The Anadolu Anadolu Aircraft carrier

Turkey’s largest warship, the multi-role amphibious assault ship Anadolu, was handed over to the Naval Forces Command on Monday, marking an important achievement for the country’s defense industry, Defense official states.

The Anadolu is a helicopter landing dock (LHD) amphibious assault ship modeled after the Spanish LHD Juan Carlos.

The Turkish LHD will be able to house a battalion-sized force together with flight and command personnel. The Anadolu’s flight deck isn’t long enough to accommodate traditional warplanes, but it does feature six landing pads suitable for medium-duty transport, assault, and utility helicopters, and two more that can accommodate heavy-lift aircraft.

Anadolu Aircraft carrier
Anadolu Aircraft carrier

The Anadolu can carry numerous heavy, heavy armored vehicles, both wheeled and tracked. It has enough space on its light deck for up to 30 wheeled vehicles, including amphibious vehicles and armored personnel carriers. There is enough space in the ship’s hangar to accommodate 12 medium-sized helicopters.

The number, however, may be raised as needed thanks to the ship’s light vehicle deck, which can accommodate additional helicopters. The Heavy Vehicle Deck, placed on top of the aircraft carrier park, provides for the transfer of heavy and tracked vehicles, such as tanks, along with other heavy armored vehicles.

The Anadolu allows up to almost 45 tanks to be carried, again depending on how the vehicles are placed on it and the mission of the ship: from amphibious warfare to power transfer, along with non-military tasks such as humanitarian aid, search, and rescue, medical assistance or support in natural catastrophes in various areas.

The launch pad built on the deck of the Anadolu allows for the vertical landing of aircraft, such as Lockheed Martin’s F-35B STOVL (Short Take-Off / Vertical Landing). 

Anadolu Aircraft carrier

However, this turned out to be a dead-end issue between the US and Türkiye, as then-US President Donald Trump previously announced that Türkiye was kicked out of the joint F-35 program over disputes between Washington and Ankara.

However, the future flagship will allow the landing and take-off of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), specifically designed for the Turkish defense industry, which is a world first.

During the ceremony, the head of the Defense Industries Presidency (SSB), Ismail Demir, said that the integration of this drone, the Bayraktar TB3 developed by Turkish drone magnate Baykar, in Anadolu is expected to be completed this year.

The Bayraktar TB3 is the short runway version of Baykar’s world-renowned Bayraktar TB2 drone.

The TB3 will make its first public appearance and be on display in the days leading up to the commencement of Teknofest, Turkey’s largest aviation, space, and technology exhibition, at the end of April.