Turkish submarine periscope contract will benefit Hensoldt South Africa


Turkey’s Navy will upgrade its Preveze class submarines with SERO 400 periscopes, which will be manufactured by Hensoldt Optronics in Germany. Major assemblies will be sub-contracted to Hensoldt Optronics in South Africa, continuing decades of successful cooperation on this front.

Hensoldt on 5 August announced that it had received a contract to upgrade four Turkish Type 209/1400 Preveze class diesel-electric submarines, built in the 1990s, which will be fitted with eight SERO 400 periscopes, all of them equipped with thermal imagers as add-on units.

Both periscopes feature dual-axis, line-of-site stabilisation and combine a direct view colour HDTV camera, a high resolution low-light TV camera, a high resolution digital still picture camera, and an infrared camera on both sides.

According to a statement by Hensoldt, the contract is worth approximately 40 million euros and was placed by Turkish company Savunma Teknnolojileri Muhendislik ve Ticaret AS (STM), which has overall responsibility for the upgrade programme.

Hensoldt has an established relationship with Turkey, having been involved in other submarine upgrade programmes – this is the third project with STM. “Collaboration with our Turkish partner has been very successful, not only in the case of the AY modernisation programme involving our SERO 250 for the Turkish Navy, but also regarding the Agosta 90B upgrade in Pakistan,” Hensoldt said.

For the Preveze upgrade, two SERO 400s are being combined. The decision to combine the systems was made in view of the commonality with the Turkish New Type Submarine Programme (NTSP), Hensoldt said.

For NTSP, Hensoldt is supplying a combination of the OMS 100 optronics mast system and the SERO 400 periscope – Turkey is building six ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS) class Type 214 submarines locally. These will be commissioned between 2021 and 2026 and replace four AY-class (Type 209/1200) vessels.

Hensoldt is also supplying the equipment for a periscope workshop in Turkey, including special tool and test equipment, suitable for the Periscopes of the Preveze class upgrade.

Hensoldt supplied SERO 250 periscopes for Turkey’s AY class submarines several years ago. The SERO 250 is a compact periscope system that was specifically designed for retrofit programmes. It can make use of existing hoisting mechanisms, periscope bearings, seals, etc. The SERO 250 is available in an attack and search version. The search version includes a thermal imager.

Hensoldt Optronics South Africa (HOSA) is the major sub- supplier of submarine periscopes assemblies and typically produces one set per month on average.

Hensoldt Optronics South Africa has supplied major assemblies of the periscopes to the Greek, Portuguese and South Korean navies, all of them customers of the type SERO 400 periscope that is also used in the South African Navy’s submarines.

Beside the OMS and Periscope 400 Hensoldt is promoting the SERO 250 A and SERO 250 S as the optimal periscope for retrofit programmes. Features include a TV camera, low light level TV camera, eye-safe laser rangefinder, optional infrared camera and antenna interface for electronic warfare warning and direction finding, GPS and V/UHF communications.