As tensions continue to rise drastically throughout the wider Middle East, Turkey has announced construction plans for a multipurpose aircraft carrier, The Daily Beast reports.
The carrier, named the Anadolu after Turkey’s Anatolia region, will be approximately 740 feet long and is slated to enter service in 2021.
As the carrier is designed for multipurpose missions, it will be able to transport tanks, landing vessels, helicopters, soldiers, and aircraft, according to TDB.
Costing over $1 billion, the carrier will drastically alter Ankara’s ability to project power beyond its borders.
According to The Daily Beast, the Anadolu will technically be either an amphibious transport dock, also known as a landing platform/dock (LPD), or a landing helicopter dock (LHD).
Both types of vessels would allow Ankara to project power throughout the Mediterranean and into the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. And either vessel type would allow Turkey to carry out amphibious assaults, act as a base for aircraft, and allow Turkey to also carry out humanitarian missions such as evacuations.
According to the analysis site Bosphorus Naval News, the Anadolu will be able to hold upwards of 10 F-35Bs. Additionally, the carrier could hold upwards of 12 helicopters, 94 battle tanks, and at least 700 troops. The vessel will also feature an onboard hospital that will hold 34 beds.
Such a wide range of features and power will ensure that the Anadolu will become the center piece of a new more internationalist Turkish foreign policy across the region.
“Capabilities offered by the LPD will make it an important instrument of foreign policy that will accentuate Turkey’s soft power beyond its military prowess,” security analyst Metin Gurcan told TDB.
Turkey’s military is already one of the strongest in the region. A NATO member, Turkey has over 400,000 full time frontline personnel.
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