The Turkish Navy will receive a second aircraft carrier, it…

The year 2024 is off to a flying start for the Turkish Navy. It has, in fact, just been confirmed the construction of a second aircraft carrier, after the TCG Anadolu, during a meeting of the executive committee of the Turkish defense industry, chaired by the president Erdogan himself, which was held in Istanbul on January 3.

With this announcement, and that of the construction of four new Istanbul-class frigates, new landing and mine warfare ships, the Turkish Navy will be close to having a high seas fleet and a dominant position in Aegean and Black Seas, while the Turkish military naval industry will come within striking distance of strategic autonomy.

An evolved and reinforced version of the TCG Anadolu aircraft carrier

It was announced a long time ago, it is now confirmed. The TCG Anadolu assault aircraft carrier, the first ship of this type in the Turkish Navy, built by the Tershanesi shipyards with the help of the Spanish Navantia, and entered into service in 2023, will therefore have a sister ship.

Turkish Navy Anadolu TCG
TCG Anadolu to implement Kizilelma fixed-wing drones. It remains unclear how the drones are recovered on board the ship.

Indeed, the executive committee of the Turkish defense industry has given its approval for the construction of a second ship of this type, which will be close to Anadolu, without being identical. The new ship, which will probably also be built with the support of Navantia which has been negotiating the subject with Ankara for several months, must be, according to the Turkish press release, more versatile and more efficient than the first.

Combat drones, helicopters and possibly light fighters aboard Turkish aircraft carriers

We can assume, considering the developments mentioned in recent months regarding the TCG Trakya (Thrace), the baptismal name announced for this second aircraft carrier, that it will be natively equipped with arresting strands to implement, in plus helicopters and light drones that will arm Anadolu, heavy combat drones like the Kizilelma or fixed-wing aircraft, in particular, the Hürjet training and attack aircraft.

It is also possible that the new ship, which is only referred to as an aircraft carrier or aircraft carrier, will not be equipped, like the Anadolu, with a raft to act as a helicopter carrier. assault. It would thus be fully oriented towards the function of light aircraft carrier.

We can, finally, be certain that the navalization of the TAI KAAN fighter, from the TFX program, will also be considered as an alternative by the rigged Admiralty. Especially since with its two F110 turbojets each delivering 110 Kn of thrust, the aircraft will have an excellent thrust-weight ratio, even at full load, allowing it without the slightest doubt to use a Skijump.

On the other hand, as the South Korean engineers experience today regarding the navalization of the KF-21 Boramae, it is a particularly difficult transformation, especially when the aircraft was not initially designed to this, which has rarely materialized on the operational level.

TAI Kaan
The Turkish Navy could be interested in a navalized version of the TAI Kaan, even if the navalization of an aircraft that was not designed for this rarely gives convincing results.

We cannot rule out, moreover, the possibility of seeing Ankara turn to an external solution to train the onboard fighter of its aircraft carrier, in the United States if relations with Washington normalize, but also in Russia and especially in China which, with the future J-35, would surprisingly well replace the F-35Bs initially to arm these ships.

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