Turkey on Monday unveiled an amphibious assault ship built to carry light aircraft and military drones, Agence France-Presse reported.
The TCG Anadolu, which is 231 meters (758 feet) long and 32 meters (105 feet) wide, can accommodate combat helicopters and military drones, as well as up to 94 vehicles, including 13 tanks.
“Turkish Bayraktar TB3 and Kızılelma drones and the light Hürjet fighters will be able to take off from and land on the ship,” said President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who is campaigning for re-election in May.
Erdoğan said that the new vessel would allow Turkey to “carry out military and humanitarian operations in the four corners of the world if necessary.”
NATO member Turkey has significantly developed its defense 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 Erdoğan’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.