In a significant development for the Turkish Navy, the inventory of Preveze class submarines is undergoing a half-life modernization project.
The Preveze Class Submarine Half-Life Modernization Project, initiated by SSB in 2016 covers the submarines TCG Preveze, TCG Sakarya, TCG 18 Mart, and TCG Anafartalar was launched and formally approved in 2017. On 8 February 2019, the Turkish defense acquisition agency SSB awarded a contract to STM, Havelsan, Aselsan, and Asfat partnership.
The Turkish Naval Forces operate eight Type 209/1400 class submarines. The first batch of four submarines was commissioned between 1994 and 1998. These four submarines are also known as Preveze class and have differences in equipment configurations from the later four. The mid-life modernization program covers both replacements of the existing ISUS combat management system by the MÜREN-Preveze combat management system developed by TÜBİTAK BİLGEM and the replacement of the older sensors and hardware by contemporary ones made by local companies. Both projects are separately contracted.
The main components to be replaced, overhauled, or updated during the MLU are the inertial navigation system, salinity-depth-density measurement system, floating antenna, telescopic SATCOM antenna, attack and navigation periscope, emergency communications system, cold water system and static converter, and air filtration system.
In February 2022, STM successfully completed the sea acceptance trials of the inertial navigation, salinity-depth-density measurement, cold-water systems, and static inverters, of the Preveze class mid-life upgrade project. Furthermore, the acceptance activities for these systems were concluded on March 2, 2023.
As part of the Preveze MLU, a second contract for the installation of the MÜREN-Preveze combat management system was signed between SSB and TÜBİTAK BİLGEM in August 2017. The first submarine integrated with the MÜREN-Preveze CMS is the submarine TCG Preveze. According to TÜBİTAK BİLGEM, the CMS can integrate data from 20 different sensors and navigation systems and can manage sonar signal processing, target movement analysis, and ship navigation. Furthermore, the CMS will be able to launch and control modern heavy-class torpedoes including the first domestic heavy-class torpedo Akya, developed by Roketsan.
In 2020 a shore-based development laboratory for the MÜREN CMS was opened inside the Turkish Navy’s research and development facility ARMERKOM. In 2021 the CMS and its consoles were integrated onboard the Preveze. The harbor acceptance tests were completed in late 2021. The sea acceptance tests are continuing.
In another significant development, STM has been assigned the platform integration responsibility for the Advent-Müren Combat Management System on the Gür class submarines. Through a contract signed between TÜBİTAK Bilgem and STM, the project aims to enhance the combat capabilities of these submarines. The Gür class submarines will be equipped with the national torpedo firing capability, enhancing their role in the defense. The modernization of the combat management system with national capabilities highlights Turkey's commitment to strengthening its maritime presence.
The ongoing modernization efforts for Turkish submarines demonstrate the nation's commitment to advancing its defense industry and embracing national technological advancements. Turkish local companies like STM play a pivotal role in supplying critical systems and undertaking platform integration highlighting their expertise in submarine engineering. As Turkey strives to increase its naval deterrence and bolster its maritime strength, these projects will undoubtedly contribute to the country's security and the capabilities of the Turkish Naval Forces Command.