Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Turkey Pens Submarine Rescue Ship Contract

ANKARA - Turkey's procurement authorities have signed a contract with a local shipyard for the production of one submarine rescue mother ship (MOSHIP) and two towing vessels (RATSHIP), the first deal of its kind for Turkey's thriving military shipbuilding industry.
The deal was signed Oct. 28 between the country's procurement office, the Undersecretariat for Defense Industries (SSM), and Istanbul Tersanesi, a private shipyard based in Istanbul. SSM and company officials did not reveal the contract price.
Speaking at a ceremony for the contract signing, Defense Minister Ismet Yilmaz said that although it took three years to conclude negotiations with the shipyard, the government was determined to locally build military platforms needed for modernization programs.
Also speaking at the ceremony, SSM's chief, Murad Bayar, said the Turkish Navy is keen to award its vessel contracts to private (local) shipyards.
Under the contract, Istanbul Tersanesi will deliver the rescue vessels to the Navy within three years. The Turkish MOSHIP will be able to evacuate the crew of a distressed submarine at depths of up to 600 meters, according to company officials.
The proposed vessel is 91 meters long with a beam of 18.5 meters and a draft of 5 meters. Space is provided for 131 personnel, and it has a maximum speed of 18 knots and a range of 4,500 nautical miles at a speed of 14 knots.
The ship also will be able to perform rescue and towing operations for broken-down, wrecked or aground vessels. Equipped with remotely operated vehicles (ROVs), diving units and an atmospheric diving suit, the ship can conduct underwater maintenance and wreck-removal operations.
The two planned RATSHIP vessels will be 69 meters long with a beam of 13.5 meters and draught of 4 meters. They will be able to attain the same speed and endurance levels of the MOSHIP and have space for 104 personnel.
The RATSHIPs will be equipped with ROVs and a diving suit for underwater missions, but they also are tasked with towing targets for surface shooting practice.
Company officials say the vessels can pick up the target ship and torpedoes from the sea during torpedo practice. Additional roles will include firefighting, support for submarine rescue operations and offshore towing operations.

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