Mid-Life modernization for Turkish Navy's MEKO 200 frigate

On January 10th, 2020, the Savunma Sanayii Başkanlığı (SSB) (Presidency of Defence Industries) released an official image of how the Barbaros class frigates would look like after the planned upgrade. More specifically, this is a concept of how the ship could look like if the Turkish Navy will order a heavy modernization of the ships.

Mid Life modernization for Turkish Navys MEKO 200 frigate 925 001 Turkish Navy upgraded Barbaros-class frigate (Picture source: Savunma Sanayii Başkanlığı)

The image features the modernized ship, including 16 anti-ship missiles, a Korkut-D (naval version Gökdeniz) twin 35mm CIWS installed on B-position replacing a Sea Zenith system and a Phalanx Block1B Baseline 2 atop the hangar.

According to Naval Analyses, the main mast has been reconstructed and includes a MAR-D AESA radar while behind the Phalanx there is possibly a dual-band FCS AKR-D Block-B2 for the ESSM if the STIR radar behind the main mast has been removed. The forward mast has been replaced by a new integrated mast that includes the SMART-S Mk 2 radar, new ARES-2NC ESM and AREAS-2NC Naval Electronic Attack (EA) Systems, new navigation/LPI radars, PIRI-IRST suite, and others.

The Barbaros-class frigates are among the most modern frigates in the Turkish Navy. They were designed in Germany and are part of the MEKO group of modular warships, in this case, the MEKO 200 design. Two ships were built in Germany and two in Turkey with German assistance. They are larger than the previous Yavuz-class frigates and are also faster due to using CODOG machinery rather than pure diesels.

If this massive and ambitious plan takes place, then the Turkish variant will be the heaviest armed MEKO 200 variant in the whole world. The modernization of the first ship is planned to be completed on February 2022.