Turkey to start the construction of a prototype ship within the scope of the Turkish-type assault boat project, head of the Presidency of Defense Industries (SSB) said Monday, Trend reports citing Daily Sabah.
"We will initiate the construction of a prototype ship within the scope of the Turkish-type assault boat," Ismail Demir said.
He was speaking at a meeting about the defense industry's 2022 objectives at the headquarters of the Turkish defense contractor Havelsan in the capital Ankara.
Within the scope of the Turkish Type Assault Boat Project initiated by SSB, the "Turkish Type Assault Boat Project Term-1 Contract Design Agreement" was signed between the SSB and leading defense contractor STM on Aug. 31, 2020.
The domestically produced assault boats are expected to contribute to the protection of the country's interests in the surrounding seas with their effective maneuverability, high strike power and national systems they will carry.
While the STM, which has also undertaken major other projects like MİLGEM (National Ship) submarine development, is the main contractor of the assault boat project, other leading defense firms, namely Aselsan Roketsan and Havelsan are all part of the project.
Within the framework of the task of establishing and maintaining maritime control in the operational areas of the Turkish Naval Forces Command (DzKK); the system requirements, concept selection, preliminary design and contract design activities will be carried out for the Turkish Type Assault Boats as of the end of 2022.
These boats are planned to be delivered to the navy to destroy/inactivate the enemy elements and ensure the survival of the navy's elements.
The Turkish Type Assault Boat Project is vital for the DzKK, which actively uses gunboats, especially in the Aegean Sea and the Eastern Mediterranean.
At Monday's meeting, Demir further said that they would also start the integration of Bayraktar TB3 drones to the amphibious assault ship Anadolu. "New unmanned sea vehicle projects will be initiated," he added.
The Bayraktar TB3 unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV), which is currently under development at the Baykar facilities, is a variant of the Bayraktar TB2 and is planned for the flagship-to-be vessel.
The multipurpose flagship-to-be amphibious assault ship is expected to enter service in 2022. Set to become the country's first native and national aircraft carrier, TCG Anadolu will improve the operational capability of the naval forces.
Although the ship will carry combat helicopters on its landing deck, Turkey does not operate a plane that can takeoff from the vessel. However, the TB3, with a folding-wing design, could deploy from the short naval runways.