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Turkey commissions unmanned aircraft carrier TCG Anadolu

Photo: Turkish Ministry of National Defence

The largest naval vessel and flagship of the Turkish Navy, the TCG Anadolu amphibious assault ship, was commissioned in Tuzla on April 10.

During the delivery ceremony of the TCG Anadolu to the Turkish Naval Forces, president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and defense minister Hulusi Akar were present.

Designed by Navantia and built at Sedef Shipyard in Turkey, the construction of the TCG Anadolu began in April 2016, with a keel-laying in February 2018. Last year, the vessel underwent sea acceptance tests and has been deemed capable of performing long-endurance military combat and humanitarian relief operations, as well as serving as a command center and the new flagship of the Turkish Navy.

TCG Anadolu has also been referred to as the world’s first unmanned aircraft carrier, thanks to the TB3 and Kizilelma unmanned aerial vehicles it will be carrying.

During the commissioning ceremony of the TCG Anadolu, minister Akar expressed the Turkish armed forces’ determination to increase the effectiveness, deterrent, and respectable qualities through their defense industry projects.

“The developments in the world and in our region, especially the war between Russia and Ukraine, and the geography we are in, how strategic it is to meet critical products and services by our domestic industry and national resources. proves to be important, even indispensable. In this respect, developing our domestic and national defense industry is a national future struggle for us,” minister Akar said.

“TCG Anadolu, equipped with high-tech systems, will be the flagship of our naval forces, the apple of our navy’s eye with its capacity and qualified features, and will add strength to our glorious army and navy. TCG Anadolu, which has a different concept compared to its peers with the TB-3 Bayraktar unmanned aerial vehicles and armored amphibious assault vehicles it will carry, clearly reveals the level reached by the production capacity and capability of our domestic and national defense industry.”

Minister Akar emphasized that Turkey has progressed from procuring infantry rifles from abroad to designing, building, and manufacturing various military equipment, including light weapons, MLRAs, Storm howitzers, UAVs/SİHAs/TİHAs, attack helicopters, warships, national naval guns, smart precision ammunition, and missiles.

According to Admiral Ercüment Tatlıoğlu, Commander of the Naval Forces, the significance and appeal of the surrounding seas have grown significantly in recent years due to the abundance of living and non-living resources, particularly energy resources.

“Our TCG Anadolu ship is a critical capability needed to fulfill the task entrusted to our Naval Forces in our country’s ever-expanding area of ​​influence and interest. With the capabilities of TCG ANADOLU, the Republic of Turkey has become one of the limited number of countries capable of performing air operations and power transmission from the sea,” said Admiral Tatlıoğlu.

He added that Anadolu would be assigned mainly in national and international exercises and trainings, banner and presence, deterrence, search and rescue, humanitarian aid operations, and disaster and emergency activities. “In crisis and war situations, its missions are amphibious operations, air operations, evacuation operations, maritime control operations, command and control duties, and surface-, air-defense, electronic- and anti-submarine warfare.”

TCG Anadolu has a 9,200 square meter area for land and air vehicles. The ship has the capacity to deploy 12 manned or unmanned combat aircraft, and 21 helicopters, depending on the operation. In terms of land vehicles, it can carry 13 tanks, 27 amphibious assault vehicles, 6 armored personnel carriers, and 33 other vehicles, as well as 15 trailers, on the light and heavy vehicle deck of the ship.

The TCG Anadolu also has four mechanized landing craft and two personnel landing boats, with a total capacity of 1,400 personnel in addition to 400 crew.