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TCG Anadolu [Anatolia]
LHD - Amphibious Assault Ship
Havuzlu Çikarma Gemisi / Amfibi Taaruz Gemisi

TCG Anadolu Turkey's procurement of the Russian S-400 missile defense systems prompted the U.S. administration to suspend Ankara's participation in the F-35 joint program in July 2019. This left Turkey without a clear path towards providing a fixed-wing combat capability for this ship. Turkey will thus be alone in having a large amphibious assault ship with no fixed wing aircraft.

TCG Anadolu occupies a special place because the warship is Turkey’s first light aircraft carrier, enabling the country to join the club of aircraft carriers. But Anadolu meant more than that for Turkey. Anadolu is the largest Turkish warship since TCG Yavuz, a former German battlecruiser transferred in dramatic fashion in 1914. The warship, which is being built by a joint consortium including Spanish firm Navantia and a native company, Sedef Shipbuilding Inc, in Turkey, shows the country’s ambition to be a dominant force in the Mediterranean Sea like the Ottoman Empire, the country’s predecessor state, had been in the 16th Century.

The multipurpose amphibious assault ship would be the country's best and biggest when construction work is finished in 2021. Turkey began the construction of a new multipurpose amphibious assault ship called the TGC Anatolia in January 2016. The ship is being built at the Sedef shipyard in Istanbul, and it will be the Turkish navy's largest and best-equipped warship when its construction is finished in 2021. It is named TCG Anadolu, or Anatolia is English, after the region in Turkey which makes up most of the country.

The ship is 225 meters long [waterline] and 32 meters wide, and displace 28,000 tons when fully loaded. It will be able to transport eight combat helicopters, an infantry battalion of 700 officers, and 1,400 crew members.

The Undersecretariat for Defense Industries announced 27 December 2013 that "After the completion of the evaluation of the bids for Landing Platform Dock (LPD) project by Defense Industry Undersecretariat, on 26 December 2013, the Defense Industry Executive Committee decided to start contract negotiation with the Sedef Ship Building Company; and if the negotiations with Sedef Ship Building Company should fail the negotiations shall continue with Desan Ship Building Company."

One of the biggest and costliest navy projects, valued at 3 billion US dollars [or 3 billion euros, according to other reports], would be built by the Turkish Sedef Shipyard and Spain's Navantia, which would model the warship after the Spanish amphibious assault ship, Juan Carlos I. According to Navantia, the Spanish company would provide the engines, the turbine, the IPMS (Integrated Platform Management System) and LCM-1E landing craft. If the negotiations with Sedef fail, said an SSM press release, negotiations would be conducted with the second choice, DESAN Deniz Insaat Sanayi A.S.

As of 1999 the Turkish Navy was conducting studies, and discussions with foreign suppliers, on the purchase of a light aircraft carrier (CVL). The assumption is that the ship need not have as large a displacement as US, British, or French carriers. Instead the studies looking at carriers with an approximate displacement of 12,500 tons, similar in size to the carriers now serving in the Italian, Spanish, and Thai navies.

For intance, the Italian Navy's Giuseppe Garibaldi, which displaces 13,850 tons at full load, can embark up to ten AV-8B Harrier II short-takeoff/verticallanding (STOVL) aircraft or up to 16 Sea King helicopters (or a mix of the two types). Spain's Principe de Asturias displaces 17,188 tons full load and can accommodate six to eight AV-8B Harrier Ils, two to four AB 212s, and two SH-60B Seahawks as well as six to 10 SH-3 Sea Kings. And the 11,486 tons full load Chakkrinareubet [Spanish-built] aircraft carrier of the Royal Thai Navy can accommodate six AV-8S Harrier aircraft and four S-70B Seahawk helicopters (or 18 helicopters and no Harriers).

By early 2000, Turkey was focused on a V/STOL capability in a light ship (10-15,000 ton) carrying a combined air wing of 15 JSF and 6 CH-60S Knight Hawk as well as UAV/UCAV systems. The Turkish Navy aimed to eventuaslly form two naval air groups: a TCVL and a Turkish Landing Helicopter Platform (TLHP), both would be protected by state-of the art TF-2000 anti-air warfare frigates. The TCVL would be constructed in Turkey with a maximum domestic contribution and transfer of required know-how from interntional shipyards.

This project was considered subsequent to increasing overseas peacekeeping missions involving Turkish armed forces. Nevertheless, the priorities changed, and a LPD and/or LDH was much more likely. The Supreme Defence Board declared early in 2005 that a LPD would be built in Turkey with foreign assistance. The CVL/Light Aircraft Carrier Project was shelved due to technical and budgetary constraints.

The LHD project was originally launched as a 15,000 ton LPD project, but in 2010 the specifications were changed and it evolved into a +20,000 ton LHD project. With regard to the aircraft carrier, the Turkish Admiral announced that it would provide support to naval aircraft and NATO helicopters in conducting international operations. With a displacement of 24,000 tonns, it would have a length of 140 meters. Costing $1.5 billion, could be built in 5 years and would be operationally available in 6-7 years.

Seven shipyards, ADIK, Çelik Tekne, Dearsan Shipyard, Desan Shipyard, Istanbul Shipyard, RMK Marine and SEDEF received the RfP in February 2011 and were given time till today to prepare their proposals. Some of the teamed with foreign companies. Candidates include DCNS, Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding, Navantia, Hanjin Heavy Industries and China State Shipbuilding Corporation are believed to be interested in cooperating with Turkish shipyards for the LPD. RMK, contrary to the expectations did not cooperated with Fincantieri for this project. During the years the requirements of the Turkish Navy changed so that the size of the LPD increased. It was estimated that the proposals would have a displacement between 25.000 to 28.000 tons range. Fincantieri of Italy had to abandon the tender because its largest LPD/LHD design was 15,000 tons.

In May 2011 three firm submitted offers for the Turkish LHD tender. RMK Marine submitted their own design, Sedef teamed with Navantia and submitted a redesigned Juan Carlos 1. The most secretive bid was Deasan’s. The shipyard was variously reported to have teamed with China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation which builds the Type 071 amphibious ships for PLA(N), or to have submitted the South Korean Dokdo Class design. The Dokdo of South Korea was mentioned frequently early on, but after the project specs were changed in 2010, it too had very little chance, since it is small like the Fincantieri design. The competition narrowed to the design of RMK Marine (Turkey) and the Juan Carlos (BPE) design (Spain.)

SEDEF Gemi Insaati A.S., Juan Carlos / Canberra Class
RMK Marine Gemi Yapim Sanayii indigenous design
Deniz Tasimaciligi Isletmesi A.S. ve DESAN Deniz Insaati San. A.S.Type 071 Yuzhao

RMK Marine's original designed was 200-meter long with a full width of 34 meters. The 25,000-ton fully loaded deplacment shipd had a draft of 7 meters. The maximum speed with diesel engines was 22 knots. The main propulsion system was two diesel machine, two high-speed gears, two shaft lines and two controllable propellers. The ship would have a 20 knot cruising speed with 7000 nautical mile radius of action. Without replenishment at sea the ship staff of 1070 would hve an endurance of 21 days.

Naval Forces Command shared a promotional article in February 2019 describing the Multi-Purpose Amphibious Assault Ship (LHD) Project. In the statement made by the Navy, “The construction activities of ANADOLU, the first ship of the LHD Class, which will be the biggest ship of the Turkish Navy to date, started on 30 April 2016 at Sedef Shipyard. ANADOLU is planned to enter service in the Turkish Navy in 2020. The construction of the second LHD TRAKYA will start in the near future.” Thus, it was stated for the first time that the TCG TRAKYA [Thrace] will be built officially in such a precise style.

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Page last modified: 06-06-2021 18:20:09 ZULU