Turkey Begins Sea Trials of First Reis-Class Submarine

The Turkish Navy has begun sea trials of its first Reis-class air-independent propulsion (AIP) capable submarine, Piri Reis, in the Sea of Marmara.

The Piri Reis was joined by a tugboat and an S-70B Seahawk helicopter throughout the test, according to reports.

“We wish you safe cruises and successful missions in the operations to be carried out by our Piri Reis submarine,” the ministry said in a tweet.

Reis-Class Submarine Project

Launched in 2019, the Piri Reis is the first vessel under the Reis-class submarine project.

It was intended to be inducted by the Turkish Naval Force this year, but it is likely to enter the service in the first half of 2023, Naval News reported.

Ankara rolled out the project in July 2009 in collaboration with Turkish Defense Industries and German shipbuilding firm ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems. 

The deal sought to build a fleet of six new Type-214 AIP submarines, delivering one vessel every year from 2022 to 2027 to bolster Turkey’s naval strength in the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas.

The five other submarines slated for commissioning in the next five years include TCG Hizir Reis, TCG Murat Reis, TCG Aydin Reis, TCG Seydi Ali Reis, and TCG Selman Reis.

‘Completing Multidimensional Targets’

The 68.35-meter (224 feet) Reis-class submarine is the first Turkish naval asset to feature fuel cell technology, Type-214. This allows for enhanced deployments without the need for oxygen through surfacing or utilizing a snorkel.

The vessels can deploy heavyweight torpedoes, anti-ship missiles, and mines.

The single-hull submarines are equipped for missions including littoral water operations, anti-surface and anti-submarine missions, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance, and special forces activities.

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