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Turkish president Erdogan wants first aircraft carrier for Turkish Navy.

| Naval News Navy 2024

According to information published by the Turkish government on January 3, 2023, in a meeting chaired by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan at the Presidential Complex, the Defense Industry Executive Committee convened to discuss the current status and future goals of Turkey's defense industry.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 A future Turkish Navy's aircraft carrier. (Picture source: Generated by AI)

The committee focused on several key naval projects including the design phase of an Aircraft Carrier and the construction decisions for MILGEM-class frigates (MILGEM 9-10-11-12), open sea patrol vessels, new type landing ships, next-generation mine hunting vessels, and national assault boats.

Highlighting the economic impact, the defense industry marked a record level of $5.5 billion in exports, a 27% increase compared to the previous year, with an average export value exceeding $65 per kilogram. The trust in Turkish Defense Industry products was evidenced by an increase in the number of countries importing these products, rising from 176 last year to over 185 this year.

Aircraft carrier project

Turkey's ambition to build an aircraft carrier aligns with its broader goal to project power in its region and beyond. The Turkish military is already active beyond its borders, with troops stationed in places like Qatar, Somalia, Iraq, and Syria.

An aircraft carrier would extend Turkey's ability to project naval and air power, enhancing its influence in the eastern Mediterranean, Aegean, and Black Sea regions. This strategic capability is seen as particularly important given regional dynamics and the naval capabilities of neighboring countries like Egypt, which owns French Mistral-class amphibious assault ships.

Milgem-class frigates

The MILGEM project is an indigenous warship program that has been a cornerstone of Turkey's naval modernization. The construction of the MILGEM 9-10-11-12th ships, known as the I-class frigates, is a continuation of this project.

The I-class frigates, like the TCG Istanbul, are designed for a variety of operations, including reconnaissance, surveillance, and combat. They are equipped with advanced weapon and sensor systems, such as the indigenous VLS for surface-to-air missiles, a 76 mm Super Rapid Gun, and the Aselsan Gokdeniz CIWS. These frigates represent an increased fuel capacity and operational range compared to the earlier Ada-class corvettes.

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