Turkey’s defense industry rolls up sleeves for aircraft carrier

“We see that the concept of an aircraft carrier is starting to change,” he said, as Turkey also brought about a new concept – the concept of an “unmanned aerial vehicles aircraft carrier” – that has attracted global attention.

As the Turkish defense industry prepares the flagship-to-be amphibious assault ship TCG Anadolu – a landing helicopter dock (LHD) vessel – for delivery, plans to build an aircraft carrier also feature prominently on the country’s agenda.

Ismail Demir, head of the Presidency of Defense Industries (SSB)…outlined that building an aircraft carrier should be considered part of Turkey’s vision of “being a global power.”

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“It [TCG Anadolu] was planned as a landing ship with a dock,” Demir said, however, once it was understood that it is possible to deploy unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAVs) on the soon to be operational Anadolu ship, “we started work on this concept.”

Demir said that the primary aim is for the ship to be put into service as soon as possible, noting that deployment of the Bayraktar TB3 UCAV, which is currently planned as a vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) combat drone, will follow.

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Moreover, Demir stressed that a second and more comprehensive vessel – that could be classified as an actual aircraft carrier – as announced by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is on the agenda.

“We see that the concept of an aircraft carrier is starting to change,” he said, as Turkey also brought about a new concept – the concept of an “unmanned aerial vehicles aircraft carrier” – that has attracted global attention.

Demir said that this topic was also discussed with his Spanish counterparts who recently showed interest.

“There is an approach that it would be appropriate to consider a larger ship in a format that will accommodate several types of UAVs/UCAVs with jet engines and propellers….”