The history of amphibious operations goes back to 1200s before Christ. In those years, Egypt was attacked by warriors living on the Mediterranean islands and the shores of Southern Europe. Again BC Ancient Greeks attacking Troy in the 1200s came with an amphibious operation. Or the occupation of Greece by Persian armies that went to Marathon Bay in 490 BC…. More recently, the Battle of Gallipoli during the First World War, the Normandy Landing, which was the biggest military operation of the 1nd World War, where the sea, air and land elements jointly participated, and the Cyprus Peace, which was carried out by the Turkish Armed Forces in 2 with the elements of sea, land and air. operational ...
An amphibious operation / force transfer is a military operation launched from the sea to remove naval and land troops that are transported by ships, trained for landing operations, equipped with appropriate equipment and weapons, and transported to the shores of a country viewed as an enemy or potential enemy. An amphibious operation requires extensive air involvement and is carried out by the joint action of trained, organized and equipped forces for different combat functions. Amphibious operations can be carried out not only for military purposes, but also for humanitarian aid.
The amphibious operation uses the element of surprise and takes advantage of the enemy's weaknesses by using its combat power at the most advantageous place and time. An amphibious landing threat can encourage enemies to direct their forces, fix their defensive positions, direct large resources to coastal defense, or disperse forces. In the face of such a threat, the enemy's attempt to defend the coastline may cause him to make expensive efforts.
Amphibious operations can include high-risk as well as high-return efforts to perform critical tasks. Amphibious operation; It covers various operations such as flying troops operation, airborne operation.
There are five stages of the amphibious operation:
- Preparation and Planning
- Loading / Overlays
- Sea Crossing and Amphibious Assault
- Back Transfer / Reorganization
In order to obtain a shore head in the first hours of the operation, especially at the stage where the ship-to-shore movement continues, ships and aerial elements must be protected, except that the troops on the shore have sufficient equipment to protect them from the attacks of enemy air and ground elements.
There are two important amphibious operations in our history. On April 25, 1915, ANZAC troops started the landing operation on the shores of Gallipoli Peninsula, under the protection of the Navy of the Entente States. The coastal areas were defended by weak troops, as it was not known exactly where the attack would come from. The main troops were waiting behind at safe points away from the enemy naval artillery. Therefore, even though the enemy troops, which made some progress in the first hours of the landing, were prevented from advancing to the inner parts with timely and timely interventions, the coastal formation could not be prevented. The Turkish army on the defending side managed to keep the enemy troops along the shore line despite the enemy's support of the navy and ensured their withdrawal by breaking their determination.
Although the Turkish Armed Forces made limited airborne interventions to Cyprus several times due to the attacks by the Greeks against the Turkish population on the island, but in 1964, due to the increasing violence, the operation required both the TAF and sufficient training and tools for such an operation. it did not come true because of the international pressure. For the landing operation in 1964, the Navy did not have a landing ship, no helicopters. Troops are used to add military and civilian freight to the island. to be carried by shipping ships. In this way, performing operations with vehicles that are not suitable for the landing operation would have caused much loss and failure. Until the Peace Operation, which was carried out on July 20, 1974, the TAF provided the necessary removal tools for the landing operation, trained its personnel and prepared by performing the necessary intelligence activities. In this way, he caught the enemy, who believed that we could not carry out an operation, and managed to advance with the support of the air force, by taking the soldiers from the sea and from the air to the island, holding the head of the shore and to the inner parts of the island.
In the landing operations carried out during World War II, the soldiers are transported to the landing area with the shipping ships protected by war and aircraft carriers, while the enemy defense lines are bombed by the ships and planes, the soldiers often lose much under heavy fire with the weakly protected landing vehicles they take from the ships. they would go to the beach. Time and technological advances have brought about changes in many areas from ships used for these operations to ships.
Let's read an example of these changes from the memories of Amphibious Marine Corps, Bora Kutluhan: “It was October of 1975. NATO countries with Amphibious Force were conducting a modest exercise to the Saros Gulf in the Northern Aegean. The name of the exercise 'Exercise Express Deep', participating countries are the United States of America [USA], the UK, Italy and Turkey. The 3rd Amphibious Marine Infantry Battalion, TCG Serdar (L-4o2) and a sufficient number of LCTs from the Turkish Navy participated in this exercise. At the rank of Lieutenant, I was also participating in this exercise with my Company as a Company Commander of that Battalion. When we arrived at the Amphibious Destination Field [AHS] in Saros Bay, there were dozens of large and small ships on the sea with the TCG Serdar we are in. Our union was lying on camps on the lower tank deck of TCG Serdar. Throughout the 12-day 'Sea Crossing Phase', the 4PT ADPT lay and stood here, did his sports and training on the upper tank deck, resisted various conditions of the sea, and made an effort to be ready for his action on the beach. Now the most sensitive and critical phase of the operation was beginning. Ship-Beach Operation. At this stage, the Union was organized as 'Boat Teams' and descended to the landing vehicles allocated to them according to the waves to come to the shore via webs suspended from the lowering stations formed at the ship's port and port. In this descent; First, the weapons used with the crew, ie 57mm Non-Recoil Balls, 81mm Mortars and 12.7mm Machine Guns, were lowered to the boats by means of guide ropes, and then the Marine Corps were descending to the boats in four rows. This activity took quite a while and the amphibious force's sensitivity to all kinds of threats increased during the activity. This is the first time I've seen LPDs. The stern ramps were open. The US and British troops are out of those open ramps with the current AAVs, then called LVTP, and with our speed of at least three to four times (our LCTs had a maximum speed of 4-5 nautical miles / hour. they would drop it further and descend up to 2mil) they sailed safely and swiftly from the ship to the coast, leaving the ceaselessly entering the first veiled position, removing the Marines from the LVTPs here. While watching them, "Will we one day have such ships and vehicles?" I remember very well that I had it through. It wasn't given to me. During my duties in the Amphibious Marine Infantry Brigade, I always went to the beach until my waist. ”
It is very important that the units that will carry out the amphibious operation live at sea, be accustomed to its effects, know how to act in case of emergencies and be trained to this. For this reason, Turkish Marine Corps also; At that time, TCG Ertuğrul, TCG Serdar and TCG Karamürselbey Class Turkish LSTs tried to realize this issue in later periods in TCG Erkin. However, since LSTs have only as much space as the personnel of the tanks and other vehicles they will carry; A Marine Infantry Battalion was constantly tormenting both the ships and the Marine Corps. The LPDs (Landing Platform Dock / Landing Landing Craft), whose project has been launched, are ships capable of accommodating at least 6oo-7oo Marine Corps and meeting food, drinking, health and other needs during long-term cruises.
Since LPDs are 'pooled' vessels, their lower decks can take water, and since the vehicles that will remove the union are located in these docks, the Marine Corps or the units they carry are loaded on the landing vehicles and closed safely from the ship. LPDs are also available for helicopter operations. Decks created for this purpose; in some part it is located on the upper platform of the ship and in some part on the stern deck.
Pool Landing Ship Project
The Turkish Navy has one of the Mediterranean's largest Amphibious Forces, and with its new ship procurement projects in recent years, it has increased the existing capabilities of the Landing Fleet and Amphibious Marine Infantry Brigade to a level that can meet 21st century combat requirements. In this framework, 8 trot extraction vessels (LCT) and 2 tank extraction vessels (LST) were put into service.
In addition to these, after the Cyprus Peace Operation, which was carried out in 1974, the largest scale of Force Transfer (International Projection) was carried out in Somalia, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo under the umbrella of the United Nations and NATO. The Turkish Navy, which realizes using its existing amphibious facilities and capabilities, started its works in the late 90s to supply a Pool Landing Ship that can be used in natural disasters such as earthquake disasters in our country. In this framework, an Information Request Document (BID) was published by the Defense Industry Directorate in June 2000 and the ship was intended to enter service in 2006.
Within this framework, LPD, which is expected to be able to meet the food and beverage needs of the Amphibious Marine Infantry Battalion personnel, which will consist of 615 people, for a period of 30 days and to store the necessary materials for the logistic support of a 755 person Marine Corps, has two general 15-tonnes of LPD. It was asked to have a helicopter deck where a helicopter deck and four helicopters weighing 15 tons could be deployed at the same time, which would allow the Purpose / Submarine Defense War (DSH) and Surface Warfare (SUH) helicopter to take off and land at the same time. To have a tonnage and a health center that could serve 12.000 patients simultaneously between Turkey on the one used in the construction or design a completely new design from existing LPD's planned 15.000 to 10 tons had foreseen. However, no significant progress was made in the project and the project was put on the shelf in the following years with the effect of the economic crisis.
In the second tender process, the initial decision on the Landing Ship (LPD) Project was taken at the Defense Industry Executive Board (SSİK) meeting held on 22 June 2005 and the resource status review and related arrangements were made at the SSIK of 12 December 2006. Information Request Document (BID) was published by the Undersecretariat for Defense Industries to obtain administrative, financial and technical information from companies wishing to participate in the project activities, and 06 domestic and foreign firms responded to the BID, which expired on 2007 August 10. As a result of the evaluations and examinations that lasted for nearly two years, SSB issued a Call for Proposals (TÇD) to seven local private sector shipyards included in the Defense Industry Sectoral Strategy Document in February 2007.
Private sector shipyards published in TÇD are:
- Anatolian Marine Construction Rails
- Steel Boat Industry and Trade
- DEARSAN Ship Building Industry
- DESAN Marine Construction Industry
- Istanbul Maritime Shipbuilding Industry
- RMK Marine Shipbuilding Industry
- SEDEF Shipbuilding
The shipyards were asked to submit their proposals to SSB until November 2010. The LPD ship, which is planned to be built in five years, can be used in humanitarian aid and peacekeeping operations in addition to the amphibious operation.
LPD Project; 1 Mechanic Landing Craft and 4 Mechanized Landing Vehicles (LCM), 27 Amphibious Armored Assault Vehicles (AAV), 2 Vehicle and Personnel Landing Vehicles (LCVP), 1 guide commander vehicle and 2 Rigid Boat Inflatable Boats ( Includes the supply of Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat / RHIB). The LPD will have the ability to carry a total of 8 helicopters, 94 various amphibious vehicles and the Amphibious Marine Infantry Battalion. The Turkish Navy also has 2 Air Cushion Removal Vehicles (LCAC) procurement projects, 4 of which are to be deployed in LPD, in order to react suddenly in the amphibious operation.
FNSS ZAHA Amphibious Armored Assault Vehicle (AAV)
On the LPD ship, there will be a helicopter spot (takeoff / landing point) to allow the take-off and landing of four GM / DSH / SUH or Assault Helicopters in the 15-t class at the same time. At least four SeaHawk or AH-1W / T129 attack helicopters and three FireScout-like Ship-to-Ship UAVs (G-UAVs) can be transported in the helicopter hangar. On LPD expected to be equipped with ADVENT; SMART-S Mk2 3-BAR, Navigation Radar, Alper LPI Radar and Mine Clearance Sonar (hull mounted) Aselsan product AselFLIR-300D, Laser Warning System, ARES-2N ED / ET Systems, IRST, Shield Chaff / IR Decoy Control System LN-270 Gyro, Hızır based TKAS and IFF System, ÇAVLİS (Potential growth to Link-11 / Link-16 and Link-22) and SatCom Systems. Two single-barreled 4omm Fast Forty Type C marine guns [AselFLIR-4D equipped], integrated with Aselsan 300omm Ball Fire Control System [TAKS] for use against ship, surface and air targets, two 2omm Phalanx Close It will be armed with the Defense System [CIWS] and three 12.7mm STAMP. However, it is stated that the weapons hardware can change during the contract negotiations and the RAM Self Defense Missile System can be included in the package.
Pool Landing Craft (LPD) Project; A minimum battalion (550 to 700 personnel) that can be used in the Aegean, Black Sea and Mediterranean operation areas and, if necessary, the Indian Ocean [North of the Arabian Peninsula, West of India] and the Atlantic Ocean [West of Europe, North of Africa] will be capable of transferring a force of magnitude to the crisis zone with its logistic support without requiring home base support. LPD, whose main function is Force Transmission and Amphibious Operation, will have a minimum of 2.000 years of physical life, based on an annual 40-hour cruise. High Prepared Level Sea to be used in relation to missions to be handled by NATO with a Joint Operation Naval Force Headquarters (MHDGG), which will consist of an Amphibious Mission Force Operations Center and Landing Force Operations Center, whose total weight (full load) is expected to reach 18-20.000 tons. Union (HRF (M)) Headquarters will also be included. LPD, which will have an advanced integrated command control and communication (C3) system infrastructure, can thus serve as both the Flag Ship and the Command Ship.
Along with this ship, there may be an important conceptual change in the Turkish Navy. Because such ships are an important submarine, surface and air target with their valuable cargo. He has to act with surface elements that can secure his three-dimensional defense against all these threats. This means a 'Task Force'. So in the near future, we will be able to see an Amphibious Task Force of at least 5-6 ships sailing in our seas. An Amphibious Force provides a high degree of deterrent power to the holder. Elasticity is one of the other advantages it provides. It is one of the other superiorities that can be listed as having force at any time in the desired region.
Defense Industry Executive Committee [SSİK] started contract negotiations with Sedef Gemi İnşaat AŞ [Sedef Shipyard] within the scope of the Pool Docking Ship (LPD) Project, which was completed by the Undersecretariat for Defense Industries on 26 December 2013, and no agreement could be reached with the said company. In case it was decided to continue the contract negotiations with Desan Deniz İnşaat Sanayi A.Ş. Contract negotiations between SSB and Sedef Shipyard started on 19 February 2014.
Pool Landing Ship (LPD) is similar to Juan Carlos I (L-61) Doklu Helicopter Ship [LHD] built by Navantia in Sedef Shipyard in Tuzla, with the design, technology transfer, equipment and technical support to be provided by Navantia. and will be a revised version according to DzKK requests. The ship can also be used within the framework of Natural Disaster Relief (DAFYAR) missions if necessary. Thanks to the full-fledged hospital and operating room facilities within its structure, it can be used for medical support within the scope of natural disaster relief, humanitarian aid and refugee evacuation operations.
The construction ceremony was held on April 1, 2015 in the Multi-Purpose Amphibious Assault Ship (LHD) project, whose contract was signed between SSB and Sedef Shipyard on 30 June 2016. Following the signing of the contract, some changes were made in order to deploy the F-35B VTOL aircraft on board in line with the demands of DzKK in determining the final configuration that the ship will have. In addition, the 120 'incline take-off ramp (Ski-Jump) has been updated to be suitable for the landing / take-off of medium and heavy class helicopters and tilt-rotor (MV-35) aircraft and UAVs with up to 22 tons of landing and It is certain that it will be located at the top of the flight deck, on which there will be 6 spots (landing / takeoff point).
After these changes, the name of the project was revised as “Multipurpose Amphibious Assault Ship (LHD). TCG ANADOLU LHD, currently under construction, will be taken into the inventory at the end of this year.
Source: A. Emre SİFOĞLU / SavunmaSanayiST