During the late-1980s and throughout the 1990s, the Turkish Navy invested in two new important fighting frigate ship types - the Yavuz and Barbaros classes. Both were built to a design standard established by the Germans as the multirole "MEKO" with the latter offering evolved under the "MEKO 200" (or "Modified MEKO") initiative. Blohm & Voss shipbuilders of Germany handled the bulk of the original work for its part in the establishment of the classes with some of the work also done at local Turkish shipyards.
The first batch of four warships were given COmbined Diesel-Or-Diesel (CODOD) propulsion schemes and this switched to the COmbined Diesel-Or-Gas (CODOG) scheme in the second group, the Barbaros-class, to promote higher operating speeds. Armament was slightly altered as well and command systems, radar, and crew/systems protection were all improved. TCG Orucreis became one of the Barbaros-class' number and was built by the local Golcuk Naval Shipyard of Turkey. She was launched on July 28th, 1994 and formally commissioned on May 23rd, 1997 to begin active service with the modern Turkish Navy.
The Barbaros-class encompasses lead-ship TCG Barbaros (F-244) and sister ships TCG Orucreis (F-245), TCG Salihreis (F-246), and TCG Kemalreis (F-247). Are all rated at 3,400 tons and form eight of the sixteen total frigates available to the Turkish naval service (this includes the Yavuz-class and the Gabya-class) today (2018).
At first-glance, Orucreis appears as a rather conventional, unassuming frigate by modern, stealth-centric standards. The forecastle is slightly raised in typical fashion and runs to the forend of the hull superstructure. A turreted deck gun is featured in the prominent "A" position with excellent angles of attack. The superstructure has low, slab-sided walls broken by a single gap approaching midships. The forward section of the superstructure contains the bridge as well as an exposed lattice-style mainmast. The paired smoke funnels are enclosed and canted outwards while being positioned near midships along with quadruple-tubed Anti-Ship Missile (ASM) launchers. The superstructure continues towards the aft-end of the vessel and seats additional systems and weapons (including a Sea Sparrow missile mounting). The stern area is dominated by a helipad.
Structural, Propulsion, and Systems
TCG Orucreis displaces 3,380 tons and fields an overall length of 383 feet, a beam of 48.5 feet, and a draught of 14 feet. Aboard is a crew numbering 170 to 190 personnel (including a modest air wing support crew). The stern-based helipad supports one medium-lift navy helicopter or similar.
Its CODOG arrangement consists of 2 x General Electric LM2500 gas turbines coupled with 2 x MTU marine diesels producing up to 60,000 horsepower to 2 x Shafts (controllable pitch). Maximum reachable speed is 32 knots and range is out to 4,100 nautical miles. The economically-minded CODOG arrangement supplies variable power to enhance distinct actions - general cruising or fast dashing - as needed while maximizing operational ranges.
Onboard systems include the AWS-9 3D air-search radar, the AWS-6 "Dolphin" air/surface-search radar, and the STIR Surface-to-Air Missile (SAM) launcher control suite. A single Decca 2040 system provides navigational aid while the SQS-56 is the hull-mounted sonar unit. The SLQ-25 "Nixie" is the crucial ship-saving torpedo decoy fit.
There is a single-barreled 5" /54 caliber Mark 45 turreted deck gun over the forecastle. This is backed by 2 x Mk.141 "Harpoon" ASMs in quadruple launcher packs at midships. 1 x 16-cell Mk.41 Mod 8 Vertical Launch System (VLS) is fitted for firing RIM-162 ESSM "Sea Sparrow" anti-aircraft missiles. 3 x 25mm Oerlikon-Contraves "Sea Zenith" systems fulfill the Close-In defense role. 2 x Mark 32 torpedo tubes are also carried. All told, the warship has the capability to engage targets in the air, on land, on sea, and under the sea making her a true multirole fighting frigate.
TCG Orucreis has been involved in general patrolling and training actions during her life at sea. In 2014, she and her crew assisted in the training of Nigerian Navy personnel to better combat piracy.
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