Turkey may have to shell out over $800 million to acquire a new amphibious assault vessel, according to Hurriyet Daily.
“This is definitely going to be one of the biggest ever price tags for any naval program for a single platform,” an official was quoted as saying. “Any final cost between $800 million and $1 billion would be reasonable.”
It is believed that the price tag may go up to $900 million.
A defense procurement official declined to confirm but said the final price tag would mainly depend on how cost efficient the local contractor proved at the end of the production cycle.
Turkey’s defense procurement agency, the Undersecretariat for Defense Industries (SSM) on Dec. 26 selected a local shipyard for the acquisition of a Landing Platform Dock (LPD).
SSM said it had selected Sedef Gemi Insaati A.S., a privately-owned Istanbul shipyard, to open contract negotiations for the LPD program, adding that if contract negotiations with Sedef failed then talks would open with the second-comer, DESAN Deniz Insaat Sanayi A.S. The SSM had opened the competition in 2010.
Under the plan, Sedef is expected to partner with Spanish shipyards Navantia.
But the SSM officials are hoping to keep the contract cost at around $500 million as originally planned, but did yet know “if that was fiscally feasible,” the report added.
Turkey has long been aiming to bolster its amphibious vessel fleet. The LPD program, one of the most ambitious efforts, is designed to deploy a battalion-sized force of up to 1,000 troops and personnel, eight utility helicopters, three UAVs, 13 tanks and 81 armored vehicles to crisis zones in the three seas near Turkey.