Since it seems that it will not be possible to purchase F-400B fighter jets for the TCG ANADOLU (L-35) Amphibious Assault Ship in the near future, we will only be able to deploy S-70B Seahawk DSH (Anti Submarine Warfare) helicopters on board. In the early 2000s, there was a project to purchase 6 CH-60 transport helicopters for the Naval Forces Command, but it has not been realized until now. In addition, there are CH-11F Chinook Heavy Transport Helicopters purchased for the Land Forces Command and thought to be insufficient (47 units) in the inventory of the Turkish Armed Forces.
As the delivery date of TCG ANADOLU approaches, there is an uncertainty about the aircraft to be used on it. The Land Forces Command's S-70 Blackhawk helicopters are not suited for long-term marine use - due to corrosion - just like our T-129 ATAK helicopters. We will also need armed helicopters on TCG ANADOLU LHD. The marine model of the T-129 is at the level of rumors, yet there is no official explanation. The Land Forces Command inventory includes 9 AH-1W Super Cobra attack helicopters, which are also used by the US Marine Corps. These helicopters, helicopters made suitable for use in marine conditions and can be used temporarily on LHD.
For educational purposes, activities similar to those done by Greek helicopters with Egyptian LHDs of Land Forces on T-129, CH-47F and S-70 helicopters should be done. In this way, we can deploy the Land Forces helicopters temporarily on the LHD when necessary.
For example, in the recent period, against the threat posed by Iran with the fast armed boats around the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz, the USA made training flights with AH-90000E Apache and UH-233 helicopters on the USS Lewis B Puller floating base ship, which has a displacement of 64 tons and a length of 60 meters. . The base ship is used to meet logistics needs in the offshore operations of the U.S. Navy. In addition to the fuel, ammunition and other necessities carried by the ship, it can provide runway service to heavy transport helicopters such as MV-22 and CH / MH-53 with its long runway.
Attack helicopters, such as AH-64 Apache, deployed on the ship, were used to prevent and attempt to protect ships against oil tankers in the 80s during the Iran-Iraq war, as well as for special operations.
During the Iran-Iraq War of 1980-1988, the United States used its naval forces to protect especially oil-carrying ships in the Persian Gulf. During this mission, on May 17, 1987, 2 Exocet anti-ship missiles fired from the Oliver Hazard Perry class (ours Gabya class) USS Stark frigate, Iraqi aircraft were hit and 37 sailors were killed and 21 sailors were injured.
Between August 1987 and June 1989, the U.S. Special Operations Command conducted Operation Prime Chance, in conjunction with Operation Earnest Will conducted by the Marine Corps, but in secret. In this operation, instead of using the bases of the countries in the region, naval platforms that move every few days against possible Iranian attacks were used. These platforms, leased for 6 months, were the Hercules and Wimbrown VII barges used for oil extraction and converted into floating bases.
In October 1987, on the platforms active, SEAL teams affiliated to the Special Operations Command (SOAR), helicopters such as AH / MH-6 Little Bird, OH-58D Kiowa and UH-60, and MARK II / III troop and armed patrol boats were deployed. Each barge had 10 boats, 3 helicopters, 150+ staff, ammo and fuel.
In some sources, this operation is stated as the operation where helicopters fly 30 feet (9,1 meters) above the sea surface and the night vision goggles and night vision systems are used for the first time in combat.
Iran was posing a threat to ships with anti-ship missiles, speedboats and sea mines it had poured into the bay, and on 8 August, Iran's mine-laying activity was detected.
On September 21, 1987, 2 AH-6 and 1 MH-6 helicopters took off from the USS Jarret frigate to capture the Iranian Ajr landing ship, which was found to be laying mines in international waters. The ship personnel left the ship due to the fire opened from the helicopters, and the SEAL team got on board and seized the ship and the mines it carried. Iran Ajr was sunk at the end of the operation.
On the night of 8 October, 3 AH/MH-6 and 2 patrol boats were sent against the Iranian boats following the oil tankers. When the boats opened fire on the first helicopter that reached the area, 3 Iranian boats were sunk in the conflict and 5 Iranian sailors were rescued from the boats that were hit. As the operations continued, Iran attempted to attack the floating bases with Silkworm anti-ship missiles and F-4 aircraft, but without success.
Source: A. Emre SİFOĞLU / SavunmaSanayiST