Defense Technologies Engineering Inc. (STM) published the Marine Projects document in the past months, revealing a small submarine design called the STM500. At the 10th Naval Systems Seminar held today, it was announced that the construction of the STM500 small-sized submarine is planned to start in 2022.
The STM500 design stands out with its submerged displacement of 540 tons and being a small submarine. Submarines currently used by the Turkish Navy have a displacement of 1100 to ~1600 tons in submerged condition. Reis class submarines, which are still in production, are expected to have a displacement of over 2000 tons in submerged condition.
“It is a diesel-electric attack submarine with a conceptual design developed for shallow waters.” Defense Turk writer Kozan Selçuk Erkan evaluates the STM500 design, whose information is shared, as follows:
“Small submarines are now a very emerging market in the military class. The Qataris are currently getting the Italians to build mini-submarines for the Persian Gulf. The French also have a study on this subject. It would be appropriate for Turkey to work on small submarines as cost-effective, much smaller, much quieter and more technologically accessible class in terms of our capabilities to be used in the Aegean Sea, Black Sea Cyprus and coastal regions. Submarines in this class are ideal carriers for infiltration operations in coastal areas.
It is very difficult for any warship to perform underwater scanning with hull-mounted or towed sonar, especially in shallow waters and offshore areas with islets. The feature of this submarine is that it can operate extremely comfortably in the seas in question with its small dimensions.”