Sedef Shipyard has started the assembly of the finished blocks for TCG Anadolu, the much anticipated assault ship expected to strengthen the operations capability of the Turkish Naval Forces.
Informing the public on the progress made in the project, President of Turkish Chamber of Shipping Metin Kalkavan pointed out the project’s significance for Turkey in his speech at the construction inception ceremony, to which President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan also attended. Referring to TCG Anadolu as a mini aircraft carrier, Kalkavan noted that it is much more functional then existing aircraft carriers:
“It will immediately take our Naval Forces to the next level. We are about the 10th nation in the world that will own such a vessel, with only five or six countries producing in the world. We will both be the producer and the owner of a vast project that is currently successfully progressing. We have come such a long way since the beginning and hope to launch the vessel next year around this time. Right now, we are closing in on completing the production of 90% of all blocks in the field, whereby the completed blocks immediately start outfitting.
The vessel consists of 114 blocks, 10 of which is now put together in the dry dock. We are at the most dynamic stage at the moment, and will keep on working with a great performance this coming summer and fall. We were a bit behind, but will catch up and make sure the vessel will soon show itself, with the production of all blocks completed by July/August. With this plan, we aim to float the vessel in February/March of 2019, after which the tests will be completed before final delivery. This vastness of this project can also be understood from its valuation of over a billion euros.”
Approximately 68% of the vessel is built locally
Highlighting that the vessel is being built with 68% locality rate, Kalkavan also noted that some equipment are bought from foreign companies due to not being produced in Turkey at the moment but believed that we are progressing well to have a 100% locality rate.
He also highlighted that the national vessel project which started with President Erdoğan’s visit is going at full speed, adding to Turkey’s success of the works of the past, present, and future. He further noted that TCG Anadolu is only one of the military vessels that the Turkish shipbuilding sector has been delivering back to back to the Turkish Naval Forces.
Talking about supporting industries, Kalkavan stated that we are not yet at the desired level:
“We are hoping to increase our locality rate with every passing day. In regards to the labour, currently all production on the field is done by Turkish engineers and workers, with more than half of 2,000 workers in the shipyard today working actively on TCG Anadolu. We are learning a lot from making this vessel and becoming equipped to produce similar or even bigger and better vessels. Now we are at a competitive position where we can provide for nations that need vessels this size or smaller. Nations are competing in the defense industry and they need the contribution and backing of their leaders in this industry. Turkish defense industry has gained incredible momentum with President Erdoğan’s support and we already saw the benefits of it in Afrin.”
“Multipurpose Amphibious Assault Ship TCG Anadolu”
The vessel characterized as the admiral ship of Turkish Naval Forces is 232 meters in length and 32 meters in width. Standing at 58 meters high, TCG Anadolu has a 1,400 m2 lower garage for heavy loads below the hangar. The vessel features a 1,165 m2 floodable well dock, 1,800 m2 light vehicle deck, 5,440 m2 flight deck with six landing spots and a ski-jump ramp in front, and 900 m2 hangar space.
Anadolu has also a capacity of housing to 6 F35-B aircrafts, 4 “Atak” helicopters, 8 middle range transport helicopters, 2 Seahawk general-purpose helicopters and 2 UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicle).