Turkey Launches First Amphibious Assault Ship
Now on display in Istanbul
The Turkish Navy received its largest vessel on April 10, 2023 and I had the good fortune to see it up close. According to Reuters, Turkey aims to extend its drone capabilities from land-based to naval operations amid increased regional tensions as war rages in Ukraine on the other side of the Black Sea.
The ship is called the Anadolu (L-400). It is an amphibious assault ship that can be configured as a V/STOL (vertical and/or short take-off and landing) aircraft carrier. It is named after the peninsula of Anatolia (Turkish: Anadolu) which forms the majority of the landmass of Turkey. Construction began in 2016 in Istanbul. The TCG Anadolu was just commissioned with a ceremony on April 10, 2023.
The TCG Anadolu can handle only light aircraft, chiefly helicopters and jets that can take off from shorter runways. Even so, the ship is impressive. It has a 5,440 m2 (58,600 sq ft) flight deck and a 990 m2 (10,700 sq ft) aviation hangar which can accommodate either 12 medium-sized helicopters or 8 Boeing CH-47F Chinook heavy-lift helicopters. When the aviation hangar and the light cargo garage are unified, the ship can carry up to 25 medium-sized helicopters. Alternatively, the ship can carry up to 10 American-made F-35B STOVL fighter jets and 12 medium-sized helicopters, with the possibility of hosting six more helicopters on the flight deck of the ship.
The new ship is docked very near our cruise ship and arrived just ahead of our arrival in Istanbul. The new ship is a source of national pride for Turkey.