The Turkish government announced it signed a nearly $ 1 billion deal with a local shipyard to produce the country's first Landing Platform Dock (LPD).
Turkey's procurement agency, the Undersecretariat for Defense Industries (SSM), said SSM and Sedef, a Turkish shipyard, agreed to pen the deal after contract negotiations.
SSM announced in December 2013 that it selected Sedef for the ambitious naval program. In the LPD contract, Sedef is partnered with Spain's Navantia.
The planned amphibious assault vessel will carry a battalion-sized unit of 1,200 troops and personnel, eight utility helicopters, three unmanned aerial vehicles and transport 150 vehicles, including battle tanks. It also will have an aircraft platform for vertical take off and landing. A ski jump at the front of the deck can be used to launch fighter aircraft.
Industry sources estimate the cost of the contract at close to $1 billion.
SSM said the 231-meter-long vessel will be completed by 2021. The LPD will deploy on the Aegean, the Black, and the Mediterranean seas, as well as on Turkish Navy's operations on the Atlantic and Indian oceans.
Turkey will be the third operator in the world of this ship type after Spain and Australia.