After more than a year of negotiations, Turkey has signed a contract for the construction of a Landing Platform Dock/Light Aircraft Carrier. The contract was signed between the Undersecretary of Defense Industries (SSM) and the Turkish shipbuilding company Sedef.
The new vessel is going to be a version of the Landing Helicopter Dock Juan Carlos I class, with a sky jump ramp and a front lift so that the Turkish ship can accommodate and operate F-35B Lighting II aircrafts.
The selection of the Spanish design was announced on 27 December 2013, while the main contractor is the Turkish shipyard Sedef. Although the Turkish Navy initially wanted a stripped down version of the Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD) Juan Carlos I class, second thoughts led to a change of plans and the new version of the LHD will be able to carry 8-10 F-35B and 12 helicopters.
The Turkish ship will be equipped with a sky jump ramp and a front lift in order to accommodate the operation of the short take-off and vertical landing aircrafts.
Furthermore the Turkish light aircraft carrier is going to be equipped with several Turkish-made subsystems that will increase the national defense industry value.
The technical specifications of the Turkish landing platform dock/light aircraft carrier according to Sedef shipyards are:
- Length overall: 231 meters
- Maximum beam: 32 meters
- Draught: 6.8 meters
- Height: 58 meters
- Displacement: 24,660 tons (Light Aircraft Carrier) and 27,079 tons (as a LPD/LHD)
- Maximum speed: 21.5 knots (Light Aircraft Carrier) and 29 knots (as a LPD/LHD)
- Range: 9,000 miles @ economical speed
- Electric propulsion with two x 11 MW Siemens eSIPOD; five MAN 16V32/40 Diesel GenSets and two bow thrusters
- Complete hospital and sick bay.
The combat systems of the Turkish landing platform dock/light aircraft carrier are:
- Genesis ADVEnt CMS made by Turkish company Havelsan with 20 consoles made by Turkish company Milsoft-Ayesas with amphibious and joint operations capability
- Link 11/16/22/JRE/VMF
- One x SMART-S Mk2 3D Search Radar
- Two x LPI radars (Alper radar made by Turkish company Aselsan)
- Two x Navigation radars
- One x Air traffic and control radar
- One x PAR radar
- Four x 25mm STOP stabilized gun system made by Aselsan
- Three x 12.7mm STAMP stabilized gun system made by Aselsan
- Two Raytheon Phalanx 20mm CIWS
- One ARES-2N R-ESM system made by Aselsan
- Jammers made by Aselsan
- Kalkan Chaff/IR Decoy launching system made by Aselsan
- TORK torpedo countermeasure system made by Aselsan
- One AselFlir-300D IRST system made by Aselsan
- HF/VHF/UHF and satellite communication systems made by Aselsan
The Turkish landing platform dock/light aircraft carrier has:
- 5,440m² flight deck;
- 990m² aviation hanger and can accommodate either 12 medium size helicopters or 8 CH-47F Chinook. When the aviation hanger and the light cargo garage are unified the ship can carry up to 25 medium size helicopters. Alternatively the ship can carry 8-10 F-35B and 12 helicopters. Six more helicopters can be hosted on the flying deck of the ship;
- 1,880m² light cargo garage for TEU containers and 27 Amphibious Armed Vehicles (AAV);
- 1,165m² dock which can host four Landing Craft Mechanics (LCM) or two Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC), or two Landing Craft Personnel Vehicles (LCVP) and finally;
- 1,410m² garage for heavy loads, which can host 29 Main Battle Tanks Amphibious Armed Vehicles and TEU containers.
Turkish Navy LHD/Light Aircraft Carrier is to be designed for four mission profiles:
- Amphibious ship transporting a Marine Corps Force for landings and land support operations
- Force projection ship transporting Army forces to any theatre of operations
- Non-combatant operations: humanitarian aid, evacuation from crisis zones and hospital-ship in catastrophe areas.
The will crew consists of 261 personnel: 30 officers, 49 NCOs, 59 leading seamen and 123 ratings. The cost of the construction of the vessel is 1 billion dollars, and the ship is to be be completed by 2021.