony was attended by a delegation from the Ministry of Defense, led by Commander of the Ukrainian Navy, Admiral Oleksiy Neizhpapa.
According to Ukraine’s Defense Ministry, construction of the corvette began in April 2021. Additionally, the Ministry stated that before the keel-laying ceremony, RMK Marine Shipyard completed construction of the corvette’s hull and several other components.
Admiral Oleksiy Neizhpapa said during the ceremony:
“This is a momentous occasion for Ukraine and a significant impetus for the country’s naval development. All agreements with the Turkish Republic are implemented on time and ahead of schedule in some cases. This is demonstrated by the unmanned aerial vehicles “Bayraktar TB-2,” which are currently performing tasks for our state.”
President Volodymyr Zelensky stated during a July 4 speech commemorating Ukraine’s Navy Day that Turkey has begun construction of the service’s first Ada-class corvette and expects to deliver it by 2023. However, the Defense Ministry stated that the primary contractor for the project, STM Defence, is scheduled to deliver the corvette to Ukraine in 2022, with the corvette entering service for the Ukrainian Navy in 2024.
Turkey and Ukraine signed a military cooperation agreement on 16 October 2020, outlining the parties’ intentions to launch and implement joint projects to construct warships, unmanned aerial vehicles, and all types of turbine engines.
Turkey will construct four corvettes for the Ukrainian Navy under the terms of the agreement. The first corvette will be built in Turkey, while the remaining ships will be built at Ukraine’s OKEAN Shipyard.
While no official statement regarding the sensor suite and weapon configuration has been made due to the confidentiality of the project, on 09 August 2021, Radio Svoboda, a Ukrainian news outlet, claimed that the Ukraine Defense Ministry revealed the weapon systems for the Ada-class corvettes.
The corvettes will be equipped with Harpoon anti-ship missiles as their primary strike system. Ukraine’s Deputy Defense Minister stated that the country was considering the indigenous Neptune anti-ship missile, as well as the Harpoon, Atmaca, and Naval Strike Missile. Still, the Harpoon was an unexpected choice.
According to Radio Svoboda, the VL-MICA missiles, launched from a vertical launch system (VLS), would serve as the corvette’s air defense system. However, the corvette rendering on the poster displayed at the keel-laying ceremony does not feature VLS.
Leonardo’s 76 mm Super Rapid gun, Rheinmetall Oerlikon’s Millennium 35 mm close-in weapon system, and Aselsan’s 12.7 mm STAMP gun will be mounted on the corvettes. The primary weapon against the submarine threat will be MU-90 impact torpedoes.
Apart from the corvette project, Turkey completed the delivery of the Ukrainian Navy’s first TB-2 Bayraktar armed drone in July 2021.