Turkey on Monday unveiled an amphibious assault ship built to carry light aircraft and military drones.
The TCG Anadolu, which is 231 meters (758 feet) long and 32 metres (105 feet) wide, can accommodate combat helicopters and military drones, as well as up to 94 vehicles, including 13 tanks.
“Turkish Bayraktar TB3 and Kizilelma drones and the light Hurjet fighters will be able to take off from and land on the ship,” said President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is campaigning for re-election in May.
Erdogan said that the new vessel would allow Turkey to “carry out military and humanitarian operations in the four corners of the world if necessary.”
NATO member Turkey has significantly developed its defence industry in recent years, with Ankara in particular vaunting the success of its combat drones.
Drones developed by the Baykar company — co-run by one of Erdogan’s sons-in-law — have been used in Azerbaijan, Libya, and Ukraine. Kyiv used them in the first hours of Russia’s invasion last year.
Turkey has repeatedly tried to act as a mediator between Kyiv and Moscow.
China last year unveiled its first military drone carrier, reflecting the growing importance of pilotless aircraft in modern warfare.
Erdogan is cutting the ribbon for light aircraft carrier and amphibious ship TCG Anadolu today. Here is a promo video for the largest ship in the Turkish navypic.twitter.com/nhIa8IAF1s
— Ragıp Soylu (@ragipsoylu) April 10, 2023