Defense news is reporting the launch of the second of four ships being built for the Turkish Coast Guard at a total cost of $480M (same as the cost of one NSC). These ships are similar to the projected Offshore Patrol Cutter (OPC) and are based on a design by Fincantieri also built for the Italian Navy (four ships) and the Italian Ministry of Transport (two ships).
Fincantieri is Italy’s leading shipbuilder, building a range of ships from aircraft carriers and frigates to offshore patrol vessels. Its Manitowoc Marine Group through its Marinette Marine shipyard, is one of nine shipbuilders that have expressed an interest in building the OPCs. They have also, in partnership with Lockheed Martin, recently been contracted for options to build ten additional Freedom (LCS-1) class ships for the Navy. Marinette Marine has also been building Coast Guard Response Boat, Mediums. Before being acquired by Fincantieri Marinette Marine also built 225 ft buoy tenders and the icebreaker Mackinaw (WLBB-30).
I haven’t been able to find out how the Turkish units are equipped. There seem to be very significant differences between the Italian Navy units and those built for the Ministry of Transport. The specs for the Italian Navy version are as follows:
- Crew: 80 total including 8 officers
- Overall Length: 88.4m (292 ft)
- Length at Waterline: 80.3m (265 ft)
- Beam: 12.2m (40.26 ft)
- Draught: 4.6m (15.2 ft)
- Full Load Displacement: 1,520 tons
- Armament: 1×76 mm, 2x25mm
- Speed: 25 knots
- Range: 3,500 nmi
- Helo deck and hanger for NH90 (essentially the same size as an MH-60)
Slightly smaller, with less endurance and probably not quite up to the level of seakeeping the Coast Guard has been looking for, but still interesting ships, and if they do make an offer on the OPC, their proposal is likely to be based on this design.
Marinette is also building a 260 foot ice capable vessel for the National Science Foundation. I’ll post about it soon.
This OPC maybe a contender and I think maybe it can be brought and used in US waters.
According to some things I’ve just viewed these Turkish CG SAR cutters will be armed with a twin 40 mm mount forward and two Aselsan STAMP stabilized remote machine guns mounted fore and aft of the bridge superstructure. They feature a telescoping hanger for the helo they’ll carry.
Bosphorus Naval News has a couple of short reports about TCGS Dost and its class of SAR cutters. There are photos, so some idea of the ships’ features can be developed from what is visible.
TCSG Dost Launched
New Photo Of TCSG Dost
Here’s the shipyard’s announcement for the launch of TCSG Guven. There’s one small picture clearly showing its helo flight deck and telescoping hanger.
1. 17.12.2010 RMK MARINE, LAUNCHED ‘TCSG GÜVEN’
Then there’s an interesting thread at the Greece & Turkey Defense Forum featuring a picture of a model for these Turkish SAR cutters. The telescoping hanger is clearly depicted on the model. Just don’t read much of the thread, as it turns into a bit of a Greek vs. Turk bashfest (and other things/topics). The second version of the model picture has some labeling and is quite useful (scroll down a ways to view that image).
Turkish presents for the Aegean
I left out the link to the RMK Shipyards announcement.
I found three more pictures of TCGS Dost on trials. Note that the superstructure is different from that of the model and there are no visible RWS machine-gun mounts.
tcsg dost started to tests
January 13 2011
Looks like to me the Aselsan STAMP stabilized .50s may be on the aft corners of the bridge deck. Hard to tell with these pictures. The ship may not be completely fitted out. I didn’t see any boats.
Nothing on the Xbow proposal by VIGOR and Ulstein and partners?
Proposals are due before the end of January. I don’t expect any more announcements until after that and probably not until the Coast Guard announces the three winning bids (assuming there are three, which is very likely). It will probably be several months before that announcement is made. Its a slow deliberate process.