The steel-cutting or the ground-breaking ceremony to begin construction of the MILGEM Ada class corvette by Turkey for Pakistan Navy was held in the southern port city of Karachi. The ceremony at the Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works (KSEW) was attended by officials of Pakistan Navy, and representatives of Turkey’s state-run defense firm ASFAT, including Managing Director of KSEW, Rear Admiral Ather Saleem. The keel-laying or the formal recognition of the start of the construction ceremony of the first MILGEM Ada class corvette was held in Istanbul last week. The first vessel is planned to be constructed in 60 months, and the remaining ships will be constructed in 72 months, respectively.
On July 5, 2018, Pakistani military’s ISPR announced that a Turkish firm had won the tender to build four MILGEM corvettes for the Pakistan Navy. Pakistan Navy had inked a deal in July 2018 to procure four MILGEM-class ships from Turkey’s state-run defence firm ASFAT. According to the plan, two corvettes will be built in Turkey and the next two will be built in Pakistan which also involves technology transfer. Coinciding with the commissioning ceremony of TCG Kınalıada attended by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the steel cutting ceremony for the first MILGEM ship for the Pakistan Navy was also held there on September 29, 2019.
MILGEM project is a national warship program of the Republic of Turkey. Managed by the Turkish Navy, the project aims at developing multipurpose corvettes and frigates that can be deployed in a range of missions, including reconnaissance, surveillance, early warning, anti-submarine warfare, surface-to-surface and surface-to-air warfare, and amphibious operations. The name of the project emerged from the phrase “National Ship” in Turkish – Milli Gemi. MILGEM project office focused on building a modern littoral combat ship with authentic anti-submarine warfare and high-seas patrol capability, extensively employing low-observable superstructure and intelligence sensors.
The Ada class is a class of corvettes, a part of the MILGEM project, developed primarily for the Turkish Navy. The Turkish Navy has already commissioned all four Ada-class corvettes, and more are scheduled to enter into service in due course. The design objective of the Ada class is to build a modern littoral combat ship, with indigenous anti-submarine warfare and high-seas patrol capabilities, while extensively using the principles of stealth technology in its design. The design concept and mission profile of the Ada-class corvette bears similarities with the Freedom-class littoral combat ship developed by Lockheed Martin, as the first member of the next generation of U.S. Navy warships.