Turkey to Buy A 69s From France

(Jane’s Navy International)–Turkey is to buy six D’Estienne D’Orves Type A 69 class frigates from France. The deal will be made despite political friction after the French Senate’s criticism of Turkey’s treatment towards Armenia’s during World War I.

Three Avisos – Quartier Maitre Anquetil–Commandant de Pimodan and Commandant Drogon should be delivered in mid 2001–after routine maintenance work. Decommissioned by the French in 1999–the 25-year-old frigates will be renamed Bandirma–Bozcaada and Bodrum.

DCN International will overhaul two more decommissioned vessels. Work will be done on the propulsion systems–engines and weapons systems before the vessels are delivered at the beginning of 2002.

Second Maitre Le Bihan is still in service with the French Navy but will be decommissioned in 2002 and directly transferred to the Turkish Navy as Bafra. The French Ministry of Defense also confirmed that under a separate agreement–the Turkish Navy will buy Exocet MM38 SSMs for use on the A 69s–which are already Exocet-capable.

With a purchase price of around $60 million–plus $150 million worth of maintenance and overhauling work–the 1,250-ton full load of displacement vessels may serve as a stopgap measure while Turkey negotiates the construction of a new class of corvettes under the National Vessel program.

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