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Towards a Turkish Type Aircraft Carrier with Examples


Apr 24, 2007
Towards a Turkish Type Aircraft Carrier with Examples

By Recon Talk (CO) - For questions: Twitter @notmanch_u
Author's Note: The purpose of this article is to briefly discuss the approaches that can be followed for the Turkish Type Aircraft Carrier and to briefly refer to the division of Multi-Purpose Amphibious Assault Ship and Aircraft Carrier. Discussing whether an aircraft carrier is a requirement is certainly not within the scope of this article.

In the light of developments in both Libya and the Eastern Mediterranean, the issue of aircraft carrier has once again been on the Turkish public agenda; If I currently have if it were, Turkey in particular has been discussed it could be quite helpful in terms of protecting the interests in Libya. These discussions were often turned around and which will enter service in 2022. Turkey's first Multi-Purpose Amphibious Assault Ship ( LHD ) with TCG Anatolia 's gathered around.
In 2018, the Navy requested 16 F-35Bs to be used in TCG Anadolu, and in this context, two instructor pilots were firstly trained and trained by the Çiğli 2nd Main Jet Base Training Center Command , and then sent to the USA. It was reported in print media that they were scheduled to receive transition and instructor pilot training for the F-35B. In parallel with these developments, the news about the establishment of the Naval Airplane Flight School within the National Defense University (MSU) Naval Academy were also reflected in the media. The instructor pilots returning from the USA after completing their training process were planned to provide training within the Naval Airplane Flight School , which was opened on May 3, 2019 . But in Turkey in 2019With the removal of the F-35 from the Joint Strike Fighter ( JSF ) program , the Naval Forces, like the Air Force, were also adversely affected, according to some.

MSU Naval Academy Turkish Introduction Booklet

At the time of contract negotiations with Navantia and platform choices for ANATOLIA , HMAS Canberra , its cousin in the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) , seems to have had more or less influence. Although HMAS Canberra also has a ski-jump ramp, STOVL aircraft such as the F-35B were not planned to be deployed, so it was not subjected to extra structural modifications to allow this. Reflected in the Australian press, " Why is there a ramp on this ship ?" Experts said, “As it is understood that removing the ramp from the existing design , returning to the design phase and the additional costs that will arise from this will cause the budget exceeding, it has been decided to keep the ramp.”Answered as; In the following period, the structural changes required to make this ship suitable for the F-35B were examined, and it was decided that the ship would need to undergo a comprehensive renovation again and this process would be quite burdensome .
canberra cutaway
Cross section of the Canberra class LHD - Source: Royal Australian Navy
Only STOVL in TCG AnatoliaFixed-wing aircraft capable of flying operations can operate and only one aircraft model is available that meets this criterion; F-35B. There are no other aircraft models that can be shown as a rational alternative in neither western nor eastern countries. Although it has been discussed at length on social media that it is sometimes suggested to buy a second-hand AV-8B Harrier II and replace the F-35B, it is unfortunately not possible to take such a suggestion seriously. In addition to the absence of an existing ecosystem and logistics infrastructure, we must not forget that these aircraft, which have a high accident-crush rate, have almost forcibly completed their useful life. Therefore, looking at the checksum of this equation, we can see that such an investment will become obsolete without any meaningful return. Moreover, an investment for AV-8B, It will adversely affect the budgets of different projects and platforms that can be much more beneficial to the Naval Forces. Aside from small (!) Details like these, the AV-8B is also a platform that is dependent on the US in every sense like the F-35B; We should not forget that if it is taken, a conflict with the US cannot be taken into consideration in the protection of our overseas interests, so we will have to compromise our use initiatives on both the home platform and the carrier platform.
Combat Aircraft Amphibious Assault Ship
Assuming that the F-35B option is off the table for the near future, in the political atmosphere we're in, we can focus on the next question. “ There is a ramp in TCG Anatolia; Can't we use STOBAR-compliant aircraft as in the Russian, Chinese or Indian navies? For the answer to the question, it is useful to take a look at the conditions below for an aircraft carrier. (Note: Required conditions are not limited to those here.)
  • The aircraft carrier must have a catch rope system for the landing of the aircraft.
  • The dimensions of the flight deck must meet the requirements of the fixed wing aircraft types to be used.
  • For general safety requirements as well as sortie efficiency, a flight deck / runway with a ~ 10 ° angle should be located on the pier side .
  • There should be an adjustable barricade / capture net system on the flight deck for safety .
  • It should have sufficient hangar and elevator capacity for the air elements it will carry.
  • It should have a significant amount of ammunition for air elements, jet fuel, maintenance / repair space and additional staff to provide them, and of course the living space and supply capacity for these personnel.
  • It must meet the cruise speed requirement of 25+ knots in a sustainable manner.

Fulfilling all of the conditions listed above at TCG Anadolu is absolutely not possible unless extraordinary changes are made, and if they do, the budget and time required for these changes will be comparable to building new ships. On the other hand , we do not have enough know-how to easily realize these revisions . Such highly specific modifications cannot be made to other countries by ordering. Moreover, the modifications we have mentioned here only cover the ship. This also has a very extensive division of labor related to aircraft to be used on board.
Contrary to the anxious assumption of the public, the fact that it will not be equipped with fixed wing aircraft does not make TCG Anadolu any less useful (a more detailed description of this section will be presented in another article later) . As retired Rear Admiral Cem Gürdeniz stated ; “With the acquisition of the Turkish Naval Forces Landing Dock (LPD / LHD), naval strategist Eric Grove's naval classification of nine categories, the fourth group, Medium Regional Power Transferhis transformation into a capable power will be completed ”. Moreover, Turkey's LPD / LHD type to meet the need for ship Blue as well as the homeland defense and civil defense will be even more significant in the fight against natural disasters. With the new experiences to be gained on open seas with the LHD, we will be much more prepared for the Turkish Type Aircraft Carrier, which is one step ahead.
Aircraft Carrier with Global Examples
After briefly talking about why TCG Anadolu could not be fully transformed into an aircraft carrier in the previous episode, now it's time to discuss other options. Turkey Type Aircraft Carrier assessing Stober whether you CATOB it must have been the answer to the question; It should be given over the budget to be determined in line with the requirements of the period. Considered in today's terms, STOBARUsing the principle of aircraft carriers, we see that it is a more economical, practical and relatively faster solution. The aircraft carriers of Russia, India and China are also built on the STOBAR principle and are essentially sister or cousin ships. The biggest common advantage of STOBAR ships; They do not have a catapult system with a complex mechanism, high energy and maintenance requirements. On the other hand, the common disadvantages of the four active aircraft carriers of these three countries are; The fact that the Su-33, MiG-29K and J-15 warplanes used on these ships (respectively) cannot always take off at full load . This requires sacrificing mission radius and / or weapon load, even in the most ideal sea conditions.

PLANS Liaoning (Project 11436)

On the other hand, when CATOBAR type aircraft carriers are examined, we see that they are quite burdensome both in terms of time and economic dimensions. Although the number of aircraft carriers using this method is more in practice, those other than the French Charles de Gaulle are serving in the American navy, and we can say that the United States is currently in a monopoly position in this technology. It is speculated that the third and next generation aircraft carrier (Type 003) built for the Chinese navy will also be of the CATOBAR type. The planning of this new ship, which China has developed for the first time with its own means, is based on a history of approximately 40 years. In this process, the vessels purchased and examined for the reasons of dismantling, transformation and transformation into an entertainment / museum vessel:
In short, while developing aircraft carriers, the Chinese somehow procured and reviewed all the old aircraft and helicopter ships that could be of use to them, and it took almost 20 years to create an original design from there. The fourth brother of the above-mentioned Soviet Project 1143 class old Kiev and Minsk helicopter ships, Project 1143.4, former Admiral Gorşkov, was transformed into a STOBAR type aircraft carrier by Russia for the Indian Navy, and was put into service on 16 November 2013 under the name INS Vikramaditya .

J-15 Catapult Illustrative

We first saw the catapult system, which is another cornerstone of the Chinese CATOBAR type aircraft carrier development process, and the J-15 prototype, which was modified for the high stress conditions of this system, for the first time in 2016 . Satellite images taken from the Xingcheng Naval Pilot Training Center on the shore of the Bohay Sea suggest that the catapult prototype was placed on the runway here for training purposes. Manned and unmanned aerial vehicle prototypes to be used on the CATOBAR type Type 003 aircraft carrier, which is planned to be put into service until 2025, will continue their tests here until they start service on board.
Thus (in abbreviated form);
  • Critical profile data required for Catapult and Catching Rope System will be created,
  • Databases of flight deck safety instruments and flying elements will be created,
  • Aircraft prototypes will be tested for compliance with ship conditions in general,
  • Training of the first instructor pilots who will serve with catapult on board
and the preliminary preparation phase for the flight tests planned to be carried out on board will be completed in general terms.
Turkey is also said to be dismantling the aircraft carrier experience. Three of the Royal Navy's (RN) Invincible class STOVL aircraft carriers were disassembled and recycled by Leyal Ship Recycling Industry located in Aliağa, İzmir . However, if these ships that came for dismantling were not inspected by our Naval Forces or our willing shipyards before the operation started ( as far as we know ), it cannot be argued that there is a national gain like the example of the Chinese.
However, there are a number of steps to be taken before the aircraft carrier project. Unlike docked landing ships (LPD / LHD), aircraft carriers are much higher-value, important power transmission elements, as well as high-value targets among enemies. They should also have a more comprehensive defense and offensive capacity within the task group. Air defense warfare (HSH / ADW) ships are the leading elements to accompany, and this task will be undertaken by TF-2000 HSH destroyers, which will be put into service in 2027 . In addition, for submarine defense warfare (DSH / ASW) & surface warfare (ASuW), various ( such as frigates and submarines)) combat platforms and supply vessels with higher capacity and capable of reaching high cruising speeds (örn. DİMDEG) de görev gruplarının olmazsa olmazları arasında gösterilebilir. Görev grubunda bulunacak olan bu kabiliyetlerin 2030’lu yıllarda sağlanmış olması öngörülüyor.
Author's Comment
Russia does not have an LHD type vessel, and China's first two ships of Type 075 class LHDs are 25 September 2019 and 22 April 2020 respectively.It was launched on. There are no warplanes of the type that can be used on such ships in either country. It is claimed that China has studies on this issue, but there is not even a full-scale mock-up yet imaged. In summary, the F-35B is currently a platform with no alternative and as a result of the unpleasantness experienced within the framework of the JSF program, the possibility of STOVL aircraft carrier seems to be off the table for us for now. However, let's not forget that there was no guarantee that we could use the F-35 as we wish in regions where we could have conflicts of interest, such as Libya and Syria. The obstacles in question here can be manifested indirectly when appropriate. This situation is not just an issue for Turkish-American relations. For example, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, with similar concerns,

We know that the Defense Industry Presidency has initiated various UAV and SİHA programs for different types of missions for TCG Anadolu. In today's conditions, although SİHAs do not have the capability to fully fill the places of warplanes, the potential of drones for low-intensity conflicts is still quite high, contrary to the general belief, thanks to their new usage concepts, as demonstrated in Syria and Libya. Although unmanned aerial systems are considered to be limited to glider-type SİHAs, which have become common examples, tanker UAV (MQ-25) and unmanned combat aircraft (ATS / Loyal Wingman)Such examples will appear as operational elements in the near future. Although it is not used with TCG Anadolu, there is at least one active project in our country that will create a starting point in this regard; Bayraktar Defense's Combat Unmanned Aircraft System (MIUS) project.
In the new era we are in, the Drone Ship concept will become increasingly important , just like STOVL aircraft carriers . For example, supporting amphibious operations and overseas land operations with drone-carrying support vessels that can be built on platforms suitable for dual-use principle, such as semi-submersible ships; In the seas, it will be possible to perform AEW, MP, ASW and ASuW missions. Civil-military dual-use vessels are used by various navies for various purposes; tested and even used as helicopters and drone ships, for example. Accumulation including Turkey owned and realized as example given by the by the antagonists by transferring the elements floating can be perceived as lower target type of alternative methods for their use, expanding under its own needs well possible.

Zhen Hua 28 (47000 DWT SSHLV) Semi-Submersible Ship
Abbreviations Index
  • LHD: Landing Helicopter Dock
  • LPD: Landing Platform Dock
  • JSF: Joint-Strike Fighter
  • STOVL: Short Take-Off and Vertical Landing
  • STOBAR: Short Take-Off But Arrested Recovery
  • CATOBAR: Catapult Assisted Take-Off But Arrested Recovery
  • ADW: Air Defense Warfare | HSH: Air Defense War
  • ASW: Anti Submarine Warfare | DSH: Submarine Defense War
  • ASuW: Anti Surface Warfare
  • AEW: Aerial Early Warning
  • MP: Maritime Patrol | D / K: Naval Patrol
  • SSHLV: Semi-Submersible Heavy Lift Vessel

Closing Note: I would like to state that this article has been prepared to provide an introductory level information. Those who want to get more detailed information can use the resources I have given. I do not claim any expertise on the subject. Therefore, if there are errors in the article, of course you can always contact me via my Twitter account @notmanch_u to correct these errors in company with the source (s) .

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