It was the first time defense journalists visited the Turkish Navy’s future landing helicopter dock (LHD), which is currently in sea acceptance trials. The Head of SSB, Prof Ismail Demir, delivered a speech to the participants, giving some significant information about the timeline of the project.
Ismail Demir emphasized the indigenous contribution to TCG Anadolu by highlighting that 131 Turkish companies were involved in the project and the indigenization rate is about 70 %. Demir also pointed out the level of the Turkish shipbuilding industry, saying, “We worked with a foreign company (Navantia) in the design and construction phase. But at the level of our shipbuilding industry, we are capable of designing and building such ships with national resources.”
Ismail Demir also shared information about the forthcoming developments of the project.
“We launched TCG Anadolu in May 2019 and started sea trials in June 2022. We are planning to complete trials and deliver the ship by the end of this year.”
Ismail Demir, Head of SSB
Naval News note: On 04 March, the Turkish Navy raised the Turkish flag on the new ship LHD, and the Turkish Ministry of Defence announced on 10 March 2022 that the TCG Anadolu completed its first “technical voyage” on 07 March. After the technical voyage, there were no official announcements about the start of harbour acceptance trials (HAT), Naval News assumes that the start of sea trials proves the completion of HAT.
Ismail Demir also explained to the press the specifications of the future LHD. The TCG Anadolu will be the largest ship of the Turkish Navy with a length of 231 meters, a width of 32 meters and a displacement of 27,436 tons and will strengthen the Turkish Navy’s force projection capabilities. The ship will have a top speed of 20.5 knots and a range of 9000 nautical miles when fully loaded.
TCG Anadolu to be the first UAV Carrier in the world
TCG Anadolu has reportedly planned to be transformed into a drone carrier after the U.S. broke the partnership with Turkiye on the F-35 JSF project. As a result, Baykar, a Turkish drone manufacturer, announced in early 2021 that it was working on a specific UCAV called TB-3, an improved and folding-wing version of the combat-proven TB2 drone that would be deployed aboard TCG Anadolu.
Ismail Demir stressed that the UAV integration system process will continue after the delivery of the TCG Anadolu. She will be able to conduct air operations with TB-3 drones after the system integration is completed. He also underlined that Bayraktar KIZILELMA (MIUS) unmanned fighter jet and HURJET aircraft will be deployed to the future LHD.
“In the next phase, in addition to the TB3 drones and helicopters, KIZILELMA and Hürjet will be capable to take off and land from these vessels. The design works still continue.”
Ismail Demir, Head of SSB
You can read details on how TCG Anadolu will recover and launch drones here.
A new milestone for Bayraktar KIZILELMA (MIUS)
Meanwhile, Baykar Tech has announced a new milestone in the MIUS project. The first engine integration test of the Bayraktar KIZILELMA was successfully conducted at Baykar’s facilities on September 17.
Baykar signed an agreement with Ukraine’s Ivchenko-Progress Corporation to purchase AI-25TLT and AI-322F engines for Bayraktar KIZILELMA in November 2021 during the SAHA EXPO 2021 exhibition.
KIZILELMA is scheduled to carry out its first flight in 2023.