Although not as prominent as the major military powers in the world, in recent years, the Turkish Navy has grown and is considered the strongest in the region.

According to the Center for Strategic Studies and Maritime Policy at Israel’s Haifa University, in recent years, Turkey has been working to upgrade its submarine fleet and increase the threat to potential adversaries. According to the report, the construction of Anadolu, an amphibious assault ship that can act as a light aircraft carrier, will give Turkey unprecedented combat capabilities in the Black Sea and Eastern Mediterranean.

Named after the Anatolia peninsula in Turkey, TCG Anadolu has a full load displacement of 27,436 tons and a crew of 261. The ship has a hangar space of 900 m2. In particular, the ship can support long-range military combat, good endurance, as well as humanitarian relief operations. In addition, the ship can operate continuously for 9,000 nautical miles without refueling.

TCG Anadolu (L-400)
TCG Anadolu (L-400)

In addition to Turkey’s GENESIS-ADVENT combat management system, the ship will be equipped with an electronic warfare system, a decoy and jamming system; SeaEye-AHTAPOT opto-electronic surveillance and reconnaissance system; PIRI infrared search and tracking system. In addition, Turkey produces its own weapons and military equipment, including cruise missiles with a range of hundreds of kilometers. In general, Ankara has enough capacity to produce naval assets on its own.

Previously, Anadolu was designed to operate the F-35 fighter, so it was not suitable for the normal take-off and landing of fixed-wing aircraft. Therefore, the Turkish navy is considering converting this ship into an aircraft carrier for armed drones. Under the plan, Turkey is developing a new type of UCAV capable of operating on an aircraft carrier. The navy’s plan is to ensure that at least 10 UCAVs can operate simultaneously from the carrier.

One of the key elements of Turkey’s plan to increase naval power is the New Submarine Project, the Type-214 diesel-electric submarine. Six submarines were planned in 2009. The first, Pirireis, is expected to enter service in 2022. The project is expected to be completed in 2027.

As the Turkish Type 214 will have a significant amount of Turkish indigenous systems on board, this variant of the Type 214 will be known as the Type 214TN (Turkish Navy). HDW will preassemble classified elements such as the fuel cells and propulsion system and will then ship them to Turkey. All electronic and weapon systems (including the C4I system) will be of Turkish production.

Last October, Turkey revealed plans to launch the ULAQ, its first Armed Unmanned Surface Vessel. The vessel has a range of 400km and a speed of up to 35 knots. ULAQ is a cooperation product of two leading Turkish defense companies, Ares Shipyard and Meteksan Defense. The ship is 11 meters long, with a speed of 35 knots, capable of day and night combat. With encrypted communications infrastructure, ships can be controlled from mobile vehicles, aircraft carriers or frigates.

The ship is designed for intelligence-surveillance-reconnaissance (ISR), maritime warfare, non-linear warfare, escort and strategic infrastructure protection. The ship can perform joint operations with unmanned aircraft and is equipped with the Cirit and L-UMTAS missile systems manufactured by Roketsan.

According to Turkish media, the navy plans to put into service 24 new ships, including four frigates. This is part of a plan to strengthen and support Turkey’s rapidly growing domestic defense industry. The Istanbul (F-515), which was launched in January this year, is the first and largest frigate of Turkish design and production. 75% of materials are domestic products. The Ada-class corvettes will be built with a localization rate of 72%.

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