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Turkey approves plans for aircraft carrier, additional Istanbul-class frigates

The four additional Istanbul-class frigates will complement four already under construction. First-of-class Istanbul (pictured) commenced sea-acceptance trials in June 2023 and is shortly due to be commissioned. (Turkish MoD)

The Turkish government has given the green light to build four additional Istanbul (TF-100)-class frigates and to progress plans for an aircraft carrier to the design phase.

The decisions were taken during a meeting of the Defence Industry Executive Committee (SSIK), chaired by Turkish President Recep Erdoğan, which was held on 3 January.

In a communiqué on social media following the meeting, the president's communications directorate said decisions within the scope of naval projects were also reached regarding the construction of new types of landing ships, new-generation minehunting vessels, and Turkish fast attack craft (FAC), as well as for the construction of additional Hisar (modified MILGEM)-class offshore patrol vessels (OPVs) to complement the first two vessels in the class – although no timeframes for any of the projects were revealed. In addition, projects aimed at adding new unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and unmanned surface vehicles (USVs) to the inventory were discussed, the president's communications directorate noted.

Plans to launch the design phase for an aircraft carrier follow the entry into service of Turkey's first landing helicopter dock (LHD), TCG Anadolu (L 400), which was formally commissioned in April 2023. Anadolu was built by Sedef Shipyard in partnership with Spanish state-owned shipbuilder Navantia and is based on the latter's Juan Carlos I-class landing platform dock (LPD) design. The aircraft carrier is anticipated to be a larger and more capable version of Anadolu , featuring an overall length of around 260–280 m.

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