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Turkish Navy launches the 2nd Reis-Class Submarine

Turkish Ministry of Defence announced the event on Twitter. No ceremony was recorded for the second submarine of the Reis-class submarine project.

HIZIRREIS, the second submarine of the Reis-class submarines, was dry-docked on 24 May 2022. The lead boat of the project, the future TCG PIRIREIS is currently at sea trials and scheduled to join the Turkish Navy by the end of this year. From this year onward, one submarine will be commissioned every year, and 6 Reis-class submarines will be delivered to the Turkish Navy by 2028.

The contract signed in July 2009 between the Presidency of the Turkish Defense Industries (SSB) and Thyssen Krupp Marine Systems is to build 6 submarines with an air-independent propulsion (AIP) system and place them in the service of the Turkish Naval Forces.

Importance of the project

The Reis-class submarine project is crucial for the Turkish Navy. These submarines will enhance the submarine fleet’s strength in surrounding seas by featuring AIP capability. The Turkish Navy has a 12-piece submarine fleet consisting of four Ay-class (Type 209/1200), four Preveze-class (Type 209T/1400), and four Gür-class (Type 209T2/1400), all conventionally-powered (diesel-electric) attack submarines. By 2027, Turkey will be operating six Reis-class AIP submarines.

The Reis-class will benefit not only the Turkish Navy but also Turkey’s defense technological and industrial base. The know-how and experience gained from the Reis-class submarine project will be a strong reference for indigenous submarines intended to be built under the National Submarine (MİLDEN) project, which is currently at the design phase and expected to be built in the 2030s. There are many Turkish sub-contractors, including ASELSAN, HAVELSAN, MilSOFT, Defense Technologies Engineering and Trade Inc. (STM), Koç Information and Defense, Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK), and AYESAŞ working on Reis-class submarines’ sub-systems such as navigation and data management system, data link, torpedo countermeasure system, etc.

About Reis-class submarines

The Reis-class submarines feature a single-hull, one-compartment design and an air-independent propulsion system on the proven Howaldswerke-Deutsche Werft (HDW) fuel cell. The submarines have a length of 68.35 meters, an outer diameter of 6.3 meters, a displacement of 1,850 tons, and a capacity of 40 personnel.

ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems have been building the Reis-class submarines (known initially as Type 214 TN) in Turkey’s Golcuk Shipyard. The AIP system uses fuel cell technology, PEM Fuel Cell (2x120kw), and high-capacity batteries (2×324 units). This provides the submarine with the ability to conduct long-endurance deployments without snorkeling.

The boats will deploy heavyweight torpedoes (MK48 Mod 6AT and DM2A4), anti-ship missiles (Sub-Harpoon), and mines. Indigenous heavyweight torpedo Akya and anti-ship missile Atmaca are expected to be fitted to the next submarines of the project. The Reis-class submarine will be able to undertake missions such as littoral water operations to ocean-going patrols, including anti-surface and anti-submarine operations, ISR tasks, and special forces operations. This is mainly thanks to their increased diving depths and their modular weapon and sensor mix.

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