After finishing BALTOPS 2019 exercies, Kiel base of Germany hosted NATO Maritime Group One (SNMG1) ships. While moored at port, two Oliver Hazard Perry Class frigates, General Kazimierz Pulaski from Poland and TCG Gokova from Turkey. Though both ships are same class (Turkish navy names them as Gabya class) there are some differences draws our attention.
At first glance, we see that TCG Gokova’s air surveillance radar is different. Though O.H.Perry class frigates have AN/SPS-49(V)4 radar for air survellience, Thales SMART-S Mk2 3D radar was replaced the AN/SPS-49(V)4 at TCG Gokova. This upgrade assures Turkish ship 3 dimensional detection of air targets.
According to specialists and navy ensthusiasts the most important disadvantage of O.H.Perry class frigates is having only one guided missile launching system (GMLS). Different from other kinds of frigates, both Harpoon SSM and SM-1 SAM is launched from Mk13 GMLS. If a defect occurs on MK13 GMLS, ship cannot launch not only Harpoon, but also SM-1. Turkish navy seems to solve this disadvantage by adding a vertical launching system (VLS) on the bow deck. With this upgrade, Turkish Gabya class frigates gained the ability to launch 32 RIM-162 Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile (ESSM) SAM.
There’s also a modernization for landing helicopters, Aircraft Ship Integrated Secure and Traverse System (ASIST). Before upgrading the ship with ASIST, O.H.Perry class frigates were unable to carry S-70B helicopters at their hangars. Now they cand land helicopters more securely and with a rail at astern deck, they can drive it to hangar.
The most important upgrade of O.H.Perry class is about combat management system. O.H.Perry class frigates combat system was old and distributed originally. Turkih engineers produced a modern combat system named GENESIS, and coupled all systems under one combat system with modern display modules. Now combat system of Gabya class is faster, more capable and easy to maintain.
Turkish ship also modernized with electro optical systems made by ASELSAN, ARPA/LPI capable navigational radar and SATCOM communication abilities.
Because of this issues we can name Gabya Class frigates of Turkish navy as “Upgraded O.H.Perry”.