Turkey’s Multi-Purpose Amphibious Assault Ship TCG Anadolu Begins Sea Tests

The Turkish Presidency of Defense Industries announced on 3 March that the Anadolu Multi-Purpose Amphibious Assault Ship, whose construction has been completed, is prepared to embark on its first voyage. The acceptance testing will commence after the Anadolu’s first voyage.

The post (see below) stated, “The ANADOLU Ship, whose construction has been completed, is preparing to sail for its maiden voyage. The ANADOLU, which will undergo acceptance tests afterwards, will strengthen our Navy with our Bayraktar TB3 SİHAs. Our target for the continued existence of a great and powerful Turkey is a Fully Independent Defense Industry.”

The Turkish Ministry of National Defense (MSB) stated on its Twitter account a day after the Presidency of Defense Industries’ post that the Anadolu Multi-Purpose Amphibious Assault Ship would make its maiden voyage on March 7, 2022, and port acceptance tests would commence. The Turkish Flag was hoisted aboard the LHD ANADOLU with a ceremony, which will be the largest ship of the Turkish Naval Forces, according to the Ministry.

The work on the TCG Anadolu (L400) began in 2014 in line with the needs of the Turkish Navy, while the construction of the vessel was started in 2016. The ship, which was built under the main contractorship of the Istanbul-based Sedef shipyard, was subcontracted by the Spanish State Shipyard Navantia and was built on the design and license of the Spanish Navy ship Juan Carlos I (L61).

While the ship was being built, the US decided to impose sanctions on Turkey as a result of its acquisition of Russia’s S-400 air defense system, and Turkey was removed from the F-35 program. Turkey then began working on the deployment of the drones it developed on the vessel after being removed from the F-35 program by the US.

The Multi-Purpose Amphibious Assault Ship TCG Anadolu, according to information on the Presidency of Defense Industries website, will be able to carry 1 Amphibious battalion and the necessary combat and support vehicles to crisis regions without the support of a main base, and participate in landing operations with the landing vehicles it will carry. The Anadolu will also have a 30-bed infirmary/hospital, as well as operating rooms, intensive care, and infection rooms, and will be able to act as a Hospital Ship in humanitarian aid missions.

The Multi-Purpose Amphibious Assault Ship TCG Anadolu / From The Turkish Presidency of Defense Industries

According to the information provided by Sedef Shipyard, TCG Anadolu, which has a weight of 27,436 tons in fully loaded displacement, a length of 232 meters and a height of 58 meters, has a 1,410 square meter heavy cargo hangar for large vehicles such as tanks and containers. A 1,165-square-meter ship dock, a 1,880-square-meter light cargo garage, six landing areas, and a 5,440-square-meter flight deck with a flight ramp and a 900-square-meter hangar are all included on the ship.

While MİUS and Bayraktar TB3 systems will be deployed on the TCG Anadolu, Turkey, which is working on a version of the ATAK-2 project for naval platforms, is expected to deploy 10 AH-1W attack helicopters transferred from the Land Forces to the Naval Forces until the project is completed.

İsmail Demir, speaking at a press conference earlier this year about the Turkish defense industry’s vision and goals for 2022, said that the Bayraktar TB3, which can land and take off on ships with short flight decks, will make its first flight this year, followed by the integration of Bayraktar TB3 systems into the Anadolu. Demir said that, depending on the configuration, 50 to 110 UCAVs/UAVs might be deployed on the Multi-Purpose Amphibious Assault Ship Anadolu on the CNN Türk broadcast he attended to highlight the newest developments in the defense industry.

A concept design image of a TB3 drone deployed on TCG ANADOLU / From Baykartech

The Multi-Purpose Amphibious TCG Anadolu, expected to enter service in December 2022 when all tests are completed, will become the Turkish navy’s largest ship and assuming the role of flagship after it is added to the Turkish navy’s inventory. It appears that the ship, which is capable of intercontinental operations, will continue to serve in the Black Sea, Aegean, and Mediterranean, and that the drones deployed to replace the F-35s will offer a new perspective to modern naval warfare.