TCG Trakya, On The Way
May 22, 2018
As Turkey counts down for delivery of the first F-35 Lightning II aircraft, another development came into light of the Turkish Navy front. According to the information obtained by C4Defence, the service plans to supply a total of 32 short-takeoff and vertical landing (STOVL) aircraft. Today, there are two aircraft models with this feature and one is to retire. For this reason, the service is considering Lockheed Martin's F-35B aircraft program.
According to the information obtained, the service informed Chief of General Staff about the need to begin the construction of TCG Trakya, the twin of Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD) TCG ANADOLU. The Navy stated that the timing of construction of the second ship would have many advantages both in terms of construction time and program cost.
The second phase of the program will include the supply of vertical landing aircraft to be deployed on TCG Trakya. Accordingly, the total number of F-35B aircraft demanded by the service will also be revised.
Although it is not officially requested from the US yet, the Navy plans to buy 16 aircraft per LHD. If all goes as planned, Turkey will have purchased 100 F-35As and 32 F-35Bs.
The Spanish Navantia Shipyard provides technical support to Sedef Shipyard. Sedef Shipyard utilizes Navantia's Juan Carlos 1 LHD ship experience. The Spanish Juan Carlos 1 ship is equipped with McDonnell Douglas design (now Boeing) AV-8B Harrier II platforms as well as vertical landing helicopters. Spain plans to retire these aircraft and supply the F-35B instead.
This news is exclusive to C4Defence and cannot be used/published without referencing to C4Defence.