The Turkish Navy is close to officially commissioning its future flagship, the TCG Anadolu.
The country’s defense ministry announced Friday that the ship had completed its first-ever helicopter landing and takeoff exercises.
The AH-1W Super Cobra and SH-70B Sea Hawk helicopters landed on the TCG Anadolu’s flight deck, demonstrating that the ship can support aircraft operations.
1⃣Güne asil milletimizi gururlandıracak fotoğraflarla başlamak istiyoruz. 🇹🇷
Fotoğraflarda gördüğünüz Deniz Kuvvetlerimize ait AH-1W Super Cobra ve SH-70 Sea Hawk helikopterleri, Çok Maksatlı Amfibi Gemimiz #LHDANADOLU‘ya ilk inişi gerçekleştirerek konuşlanmayı tamamladılar. pic.twitter.com/OklhKkfYNS
— T.C. Millî Savunma Bakanlığı (@tcsavunma) November 18, 2022
A month earlier, the multi-purpose aircraft achieved another milestone when it deployed Ankara’s ALTAY main battle tank in a landing exercise.
Trials of the future Turkish flagship are expected to conclude by the end of the year.
The TCG Anadolu
Developed by Sedef Shipbuilding, the TCG Anadolu will be the largest naval vessel in the Turkish military, at a length of 232 meters (761 feet).
It can accommodate up to 261 people, including crew members.
The ship is armed with five Aselsan 25mm remote weapon systems, two Phalanx close-in weapon systems, and a surface-to-air missile system.
Apart from the Super Cobra and Sea Hawk, the large vessel will operate locally-developed T129 attack helicopters.
It is expected to support military missions in the Aegean, Black Sea, and Mediterranean Sea regions and could also be deployed in the Indian and Atlantic Oceans.
Before the US removed Turkey from the F-35 program over its acquisition of Russian defense systems, the ship’s “ski-jump ramp” was supposed to launch the Lockheed Martin F-35B fifth-generation fighter jet.