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Turkish Navy launches UAV and helicopter carrier TCG Anadolu

Turkish warship TCG Anadolu
Turkish warship TCG Anadolu Copyright Turkish Presidency
Copyright Turkish Presidency
By Euronews with AFP
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"We will become a country that pioneers game-changing technologies, systems and solutions," said Turkish President Erdogan at the ship's inauguration.

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Turkey on Monday unveiled an amphibious assault ship built to carry light aircraft and military drones.

The TCG Anadolu, which is 231 metres long and 32 metres wide, can accommodate combat helicopters and military drones, as well as up to 94 vehicles, including 13 tanks.

"Turkish Bayraktar TB3 and Kizilelma drones and the light Hurjet fighters will be able to take off from and land on the ship," said President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is campaigning for re-election in May.

Erdogan said that the new vessel would allow Turkey to "carry out military and humanitarian operations in the four corners of the world if necessary".

"We see this ship as a symbol that will reinforce our position as a leader in its region and a voice in the world in the century of Turkey. TCG Anadolu, which was put into service, is the world's first warship in its field, where the largest and heaviest helicopters and unmanned aerial vehicles can land and take off."

NATO member Turkey has significantly developed its defence industry in recent years, with Ankara, in particular, vaunting the success of its combat drones.

Drones developed by the Baykar company, co-run by one of Erdogan's sons-in-law, have been used in Azerbaijan, Libya and Ukraine. Kyiv used them in the first hours of Russia's invasion last year.

Turkey has repeatedly tried to act as a mediator between Kyiv and Moscow.

China last year unveiled its first military drone carrier, reflecting the growing importance of pilotless aircraft in modern warfare.

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