Turkey reportedly interested in UK helicopter carrier

DAILY SABAH WITH WIRES
ISTANBUL
Published

The Turkish government is reportedly interested in buying the soon-to-be-decommissioned U.K. helicopter carrier HMS Ocean if it is not sold to Brazil, according to a report by sectoral news platform, Naval Today.

The report claimed that in reply to a parliamentary question, the U.K. Defense Ministry confirmed that Turkey sent an expression of interest about the potential sale of HMS Ocean. The question was placed by Conservative Party Deputy Tobias Ellwood, according to the parliament's database.

HMS Ocean is currently on her final deployment as a commissioned Royal Navy ship, serving the role of NATO Standing Maritime Group 2 flagship in the Mediterranean.

The carrier and her crew are expected to return to their homeport at Naval Base Plymouth in December after starting their deployment in March this year.

Commissioned in October 1995, the 202-meter long HMS Ocean replaced HMS Bulwark as fleet flagship in June 2015. In her role as a helicopter carrier and amphibious assault ship, Ocean is designed to deliver troops by helicopter or by landing crafts.

After her decommissioning was announced, Brazilian media reports rumored the HMS Ocean could be sold to the Brazilian Navy for a "reasonable price." That price, according to reports, was 80 million pounds.

Turkey is already building a landing helicopter dock which is based on the Spanish Navy's (LHD) Juan Carlos I and designed by Navantia. The Turkish version of the ship will be named TCG Anadolu and have the pennant number L-408.

First steel on the ship, which will be registered as a light aircraft carrier by the Turkish Lloyd, was cut in May 2016, while delivery is scheduled for 2021.

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