Soon under a Turkish flag!
On 27 December 2013 the Defence Industry Executive Committee made a statement consisting of just one sentence:
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.
The Turkish of official statements can be very long and confusing and sometimes ignorant of grammar rules and as I wanted to remain royal to the one sentence of the original statement the translation is less than perfect. I do apologies for that.
The statement might be small but its importance is huge. This statement declares that Turkey Navy is about to enter into the Dreadnought Owners Club of the 21. Century. As you see the large amphibious ships with docking and flight capability are the new Dreadnoughts of our era.
Large amphibious ships are the only real multi-purpose ships of any navy can posses. The are the naval equivalent of Swiss army knives.
The potential uses for a large amphibious ships can be:
• force projection (the most obvious use)
• evacuation of combatants and non-combatants
• command ship for task force
• logistical supply platform during a humanitarian crisis or disaster
• mother-ship for small boat operations and helicopters
• mine warfare (as all large amphibious ships of Turkish Navy have mine laying capability)
In 2006 , The Commander of Turkish Naval Forces Admiral Yener Karahanoğlu, laid down the long terms amphibious ship acquisition goals for Turkish Navy:
• One LPD
• Two LST’s
• 8 fast LCT’s
• 27 AAV/AAAV’s
The first project to start according to this road map was the procurement of 8 LCT’s. In 2007, Ministry of Defence’s Undersecretariat for Defence Industries (UDI), submitted a Request for Proposal (RfP) for 8 LCT’s. From the four companies that bid, ADİK shipyard was chosen. On June 2009, a contract was signed between UDI and ADİK for the production of 8 ships. The exact value of the contract was not made public but it is estimated to be around 100 million EUR. The first ship Ç-151 was launched on 2 October 2010. All 8 units have been delivered to Turkish Navy by December 2013.
The procurement of the LST’s was the second project. For the LST’s UDI submitted a RFP on May 2008. On 6 January 2010 again ADİK shipyard was declared as the winner of the bid. A contract for the construction of two new LST’s was signed between Ministry of Defence and ADİK in 2011. The first ship will be delivered in 48 months after the signing of the contract.
The tender process for LPD has started in 2011 when UDI submitted the RfP. In May 2011, three Turkish shipyards, Deasan, RMK Marine and Sedef submitted their bids for RfP to design and build a LPD type ship. 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 teamed with China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation which builds the Type 071 amphibious ships for PLA(N).
With this weeks announcement Sedef – Navantia partnership was selected for the largest warship, Turkish Navy will operate.
The details of are vague but according to the Twitter account of Navantia, the Spanish company will provide the engines, the turbine, the IPMS (Integrated Platform Management System) and LCM-1E landing craft.
I’m quite sure that many Spaniards at the economically beleaguered Navantia are celebrating this decision. Navantia was the only company that was able to give a working example of the ship it offered The RMK Marine’s bid exists only on paper and nobody know much about the Chinese solution much expect it is being constructed. The LPD project is a huge project in every sense and it seems that no body wanted to take any risks by choosing a non-existing ship.
When commissioned she will be the capital ship of Turkish Navy. The dreadnought era of Turkish Navy has started.