The first announcement of the delivery of the TCG Anadolu came from several Turkish defense media on 05 March 2023, which was considered somewhat surprising since there was no ceremony or official announcement from the Turkish Defense Agency (SSB). A day later, the Turkish Ministry of Defense announced on Twitter that the crew of the TCG Anadolu had begun pre-deployment training.
This is considered a confirmation of the delivery as such training is conducted after the delivery of the new ships.
Naval News learned from a Turkish defense industry source that the delivery took place in January 2023. The source said on condition of anonymity that a large part of the Sea Acceptance Tests (SAT) has been completed, and the rest of the tests will be conducted after delivery. The source also claimed that SAT of TCG Anadolu is expected to be completed in the next few weeks.
After the completion of SAT, as previously reported, the integration process for launching the drone and securing the system should begin.
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: 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 in a TV program in 2022 that the UAV integration system process will continue after the delivery of the 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 more on how the Turkish LHD will recover and launch drones here: