The first ADA class corvette, currently being constructed for the Ukrainian Navy by the principal contractor STM, has been given a name. According to announcements by the Ukrainian General Staff, Volodymyr Zelensky, the president of Ukraine, gave the first MİLGEM ADA class corvette the name Hetman Ivan Mazepa. President Zelensky said in a statement:
“In order to restore the historical traditions of the national army, to perpetuate the memory of the outstanding Ukrainian statesman Ivan Mazepa, hetman of the Zaporizhzhya Army, I assign the “Ada” class corvette of the Naval Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine the name of Hetman Ivan Mazepa and in the future call this corvette ‘Hetman Ivan Mazepa’ corvette.”
Back in December 2020, a Turkish delegation, including Prof. Dr. İsmail Demir, President of the Turkish Defense Industry, and Özgür Güleryüz, General Manager of STM, visited the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense. During the visit, a contract was signed for the export of ADA Class Corvettes to Ukraine, following a similar deal with Pakistan. Oleksandr Gaman, the Ukrainian consul general in Istanbul at the time, had stated that the agreement in question included procurement of two MİLGEM ADA class corvettes.
The contract stipulates that the first corvette’s construction will be completed in Turkey, while the assembly of equipment and armaments will be completed in Ukraine. All subsequent ADA class corvettes are set to be built entirely at Ukrainian facilities according to the agreement. Another aspect of the contract is the gradual transfer of technology to the Ukrainians for the construction of ships of this class.
In January 2021, with the participation of Ukrainian experts, work on the first MİLGEM Ada class corvette for the Ukrainian Navy began in Turkey as part of the Ukraine Corvette Construction Project, of which STM Defense Technologies Engineering and Trade is the prime contractor. On September 7, 2021, a keel-laying ceremony was held for the first corvette. Vice Admiral Oleksiy Neizhpapa led a delegation from the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense that also took part in the ceremony.
Vice Admiral Oleksiy Neizhpapa, the commander of the naval forces of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, stated that the construction would be finished in the first quarter of 2022. However, since then the Ukrainian Navy has been decimated and it is unclear if the given the Corvette’s outfitting operations can be completed there when the time comes. The first ship that will be delivered to the Ukrainian shipyard Ocean in the upcoming months will start sea trials in 2023 and enter service in the Ukrainian Navy by 2024 (at the earliest), provided the state of the war does not affect the program’s progress
With a length of 99.56 meters, a breadth of 14.4 meters, and a draft of 3.9 meters, the ADA class corvette will greatly strengthen Ukraine’s capabilities in the Azov-Black Sea region. The ship can function for 21 days with logistical support and for 15 days in autonomous conditions. In addition to accommodating 106 passengers, the ship has space for 86 crew members. Two S70 Seahawk helicopters, one stationed in the hangar and the other on the platform, can also be transported by the ship.
According to Ukraine-based Radio Svoboda news portal, Ukraine’s corvettes are planned to be equipped with a 76mm OTO Melara Super Rapid Naval Gun, VL MICA NG Air Defense System, ASELSAN STAMP 12.7mm Stabilized Weapon System, 8xRGM-84 Harpoon Anti-Ship Missiles, Neptune anti-ship missiles, 324mm MU90 Impact Torpedoes, ASELSAN (Thales) SMART-S Mk2 3-D Search and Track Radar, VisionMaster FT Radar and 8 VLSs in total, 4 cells each (4×2) on port and starboard sides.