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Turkey could build its first indigenous aircraft carrier with the help of United Kingdom.

| 2021

According to news published by the Daily Sabah and Middle East Eye websites on February 3, 2021, last year, Turkey has launched consultations with the United Kingdom to acquire a new or second-hand aircraft carrier. Citing the Middle East Eye website, Turkey has requested the purchase of a new Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carrier, but now Turkey would like to launch the construction of its first indigenous aircraft carrier.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 The TCG Anadolu is an amphibious assault ship that can be configured as a light aircraft carrier. (Picture source Twitter Oguzhan Eren)

According to information published by the Middle East Eye website, United Kingdom would have offered the possibility to sell the design of an aircraft carrier and provide technical support during the construction in Turkey. This information was denied by the United Kingdom. After the consultations with the British government, Turkey has decided to build its own ship, instead of purchasing it.

In December 2020, it was announced that Turkey and the United Kingdom have signed a free trade deal (FTA), to create a strategic partnership with effects beyond trade and economy, the British envoy to Ankara has said, informing that Ankara and London have also agreed to negotiate on a more ambitious and comprehensive agreement. The FTA will also increase collaboration between British and Turkish companies in the defense sector.

Recently, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has announced that the Turkish Naval Industry has the capacity to develop and manufacture its own aircraft carrier.

Turkey has already built its indigenous TCG Anadolu, an amphibious assault ship that can be configured as a light aircraft carrier. The ship will have a ski-jump ramp at the front of the flight deck. This allows short take-off vertical-landing (STOVL) jet fighters to be operated. Navy Recognition has announced on January 11, that Turkish naval forces will receive this year's new multipurpose amphibious assault ship TCG Anadolu.

The TCG Anadolu will have a length of 231 m, a beam of 32 m, a draught of 6.9 m with a displacement of 24,660 tons in "light aircraft carrier" mission configuration or 27,079 tons in "LHD" mission role. It will have a 5,440 m² flight deck and a 990 m² aviation hangar which can accommodate either 12 medium-size helicopters or 8 heavy-lift helicopters. When the aviation hangar and the light cargo garage are unified, the ship can carry up to 25 medium-size helicopters.

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