2 May 2016 2 Comments
The construction of the multipurpose amphibious assault ship L-408 TCG Anadolu has started on 30th April 2016.
The ship is based on Navatia’s Juan Carlos 1 design. TCG Anadolu will be similar to SPS Juan Carlos 1 in Spanish Navy and HMAS Adelaide and HMAS Canberra in Royal Australian Navy.
During the ceremony President of Turkish Republic Recep Tayyip Erdoğan made a speech. During his speech he stated that TCG Anadolu will be the first ship in Turkish Navy from which F-35B SVTOL planes will operate. This is the first time official declaration of the long known desire of Turkey to operate fixed wing planes from her ships. This statement also made it clear that Turkey will procure F-35B planes along with her order of F-35A planes.
In his speech Mr. Erdoğan also asked the announced delivery time of 5,5 years to be shortened to 4 years and stated that if TCG Anadolu can be delivered in 4 years, more ships –though not clearly stating which class- will be ordered.
Unlike her nears sisters in Spanish and Australian navies the Turkish ship will only have diesel engines. There will be five MAN 16V32/40 engines each creating 7.680kW and propelling the ship up to 21 knots. The range is estimated to be 9.000 nautical miles.
The ship will have one Mk-49 launcher for Rolling Airframe Missile, 2 Mk-15 Phalanx Block 1B CIWS, 5 Stabilized Gun platforms probably armed with 25mm gun for self-defence.
The ship will carry 6 F-35B Lightning II planes 4 T-129 ATAK attack helicopters 8 cargo helicopters 2 S-70B Seahawk helicopters and 2 UAVs.
The contract for this project was signed on 7 May 2015 during the IDEF 2015. The delivery scheduled for 2021 but this may be shortened.
When completed she will be the largest warship of Turkish Navy. Being the capital ship she will be the apple of the Turkish Navy. At the same the she will be the most wanted target for other navies. It is about time that other ship building projects especially about ships that will escort and protect TCG Anadolu must start. As an example, the two other navies operating similar ships have initiated AEGIS based air defence destroyers -not to anyones surprise designed in Spain- to escort their amphibious assault ships.
Turkish Navy has long been working on TF-2000 air defence destroyer program. According to preliminary plans the ship will be about 150 meters long and will have displacement between 7.000 and 8.000 tons. Her primary sensor and weapon systems are yet to be determined. Turkish defence electronics company ASELSAN is developing a phased array radar system to be used by the navy.
Large capital ships like TCG Anadolu never sail alone. They are always dispatched with a number of escorts whose main mission is to protect the capital ship no matter what the cost. The ability of current frigates of Turkish Navy which will be tasked with the protection of TCG Anadolu when she is completed may not be sufficient to counter all the treats they will face in the near future. Therefore more advanced ships with complex sensor systemns and long range missiles are needed. And this need is getting urgent with every passing day.