>New LST’s For Turkish Navy

>On their latest meeting on 6th January 2010, Defense Industry Executive Committee (SSIK) decided to start contract negotiations for constructions of 2 LST’s.

Currently Turkish Navy operates 5 big amphibious ships:
• Two Ertuğrul (ex- Terreboone Parish) class
• Two Sarucabey class
• One Osman Gazi class

The oldest ships of the fleet are two Ertuğrul class ships L-401 TCG Ertuğrul and L-402 TCG Serdar. Both were launched in 1954 and commissioned into Turkish Navy in 1973 and 1975.These ships can carry 395 troops and 2200 tons cargo. They both outlived L-405 TCG Çakabey first of locally designed LST’s. She was commissioned in 1983 and served till 2000. The design of the Sarucabey class was based on TCG Çakabey. NL-123 TCG Sarucabey and NL-124 TCG Karamürselbey were commissioned in 1985 and 1986. These ships can carry 600 troops and 11 tanks or up to135 mines and can be used as minelayers. Hence the pennant number shows this dual function. NL-125 TCG Osmangazi is based on Sarucabey class but has a bigger capacity. She can carry 900 troops or 15 tanks. She was launchend in 1990 and commissioned in 1994. Originally a second unit of this class was to be built. But she was canceled.

In addition to these big ships Turkish Navy operates 23 LCT’s and 16 LCM’s.

The existing ships are getting old. They are good enough to protect the status quo is the region but they cannot answer the power projection needs of Turkish armed forces in extended ranges and periods.

In 2006 the long terms amphibious ship acquisition goals of Turkish Navy were declared by then Commander Admiral Yener Karahanoğlu as following:
• One LPD
• Two LST’s
• 8 fast LCT’s
• 27 AAV/AAAV’s

According to this road map in 2007 SSM submitted a RFP for 8 LCT’s. From the four companies that bid, ADİK shipyard was chosen. On June 2009, a contract was signed between SSM 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.

For the LST’s SSM submitted a RFP on May 2008. On 6 January 2010 again ADİK shipyard was declared as the winner of the bid. SSM will start contract negations with this company.

In the meantime a Request For Information was submitted by SSM for the LPD in 2007. The preparations for the RFP are continuing. SSM also announced a feasibility study the LCAC Program. LCAC’s were not on the main road map but they are very necessary for the LPD to function properly.

The most important ship on the acquisition list is without any doubt the LPD. Turkish Navy never operated any amphibious warships bigger than a LST. LPD’s are very different warships and a whole new concept for the navy. The Turkish Navy is eager to learn how to operate, maintain, load, unload such ships. The logistical job to keep a ship with so many sailors and soldiers, with so many equipment is more or less a science for itself. Last year’s Egemen 2009 naval exercise can be seen as a feasbility study with amphibious ships of various NATO nations. More on LPD and Egemen 2008 click here.

Specifications for the LCT’s:

Length o.a. 79,85m
Beam: 11,70 m
Displacement 1155 tons full load
Speed: 20kts
Range: 400 nm / 16 kts
Propulsion: 2 x 2320 kW
Weapons: 2 x 25mm; 1 x 12,7mm
Crew: 22
Cargo: 320 tons / 250 troops

Specifications for the LST’s:

Length o.a. 135 m
Beam: 16,40 m
Displacement 5200 tons full load
Speed: 18kts
Range: 5000 nm / 15 kts
Propulsion: 2 x 5200 kW
Weapons: 2 x 40mm; 2 x 12,7mm
Crew: 146
Cargo: 1200 tons / 350 troops

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