President Erdogan of Turkey was quoted in local media saying that the country requires three aircraft carriers in order to be a “a deterrent at sea”.

Erdogan was quoted by Hurriyet Daily News here.

“Turkey is among the 10 countries that can design and produce its own warships. I see some shipbuilders with us today. We can build the second and third aircraft carriers, right? Can we? Because we need those to be a deterrent at sea. We continue to work and produce with the conscience that we don’t have a minute to lose.”

The TCG Anadolu during construction.

Is this realistic?

Turkey can certainly build the ships. The TCG Anadolu, pictured above, is an amphibious assault ship) of the Turkish Navy that can be configured as a light aircraft carrier. The ship has been designed to be capable of operating the F-35B aircraft however Turkey was removed from the F-35 programme in 2019 over security concerns.

Spanish firm Navantia provided the design, technology transfer, equipment and technical assistance to Sedef Shipyard of Turkey for the development of TCG Anadolu. It is also understood that the construction of an identical sister ship, to be named TCG Trakya, is currently being planned by the Turkish Navy.

Will they be aircraft carriers? Not really, not without fixed wing aircraft. Some Turkish military accounts are claiming that Turkey are planning on building supercarriers but I think that’s all I need to say on that.

Turkey is building helicopter carriers, not aircraft carriers. Aircraft carriers carry fixed wing aircraft, rather than just rotary wing aircraft like helicopters.

In conclusion, don’t expect to see Turkish aircraft carriers anytime soon. What you should expect to see over the next decade is another amphibious assault ship identical to the Anadolu.

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Chris

I’m certainly no expert but I’m pretty sure more than 10 countries that can design and produce their own warships. Turkey even seems to not be among them seeing as Navantia designed their LPD 😂

BigH1979

USA
Russia
UK
Italy
France
Spain
China
India
South Korea
North Korea
Iran?

How’s my list looking? Any more?

BigH1979

Japan

Chris

Canada, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Brazil, Israel, Australia…

BigH1979

Im kind of thinking of the nations that design and build all or the majority of their own Warships. I’ll give you Norway, Denmark and Sweden though and chuck in Germany and Netherlands too. As far as my limited knowledge goes Canada and the Aussies build to foreign designs and the Brazilians tend to buy 2nd hand or also build to foreign designs?

Chris

Canada certainly designs and builds most of it’s own ships, such as the Halifax, Kingston or Harry DeWolf classes, with the only exception being the Type 26 designed by BAE systems but even then the Canadian variant still has a lot of input from the Canadian subsidiary of Lockheed Martin and it is fully built in Canada. The same really goes for Australia which builds to basic foreign designs with substantial modifications to the design made by Australian companies. An example being the majority of the design work on the Hunter class being carried out by BAE Systems Austrlia with… Read more »

Chris

Also Brazil is starting to favour home grown designs and builds though I will admit perhaps it is still a bit of a stretch to include them – still a more credible ship builder than the North Koreans though lol

Steve

I suspect the reality is any country could design and build a carrier, there is just the question of desire to do it. Additionally, as the UK is finding out to its cost, having a carrier is only the start of the costs, you also need sufficient ships to defend it and the logistic chain to keep it afloat (both of which the UK is failing at currently). It seems to me that most of the countries that are currently building or fielding carriers wouldn’t actually be able to use them aggressively unless supported by the US, and so they… Read more »

AJP1960

With years and years of carrier operations I don’t think the UK is “just finding out” the cost of having a carrier

Paul T

The NAO might beg to differ !.

Frank62

Germany, also exports widely.

Paul.P

Erdogen is a trouble maker. IIRC Turkey was thrown out of the F-35 program. I hope they a denied the purchase of F-35B.
Also I note that Sir Humphrey in his blog is trashing rumours that we will sell some Type 23s to Greece. Actually I think they would welcome an instant upgrade to their frigate fleet.

Sean

I imagine the Greeks would as like all dictators, Erdogan at some point is going to try and deflect criticism at home with some external military aggression. We’ve already witnessed it with his interference in Syria. Amphibious assault ships would of course be useful in the acquisition of Greek islands that lie off the coast of Turkey.

Spyinthesky

Indeed he is also claiming part of Greece proper. I can see him chancing his arm through some implied provocation over the next decade if he is still around especially if as you say he is as is likely under pressure at home, testing the EU and NATOs will. Not sure if he did take a Greek island what could be done to reclaim it and why considering NATOs problems acting in such a scenario the EU is wise to consider an army, I doubt that the US would get involved as things stand and the expectation of them playing… Read more »

Paul.P

Turkey supports the Muslim brotherhood and is active in Libya, as is Russia.

https://www.dw.com/en/what-is-turkey-doing-in-libya/a-49505173

Turkey must not be allowed to take any Greek islands. Gifting Greece a couple of Type 23s would send an useful signal.

We need to increase our efforts to support France in the Sahel and with France we should also be stabilising Lebanon. Putin and Erdogen are evil characters intent on weakening Europe by destabilising North Africa and the ME. Meanwhile China is buying its way into Mozambique. We need to hustle!

Steve

It would be an interesting situation if Turkey did attack a Greek island, as it would be 2 NATO members going to war. I wonder what the treaty states about that. I could imagine it would be another Falklands situation (admittedly that was out of scope of NATO), where the US had 2 allies at war with each other, and so initially decided to back Argentina as it was more strategically important to them (concerns over stability of south america), as i suspect Turkey is over Greece. Would the European allies (UK/France/Germany realistically) intervene to protect Greece or would they… Read more »

Mark

Given the 23’s are meant to supply the equipment for the 31’s (radar, SeaCeptor) wouldn’t the Greeks have to spend a lot for hulls with limited lifespans left?

Meanwhile there’s also some reports that the Greeks are buying 18 Rafales from France.

Paul.P

Sir Humphrey discusses the lifespan and other issues at length here.
https://thinpinstripedline.blogspot.com/2020/08/is-royal-navy-selling-type-23-frigates.html
Type 31 is getting a new Thales radar but some of the Type 23 equipment will xfer to T31. Artisan radars will xfer to T26 I think.
All the Aegean islands except a couple near the straights of Gallipoli are Greek and very close to the Turkish coast.

Meirion X

Not the early T23s GPs. Only 2 T23(ASW)s are Not having full LIFEX, which means 6 T23s will have their life spans extended into the 2030s.

Meirion X

HMS Richmond is the first T23(ASW) to have full LIFEX with PGMU

Steve R

There are 13 Type 23s and only 5 planned Type 31s; even if we doubled the Type 31 order to 10 we could still sell 3 T23s to Greece.

Mark

That’s because the other are meant to be replaced by the 26’s and will be kept in service till then, leaving only the 5 GP 23’s in play.

Paul T

As far as Frigates for Greece go,they have made multiple choices, then later on have reversed the decision due to ( probably funding ) issues.FREMM was on the cards a few years ago,the current flavour of the month is the FT1 Belharra with two required.The T23 would certainly be useful to them to counter a more belligerent Turkey on their doorstep,lets face it they will probably be sold quite cheap as they retire.A possible Typhoon buy was on the cards as well but that went off the table once the 2004 Olympics had to be financed.

4th watch

As you say he is trouble. He will have his eye on chunks of Greece, Cyprus and who knows where. Best if he tries something it fails. Seems to think he is the Sultan of Turkey.

geoff

The Carriers aren’t the problem- there are many nations that can build carriers of sorts BUT they will in the main host drones and Choppers. Conventional carriers equipped with suitable decks and cats and traps are very expensive to build which means that the only carrier capable aircraft available at present id the F35B which is either not available to the likes of Turkey or way too expensive and overkill for the needs of most smaller Navies. the UK missed a trick and huge opportunity by not utilising its 50 year history with the Harrier as a starting point to… Read more »

TrevorH

The point about F35 is it’s stealthy. It is also got it’s radars and avionics and computers.
Thats the cost.
A Super Harrier is cheaper, but by how much, but for what purpose?

ETH

Actually, would a ‘super harrier’ be cheaper? If we’re saying equal avionics to Typhoon and supersonic capability, how much cheaper would it actually get to be. Especially when you consider the small numbers it would be procured at.

TrevorH

Yes indeed.

geoff

My thoughts are that whilst it is now too late, there was a gap available round about the turn of this Century for an upgraded Harrier suitable for use on the smaller carriers such as those of Spain,Thailand, Australia,South Korea etc and that a significant market existed then for such an aircraft. The bulk of the worlds combat jets even today consist of F 16 generation and upgrade types, all perfectly adequate for use in regional conflicts. The USN will still have Harriers in service until 2025! Hornets and F16 upgrades will still be in the skies into the 2030’s.… Read more »

AlexS

Islamist regime can put attack drones in it. They already have armed drones.

JohnHartley

Perhaps he will get his on/off mate Putin, to give him Mig 29K & STOBAR technology.
If you think the UK gov spending is out of control, we are scrooge in comparison to Erdogan. The Turkish spendfest may end in tears.

Meirion X

The big disadvantage with STOBAR, is little of meaningful loads without thrust vectoring. Maybe all they want is to get a few air defense missiles up in the air, STOBAR would do just the job.

John Hampson

They have one big problem. The US has banned F-35 exports to Turkey. Without the F-35B Turkey would have to build carriers with cats and probably use Russian or even Chinese aircraft.

nigel

Was there not a rumour that china was building a V/STOL aircraft ? perhaps turkey will get a few of these if the door is totally shut & locked on the F35b…

Lordtemplar

3 carriers lol. Turkey has 1 small LHD, and its navy is hardly impressive. A lot of old stuff like Oliver Hazard Perry second hand frigates etc…
Think that Erdogan needs to meet the same fate as Saddham and Gaddafi. He is driving his economy down the drain (pre dates Covid), making enmies everywhere and creating chaos across the Med and Black Sea.

Mark

Yeah, cause it worked out so well taking out those two, what could possibly go wrong this time…

Paul T

Id give Turkey more credit than that,it has a steady Warship Building Programme (MILGEM) it has a healthy Home Grown Defence Industry making Equipment from Armoured Vehicals to Drones ,which were successfully tested in Syria earlier on this year.And who else in NATO could bag an SU24 and live to tell the tale ?.

PTattersall

Don’t talk rubbish steady war ship building program . They Turks build very little

Paul T

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MILGEM_project And is the Ship in this article a CGI ?.

PTattersall

The Turkish carrier very poorly built

Mark

So Greek news sources are saying they will be buying 10 new build Rafale F3R’s and getting 8 from the French Air Force.

dan

Don’t the Brits’ have some mothballed Harriers they could sell them? lol

Lordtemplar

If i am not mistaken, they were sold to USMC for spare parts

julian1

what about the sea harriers at Culdrose for deck training?

Paul T

julian1 – The retired Sea Harriers were offered for sale a few years ago,the Indian Navy were interested in buying them but there was a problem with some IP that they contained and from recollection the US blocked the sale.

PTattersall

They have asked and also asked Italy

Meirion X

Is there a possibility that Turkey might attempt to attack the Greek air force base on Crete?

Mark

Given there are now French fighters there as well, I doubt it.

Basra

Another nationalist fascist trashing a country to stay in power In the Xi Putin Trump Dutere axis

Basra

Three carriers with zero hope of a plane to fly of them unless the Chinese taken over RR and figure out a way for J31 to hover.

Steve

Hovering capability is not really needed. The F/A 18 was showed off to India in a short take off and arrestor landing capability, a method that could be used on a Chinese/Russian jet i am sure.

If China/Russia could get a strong ally right in the mist of Europe and break them away from NATO, i am sure they would happily pay for the investment also.

Meirion X

Even if you could get an F-18 off the deck with less than half a fuel load and two missiles, would India have the capability to mid air refuelling?
Not many nations can do this,?

Steve

I am not sure how many missiles the f/a-18s were able to carry in this config, but i assume it was more than 2 or it would not be viable.

Mark

There’s a big difference between the Indian carriers and what Turkey has however.

PTattersall

The Turkish leader is now in big trouble with the Turkish military for buying the S400 . The Turkish military top brass now know the S400 is a pile of hyped up rubbish intelligence reports gathered from Israel F35 easily defeats the S400 . And all this getting kicked out of the F35 program not going down well in Turkey .

Steve

From what i understand its not quiet as cut and dry as is made out. All we know is the Russian S400 did not engage the Israeli jets as they entered Syrian airspace. What we do not know is if they were able to track them or if they were turned on, as we only have 1 side of the story and an incomplete side at that (israel have a vested interest in not disclosing the full facts and making it look more clear cut). Clearly it is not in Russia’s interest to play its cards against a F35 in… Read more »

PTattersall

Israeli intelligence say the S 400 was used against a decoy drone but couldn’t detect the F35 they use the same tactics regular to defeat the S400 .

Steve

It would clearly be in Israeli interest to state that, as they would give potential enemies the edge of they said the reverse. Whether true or not, who knows.

PTattersall

Well it’s 100% fact IAF bomb Iran and Syria . And what do countries have air defence for .

Frank62

An increasingly authoratarian Turkey, closer to Putin than NATO, pro-Islamic extremism is a real threat & danger. Hard to see why it needs any proper carriers.

PTattersall

That close to Russia they shot down Russian plane and drones

George Parker

I’d rather have Israel as part of NATO than Turkey. Never trust a Turk.