Türkiye’s flag-ship-to-be Anadolu sees 1st helicopter deployment - M5 Dergi
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Türkiye’s flag-ship-to-be Anadolu sees 1st helicopter deployment

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Two helicopters belonging to the Turkish Naval Forces successfully landed on Türkiye’s multipurpose amphibious assault ship Anadolu for the first time as the flag-ship-to-be prepares to enter the country’s inventory next month.

The helicopters, an AH-1W Super Cobra and an SH-70 Seahawk, completed their deployment by landing on the Anadolu, a statement by the Defense Ministry said Friday.

The Anadolu is a landing helicopter dock (LHD)-type vessel modeled on Spain’s LHD Juan Carlos.

For the vessel’s air power, initially AH-1W helicopters will be deployed before they are replaced with Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI)-made Atak-2 helicopters tailored for naval platforms.

The Anadolu is set to be equipped with various domestic systems and its production saw the involvement of a large number of local companies and subcontractors, with a locality rate of around 70% in its manufacturing.

For land platforms, one of the domestic products that come to the fore is the ZAHA amphibious assault vehicle developed by FNSS.

The 21-personnel-capacity ZAHA marine assault vehicle (MAV) was designed to facilitate the rapid movement of naval troops to mission locations and allow marines to reach shorelines in the shortest time possible to tackle enemy threats. It is currently in the testing process.

The Anadolu is also expected to be deployed with unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAVs), a first of its kind.

The Bayraktar TB3 UCAV is a variant of the famed Bayraktar TB2 and is destined for the flagship-to-be vessel.

In the future, not only UCAVs but also domestic aircraft such as the Kızılelma and Hürjet will be among the aircraft that will be deployed on the Anadolu.

Kızılelma (“Red Apple”), the name given to the National Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle System (MIUS), is preparing to make its maiden flight, while Hürjet is an advanced jet trainer and light attack aircraft developed by TAI.

The launchpad constructed on the Anadolu’s deck allows for vertical landings, such as Lockheed Martin’s STOVL (Short Take-Off / Vertical Landing) F-35Bs. After Türkiye was removed from the F-35 program, the country was in search of alternatives until the deployment of the UCAVs came to the fore in an unusual practice.

The Anadolu, the largest defense industry project that Türkiye has ever produced as a single product, has been equipped with extremely critical capabilities. This puts the vessel in a position to serve not only in the surrounding seas of Türkiye – dubbed the “Blue Homeland” – but also in the Indian and Atlantic Oceans when necessary.

With a length of 231 meters (758 feet) and a height of 58 meters, the Anadolu weighs 27.4 tons. The giant platform, which reaches a maximum speed of 21 knots with a full load, will be able to host land, air and sea elements.

According to the information provided, the water-capable pool inside the ship will allow four LCM (landing craft mechanism) ships, each carrying one tank.

It will be able to carry a total of 94 vehicles, including 13 tanks, 27 armored amphibious assault vehicles, six armored personnel carriers (APCs), 33 miscellaneous-type vehicles and 15 trailers.

A total of 10 helicopters or 50 UCAVs can be deployed on the flight deck, and this number can reach up to 100 depending on the configuration.

The ship will have a carrying capacity of 1,223 personnel. There will be a full-fledged hospital facility and two operating theaters on board.

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