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Turkey, despite all of its military might, in terms of ground forces, UAVs, aircraft, Russian missile defense systems, and Air Force, has a very limited force of amphibious and landing ships.
In total, it has 10:
- 8 of them are Fast Amphibious Ships, with following specifications, have been designed and constructed for the Turkish Navy by ANADOLU Shipyard. They have been operational since 2012. LCT platforms are equipped with 2×25 mm Stabilised Gun and 2×12.7 mm Machine Gun. Performing 1,200 Nm endurance at full load with 16.5 Knots economical speed, LCT platforms have 400 tons mixed vehicles (3 Main Battle Tanks) or 260 Marines transportation capacity.
These ships are generally used to conduct amphibious operations, transfer cargo & troops and humanitarian aid to disaster areas.
- In order to command and control amphibious operations and provide humanitarian aid to disaster areas, Turkey has 1 Bayraktar-class Tank landing ship, and 1 Osman Gazi-class Tank landing ship with following specifications, have been designed and constructed for the Turkish Navy by ANADOLU Shipyard. They have been operational since 2017.
Finally, it’s hard at work on its TCG Anadolu Landing Helicopter Dock is built at Sedef Shipbuilding INC. The ship will be used in the Aegean Sea, the Black Sea and the Mediterranean fields of operations, as well as the Indian Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean, to support amphibious operations, administrative and logistic task functions of the Turkish Naval Forces.
The platform will be one of the representatives of the Turkish Naval Force in the world with its vehicle and personnel carrying capacity, command control capability, day/night helicopter operating capability and a complete hospital.
The LHD can be used for medical purposes as part of natural disaster relief, humanitarian aid, and refugee evacuation operations thanks to on-board complete hospital and operating theatres if necessary.
The ship is 231 metres long and 32 metres wide. 4 LCMs or 2 LCACs can be transported along with tanks on the deck, Armoured Amphibious Assault Vehicles and other wheeled vehicles to the operation zone. The well dock will be 70 m long and 17 m wide.
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This is quite a limited force, and it is likely why Turkey failed to mount an effective offensive of any sort in Libya against Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar’s forces.
Effective shore control proved that the limited number of amphibious ships made it impossible for Turkey to land any significant forces, and instead deployed limited numbers of militants through the air.
Defense Industries Presidency (SSB) Chairman Ismail Demir, in September, said that Turkey was working hard on improving in those aspects.
Demir said the fleet replenishment vessel (DIMDEG) construction project is continuing, along with the construction of Istanbul Frigate, the first vessel of Turkey’s I-class frigates that are based on the national shipbuilding project MILGEM.
“The construction of various vessels in different classes and types of torpedo boats continues. When these are put into service, our power at sea will increase,” he added.
Demir stressed that those vessels should, of course, not be evaluated as just naval platforms but are rather significant with all other systems that will be equipped, from air defense to torpedoes, all kinds of weaponry elements and electronic warfare elements.
“Thus, it is important to have a complete operational environment and to support it with local production, to be on the field with national designs,” in order to have the operational capability “in line with the interests of our country,” he said.
Demir said work in all areas of the defense industry – along with work in rocket technology, space and aviation or electronics – is essential for the development of the country, as each area, like the power of the land forces or power of the naval forces, supports the others.
In today’s environment, Demir said all technological advances – such as cybersecurity and electronic warfare, and satellites that the country would send to space – “should be in front of us as a road map,” and the country is racing against time to accomplish these goals.
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