Turkey’s procurement agency, Undersecretary for Defense Industries (SSM), has signed a contract with Istanbul-based Sedef Shipbuilding to construct the first landing platform dock (LPD) for the country’s naval force.

The new 231m-long amphibious assault vessel will be capable of carrying a battalion-sized unit of 1,200 troops and personnel.

In addition, it will have capacity to accommodate eight utility helicopters, three unmanned aerial vehicles and transport 150 vehicles, including battle tanks, DefenseNews reported.

The vessel will feature an aircraft platform for vertical takeoff and landing, while a ski jump at the front of the deck will enable the navy to launch fighter aircraft.

Construction of the vessel is expected to be completed in 2021.

"If needed, the warship can also sail in the Indian and Atlantic Oceans."

According to SSM senior official Müjdat Uludag, this LPD will enhance the capabilities of Turkish Naval Forces in the Aegean, Mediterranean and Black Seas.

Uludag was quoted by Hurriyet Daily News as saying: "If needed, the warship can also sail in the Indian and Atlantic Oceans."

Sedef will collaborate with Spanish shipbuilder Navantia, which will be responsible to deliver the design, transfer of technology, equipments and technical assistance for the vessel.

The Spanish company will also provide several components and systems, the engines and the integrated platform management system (IPMS).

With this vessel, Turkey will be the third operator in the world to use this ship type after Spain and Australia.