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Turkish Istanbul-class frigates to be enhanced with GE Marine's innovative LM2500 gas turbines.

| 2023

According to information published by GE Marine on July 25, 2023, GE Marine will be providing new lightweight composite encapsulated LM2500 marine gas turbines for frigates number 6, 7, and 8 of the Turkish MILGEM Project's Istanbul-Class, as part of an agreement signed with the TAIS OG-STM Joint Venture.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Turkish Navy's Istanbul class frigate TCG Istanbul. (Picture source: STM)

These composite encapsulated turbines were first employed on the USS Santa Barbara, a warship belonging to the US Navy, back in April. The Turkish Navy, under this project, will also benefit from the numerous features achieved in the transition from steel to composite capsules.

As of now, 31 LM2500 marine gas turbines are powering 18 Turkish vessels, including the Barbaros, Gabya, and Istanbul-Class frigates as well as ADA-class corvettes.

This project will mark the first time frigate-class warships will be constructed in private shipyards in Turkey. GE will support the accelerated construction process, scheduled to last 36 months, at the Anadolu, Sedef, and Sefine shipyards.

The new Istanbul-Class frigate, which will accommodate the evolving capabilities of weapon systems, will be 10 meters longer than previous models. Each LM2500 will supply a power output of 22 MW to the new MILGEM frigates.

This selection underpins the cooperation goal announced in April 2023 between GE Marine and TEI (TUSAŞ Engine Industry Inc.) in Turkey. Under this cooperation, TEI has become the authorized in-country service provider for the maintenance, repair, and overhauls of GE's LM2500 marine gas turbines.

GE's revolutionary new composite gas turbine capsule, which replaces the traditional steel variants, offers an array of benefits. It not only ensures a safer environment in the engine room and provides seamless access for sailors but also dramatically cuts down the weight impacting the ship's design. The advantages brought forth by this novel composite gas turbine capsule encompass:

The tranquility of the engine room is greatly amplified, with noise levels dipping by 60% or 4dBA compared to the steel capsules. The heat emitted into the engine room sees a substantial reduction, owing to the capsule wall temperatures that are now lower by 4.44°C to 10°C (25°F to 50°F), effectively releasing about half the previous amount of heat. Durability and functioning period are significantly enhanced, given that the composite walls are crafted from a single, corrosion-resistant piece.

Weight savings are noteworthy, as the one-piece composite walls and ceiling lighten the load by 2,500 kg (5,500 lbs), a 50% decrease that imparts more flexibility to ship designers in managing extra loads, fuel, or other systems.

Sailors find their way to the engine room simplified, and operating the lighter main door becomes considerably easier. Engine assembly and disassembly are also made more convenient on the ship, as gas turbines can be disassembled and reassembled using the air intake duct.

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