Nuclear Weapons Threat Not Decreasing: SIPRI

More than 5,000 nuclear weapons are deployed around the world and nuclear powers continue investing in new weapon systems, making meaningful disarmament in the near future unlikely, a report published Tuesday said.

“More than 5,000 nuclear weapons are deployed and ready for use, including nearly 2,000 that are kept in a high state of alert,” according to a report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

SIPRI’s report said the world’s eight nuclear powers – Britain, China, France, India, Israel, Pakistan, Russia and the U.S. – possess more than 20,500warheads.

As of January 2011, Russia had 11,000 nuclear warheads, including 2,427deployed, while the United States had 8,500 including 2,150 deployed, the report said.

The U.S. and Russia have signed a Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) that calls for a maximum of 1,550 warheads deployed per country.

However SIPRI argued that prospects for meaningful disarmament in the short-term are grim as all eight countries seem committed to either improving or maintaining their nuclear programs.

“The five legally recognized nuclear weapons states, as defined by the 1968 Non-Proliferation Treaty are either deploying new nuclear weapon systems or have announced their intention to do so,” the report said, referring to Britain, China, France, Russia and the U.S.

India and Pakistan are “expanding their capacity to produce fissile material for military purposes,” according to the report.

SIPRI Director Daniel Nord said south Asia, where relations between India and Pakistan seem perpetually tense, is “the only place in the world where you have a nuclear weapons arms race.”

While Israel, which has never conclusively declared itself a nuclear weapons state but is almost universally assumed to be one, “appears to be waiting to assess how the situation with Iran’s nuclear program develops,” SIPRI said.

Nord argued that because “nuclear weapons states are modernizing and are investing in their nuclear weapons establishments (it) seems unlikely that there will be any real nuclear weapon disarmament within the foreseeable future.”

The report said that North Korea “is believed to have produced enough plutonium to build a small number of nuclear warheads, but there is no public information to verify that it has operational nuclear weapons.”

Nord identified Pakistan “losing control of part of its nuclear arsenal” to a terrorist group as a specific concern.

He also voiced worry over the potential consequences if “Israel or the United States decide that they will have to intervene and do something about the program in Iran.”

Iran has repeatedly insisted that its nuclear program is non-military, but several world powers have demanded closer international inspection of Iran’s nuclear sites to verify the claim.

SIPRI is an independent institution that receives 50 percent of its funding from the Swedish state.

Stockholm – AFP

Iran says no offer can stop it enriching uranium

No offer from world powers can persuade Iran to stop enriching uranium, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Tuesday, dismissing the key demand of countries that fear Tehran is developing nuclear weapons.

A day after the U.N. atomic watchdog said it had new evidence of possible military dimensions to Iran’s nuclear work, Ahmadinejad accused it of doing Washington’s bidding and said Tehran’s atomic advances had “no brake and no reverse gear.”

The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Yukiya Amano, said on Monday the IAEA had received “further information … that seems to point to the existence of possible military dimensions to Iran’s nuclear program.”

That contradicts Iran’s insistence that its nuclear work is for entirely peaceful purposes, and Ahmadinejad made clear his displeasure with the Japanese IAEA chief who has taken a blunter approach than his Egyptian predecessor Mohamed ElBaradei.

“With America’s orders (the IAEA) has written some things in a report that are against the law and against the agency’s regulations,” Ahmadinejad told reporters.

“These have no legal value and aside from harming the agency’s reputation it will have no other effect.”

Tehran says sanctions imposed by Washington, Europe and the United Nations are not hitting its economy and insists they will not force it to give up what it considers its sovereign right to enrich uranium, a process that can make fuel for power plants or, by enriching uranium more highly, provide bomb material.


“I have said before that Iran’s nuclear train has no brake and no reverse gear … We will continue our path,” Ahmadinejad said, adding that Iran would continue to cooperate with the IAEA “as long as they move based on justice.”

Asked whether the world powers that have held talks with Tehran in the past to seek an end to the nuclear impasse could offer any incentive to stop Iran’s enrichment, he answered with the one word: “No.”

Two rounds of talks between Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, the United States, Russia, China, Britain and France, plus Germany (P5+1), in Geneva in December and in Istanbul in January, did not reach any substantive result.

Iran has said it is willing to resume talks, but its insistence that other countries recognize its right to enrich uranium is a major stumbling block, particularly for Western diplomats who see it as an unacceptable pre-condition.

The EU foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, who represented the P5+1 at the talks, said last month she wanted a “stronger and better” reply from Iran to her call to revive the talks.

Israel and the United States say they do not rule out pre-emptive military strikes to stop Iran making nuclear bombs.

As well as blaming Washington for Amano’s comments, Ahmadinejad used his news conference to condemn U.S. interference in the Middle East, including Bahrain, the tiny Gulf island state that hosts the U.S. Fifth Fleet and whose crackdown on pro-democracy protests Tehran has condemned.

“The problem is not between the authorities and the people, the problem is America’s military base in Bahrain,” he said.

On Syria, Iran’s main ally in the region in its stand against Israel, he said: “I condemn the interference of America and its allies … We believe that Syrians themselves are capable of managing their own affairs.”

There are U.S. troops in two of Iran’s neighbors — Iraq and Afghanistan — and Ahmadinejad predicted Washington would try to extend its presence in a third — nuclear armed Pakistan.

“We have information that in order to gain more control over Pakistan, to weaken the Pakistani nation and government, the Americans want to sabotage Pakistan’s nuclear facilities,” he said, adding that damage to nuclear plants would be a pretext for a greater U.S. presence in the country.


Turkey joins trade rush into Africa

A worker for the Chinese company Zhongyuan Petroleum Exploration Bureau climbs onto a drilling platform of an oil rig near Melut in the Upper Nile, Sudan, in this file photo. Countries like Turkey and Brazil are following China in a trade and investment push into Africa. Bloomberg photo

The clout of emerging economies is increasing in global trade, according to a benchmark report on Africa, showing the ability of nations, including Turkey, to open inroads into the economic centers of the African continent.

India, Turkey, South Korea and Brazil are emulating China’s push to boost trade with Africa, as they erode the market share of the continent’s traditional European and North American trading partners, according to the 2011 African Economic Outlook released Monday.

The report comes at a time when HSBC’s influential chief economist Stephen King talks about the creation of a “Southern Silk Road,” a network of new “south-south” trading routes connecting Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America.

In his analysis also released Monday, King claimed that such connections are set to revolutionize the global economy. “We believe that trade and capital flows between emerging areas of the world could increase 10-fold in the next 40 forty years,” he said. “In the same way that trade between the developed nations exploded in the 1950s and 1960s, we expect the 21st century to see turbocharged trade growth between the emerging nations.”

Emerging economies accounted for about 39 percent of Africa’s merchandise trade in 2009, up from 23 percent a decade earlier, according to the 2001 African Economic Outlook, which was released in Lisbon.

China accounted for 13.9 percent of Africa’s total trade of $629 billion in 2009, while India accounted for 5.1 percent, South Korea 2.6 percent, Brazil 2.5 percent, Turkey 2.4 percent and Thailand 1.1 percent, said the Outlook.

The report was produced by the African Development Bank, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the United Nations Development Program and the UN Economic Commission for Africa.

Increased diversification

“Africa now has two engines to fly on,” OECD economist Jean-Phillipe Stijns, one of the report’s authors, told Bloomberg News. “The diversification of its trading partners bodes well for its ability to resist better the ups and downs of the global business cycle.”

Africa’s new trading partners may also help it reduce its reliance on exporting raw materials. While 85 percent of foreign direct investment flows from traditional investors into resource-rich countries, the ratio for emerging partners is closer to 70 percent, according to Stijns.

“There is this perception that emerging partners, more than any other partners, are resource hungry and the reason they are in Africa is to get the lion’s share of natural resources,” he said. “They are not the culprits. In fact, emerging partners are more diversified than traditional partners in terms of where they are active in Africa.”

According to HSBC’s King, the ongoing “trade revolution” will soon be joined by new finance centers. “Asian financial centers are growing rapidly and, in time, the [Chinese] renminbi may become the world’s most important reserve currency,” he said, continuing: “Already, China has five of the 10 biggest ports in the world. Other emerging nations are not quite so advanced. But, with the help of Chinese investment, the process of infrastructure ‘catch-up’ is slowly being established.”

King raised eyebrows with his latest “Losing Control: The Emerging Threats to Western Prosperity” book. In Monday’s report, he said proposed railways coast-to-coast “across Colombia and from China through to Turkey” alongside new port construction in the Indian Ocean show the shape of things to come. According to King, the center of economic and political gravity is “heading South and East” in a 21st-century version of the original Asian Silk Road, this time involving South-South connections over “land, sea, air and the electronic ether.”


China to launch Gokturk satellite in December

Gokturk Satellite

China will launch Turkey’s first intelligence satellite, Göktürk-2, for $20 million since Turkey lacks the required technology to launch the satellite. Göktürk-2, which will be capable of detecting the movements of objects smaller than even one square meter, will help capture terrorists infiltrating Turkish borders.

The optical camera for the satellite has been bought from South Korea, while all the other parts have been produced and manufactured in Turkey. Göktürk-2 is expected to be launched in December or in early 2012.
The Göktürk-2 satellite will also be used for monitoring civilian activities such as control of forestland, tracking illegal construction, rapid assessment of damage after natural disasters, determination of agricultural boundaries and geographical data gathering. The project also aims to furnish national industries with the capability to design and integrate satellite systems and run tests on them here in Turkey.
Turkish defense industry companies and research centers Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI), Aselsan, the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK) and Turksat will participate in all phases of the project. The project consists of the construction of an electro-optic satellite system that will be put into orbit, a fixed land station and a mobile land station.
Gokturk-1, a higher resolution version of the satellite using a more advanced bus and different frame, is currently under construction by a consortium of Telespazio and Thales-Alenia. Planned for launch in 2013, Gokturk-1 will be capable of providing imagery at a resolution of 30cm.
According to rumors circulating around Turkish defence spheres, Israel actively tries using diplomatic pressure to block the launch of Göktürk-2, fearing that Turkey will be able to monitor Israel’s territory. However, no international legal remedy is available to Israel to limit the operations of Gokturk satellites at this time.
“You’ve been monitoring us [Turkish terriotory] for years.” Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said in a press conference, referring to the unreasonable request of Israeli authorities.
“No compromise is expected to be reached with Israel regarding this matter,” a Turkish official told TR Defence at the IDEF international defence industry fair.
Industrial defence cooperation between Turkey and China goes back at least two decades. Turkey has acquired a number artillery rockets from China and codeveloped short-range ballistic missiles.

Aselsan introduces torpedo-jammer sonar

Aselsan's torpedo-jamming omni-directional sonar technology.

Turkish defense industry company, Aselsan, has manufactured Turkey’s first domestic sonar system capable of ‘jamming’ incoming topedos.

Aselsan’s underwater sonar system, “Kulac”, has the “jammer” technology aiming at eliminating torpedo threat. Moreover, it can be used to measure sea depth, as well as distance, direction and speed of enemy submarines, defense experts told AA on Wednesday.

Kulac, which can work in two different frequencies based on various depths, can perceive sound reflections coming from a 1,000 m distance, experts also said.

Earlier in May, Aselsan has introduced several other torpedo seeker sonar systems at the IDEF’11 international defense industry fair in Istanbul.

Turkey, thanks to Aselsan’s contribution, is one of the top 10 countries in the world which design their own electronic war equipment.

Aselsan started operating with the aim of creating a self-sufficient industry primarily for defense requirements of the Turkish Armed Forces. Today, the company has become a high technology, multi-product defense electronics company by introducing state-of-the-art equipment and systems solutions for both military and professional applications.

Aselsan’s main fields of activity are Communication and Information Technologies; Defense Systems Technologies; Radar, Electronic Warfare and Intelligence Systems; and Microelectronics, Guidance, and Electro-Optics.


Turkey Takes Aim At Targeting Pod

Built to track up to four targets simultaneously in infrared (IR) and day video, Aselsan's Aselpod contains a zoomable, third-generation IR camera with a 640x512 mid-wave detector and three fields of view.

Turkey’s largest defense company is beginning to flight-test the country’s first indigenous advanced targeting and reconnaissance pod.

The tests mark the end of the initial phase of an ambitious program by military electronics specialist Aselsan. It is not publicly known how long Aselsan has been working on the once-classified project, but the company says it has so far spent $50 million to design and develop the Aselpod.

Built to track up to four targets simultaneously in infrared (IR) and day video, the pod contains a zoomable, third-generation IR camera with a 640×512 mid-wave detector and three fields of view. Both IR and video cameras can automatically track objects on the ground and in the air, and inertial trackers help keep the cameras on target even when the line of sight is momentarily obscured.

For stability, the cameras pivot on a four-axis gimbal in the sensor head. Solid-state recorders bring the information back home for debriefing. A laser pointer enables the pod to designate targets for other weapons, and a laser spot tracker allows the pod to lock onto targets illuminated by others.

Military and company officials declined to discuss further details about the pod and its development.

The tests are proceeding at an air base in Eskisehir, 220 kilometers northwest of here. The Turkish Air Force plans to install the first Aselpod to an F-4E 2020 before the end of 2011.

The second phase of the program calls for the production of 16 pods, to be installed on F-16 Block 50 fighter jets.

Procurement officials said the Aselpod, when fully operational, will replace the U.S. made LANTIRN, a combined navigation and targeting pod system for use on the U.S. Air Force’s premier fighter aircraft – the F-15E Strike Eagle and F-16 Block 40/42 C and D models.

Last year, Lockheed Martin signed a foreign military sales contract to deliver Sniper Advanced Targeting Pods (ATPs) and LANTIRN Enhanced Resolution (ER) navigation pods to the Turkish Air Force. Valued at $118 million, the contract will provide Sniper ATP and LANTIRN ER navigation pods to equip Turkish Air Force F-16 Block 40 and Block 50 Peace Onyx aircraft.

A Turkish defense official said the military hopes the Aselpod eventually will replace the LANTIRN.

“The program reflects a strategic choice to end our dependency on foreign [U.S.] systems for targeting equipment,” he said.

Observers’ Doubts

But analysts were dubious about official claims about the Aselpod.

An Ankara-based defense analyst said that although Aselsan has invested much time and resources into the Aselpod program, the end result may fall short of the Turkish ambitions.

“No doubt, the Turkish system will work this way or another, within this time frame or another,” he said. “But how much the Aselpod may deviate from the existing technology and costings is yet to be seen.”

A London-based Turkey specialist said the Aselpod may be another example of Turkish ambition to go local.

“Indigenous programs often make the Turks proud. But success in terms of desired capabilities and costs is something else,” he said.

In recent years, Turkey’s procurement planners have strongly encouraged local design, development and production of systems including UAVs, armored vehicles, helicopters, trainer aircraft, naval platforms and several defense electronic, avionic and software systems.

Aselsan is a public company owned by the Turkish Armed Forces Support Foundation. Turkey’s top five defense companies are all owned by the same foundation.

Aselsan reported $792 million in sales in 2010. It aims at $850 million this year and $1 billion in 2013. The company exports products to 37 countries.

Ankara – DefenseNews

Turkey reveals stand-off missile, bunker buster

TUBITAK-SAGE Stand-off Missile (SOM) on display aboard a TurAF F-16 Fighting Falcon at the Cigli Airbase in Izmir, Turkey.

Turkish Air Force (TurAF) has revealed two indigenously developed missile systems during the 100th year celebrations at the Cigli airbase in Turkey’s western province of Izmir, TR Defence sources reported on Saturday. Celebrations consisted of public shows by the world’s leading air acrobatics teams, including the USAF Thunderbirds and Turkey’s own Turkish Stars, as well as various other events both on the ground and in the air.

Developed by TUBITAK-SAGE as a result of an ambitious project started in 2006, Turkey’s first indigenous stand-off missile is designed for destroying both fixed and large moving targets at a range of over 180 kilometers. Currently referred to by the TurAF as SOM, it can be used as a precision strike weapon against both land or sea targets. TUBITAK-SAGE officials who spoke to TR Defence at the Cigli airshow said that the initial demonstartion flights of the prototypes were completed successfully at undisclosed locations and the delivery of a first batch of missiles to TurAF would take place by the end of 2011 following more vigorous live firing tests scheduled for the rest of the year.

SOM missile uses GPS (Global Positioning System) as its primary mode of guidance complemented by an advanced intertial navigation system and a radar-based terrain contour matching system, dubbed TERCOM, allowing the missile to ‘hug’ the terrain during its flight as to avoid detection by radar. SOM also features improved geometry and aerodynamics over similar missile systems, as well as lightweight composite components that minimize the radar cross-section of the missile and turning it stealth. A terminal stage infrared imager recognizes the individual target by matching its signature with a pre-loaded database of similar targets and allows for precision homing and strike.

SOM can currently be installed and used aboard TurAF F-4 Phantom and F-16 aircraft.

“Certification work is in progress to enable the missile for use aboard the F-35,” a TUBITAK-SAGE official told TR Defence on condition of anonymity. Turkey plans to procure an initial batch of 120 F-35 planes to replace its aging fleet of F-4 Phantoms and the older F-16 Block 30s.

Bunker Penetrating Munition

TUBITAK-SAGE also unveiled its latest high-precision ‘bunker buster’ bomb at the airshow in Izmir, dubbed NEB (Nufuz Edici Bomba) or Penetrating Bomb.

NEB is a 870 kg bomb system that consists of two warheads placed in a tandem configuration. First warhead is a tip-mounted shaped charge that creates a critical shockwave and intense heat upon impact. This allows the second warhead to penetrate through a reinforced concrete structure and explode on the inside. Second warhead is a larger explosive package housed in a thicker, slimmer steel-alloy casing that is designed to go through the walls of the bunker as it’s weaked by the shock and heat of the first first warhead’s impact. Wired with a proximity fuze to detonate approximately one second after the first warhead, the second warhead delivers a large and extremely lethal explosion to destroy the enemy bunker from inside out.

NEB is laser guided and can be dropped from all TurAF combat aircraft with target designators.

FNSS bags $559 million Malaysian order for Pars 8×8 APCs

The Pars (Turkish for Anatolian Leopard) is an amphibious armoured personnel carrier family with 6×6, and 8×8 versions, produced by FNSS of Turkey.

FNSS of Turkey, a joint venture between BAE Systems, Inc. and Nurol Holding  of Turkey, has received and signed a $559 million letter of offer and acceptance  (LOA) from DEFTECH of Malaysia for the design, development and manufacture of  257 DEFTECH AV-8 8×8 wheeled armored vehicles and Integrated Logistics Support  for the Malaysian Armed Forces.

The vehicle, to be manufactured by DEFTECH in Malaysia, is based on the  FNSS-designed PARS 8×8 multi-purpose, multi-mission, wheeled armored vehicle.  The vehicle will be redesigned by FNSS and DEFTECH engineers specifically to  meet the requirements of the Malaysian customer.

“This effort will not only benefit the Malaysian Army, but will also further  develop the indigenous capability in Malaysia,” said John Kelly, vice president  of exports and international business for BAE Systems’ Land & Armaments  sector. “BAE Systems, Inc. actively looks to support FNSS in its ambition to  market its land vehicle expertise globally.”

Malaysia’s AV-8 8×8 armoured wheeled vehicle program involves the local  design, development and manufacture of the vehicle, as well as the integrated  logistic support. FNSS will provide the technical assistance and technology  transfer to enable DEFTECH to produce the vehicles in Malaysia. The AV-8 will be  Malaysia’s first indigenous 8×8 armored wheeled vehicle family consisting of 12  variants, for use by the Malaysian Army.

“This project builds on the already successful industrial partnership with  DEFTECH, our long term industrial partner in Malaysia. We look forward to  supporting DEFTECH on this challenging program and making it another success  story in Malaysia,” said Nail Kurt, General Manager and CEO of FNSS. “FNSS is  committed to providing the means for DEFTECH to realize the goal of developing  an 8×8 Wheeled Armored Vehicle Family (AV8) to meet the Malaysia Armed Forces  requirements. The project is based on putting in place the infrastructure to  design, develop, produce and maintain a family of 8×8 Wheeled Armored  Vehicles.”

FNSS and DEFTECH previously delivered 211 ADNAN Armored Combat Vehicles (ACV)  and 8 120mm ACV Mortar Carriers to the Malaysian Army and are now about to  complete the deliveries of 48 additional ADNAN ACVs under a separate  contract.

About FNSS

FNSS Savunma Sistemleri A.S. is a leading designer, manufacturer and supplier  of armoured combat vehicles and weapon systems for the Turkish Armed Forces and  Allied Armed Forces. FNSS is a Turkish based joint-venture company between Nurol  Group of Turkey and BAE Systems, Inc.

Sun Herald

Havelsan’s new UAV mission planning system

Havelsan has developed a mission planning system for small rotary-wing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and intends to evolve this into a package for a range of UAVs, both fixed- and rotary-wing.

Baris Dinç, systems engineering group manager for air command control and management information systems at Havelsan, told Jane’s that the company had used a commercially available rotary-wing UAV in the first instance and modified its software to meet their needs, including the addition of an autonomous flight capability.

The planning package has been developed to enable the user to task a UAV to undertake a range of missions based on predefined parameters, however, Dinç explained that the system incorporates a high degree of automation, enabling the UAV to alter its tasking and react to events as they unfold.

Typically the user would define an area of operations for the UAV and instruct it to conduct tasks in that space. For example, a search and rescue mission could see the platform tasked to fly in a set pattern at certain altitudes and notify the operator when an object of interest is detected.

While the system can be used to create a rigid framework for the UAV to follow, Dinç pointed to the automated aspect of operations as being the most advanced and promising. In a surveillance mission a UAV could be instructed to observe an area and photograph set targets, however, if permitted to do so the platform could break from its tasking and follow a target of interest.

If multiple platforms are in operation or available the system can also inform the user of the most suitable platform and payloads to conduct a mission set, likewise, if these have been manually selected by the user it can indicate if they are not suitable for the task.

A further feature of the planning system is its ability to identify any areas where a UAV will not be able to communicate with its operator. A post-mission analysis tool enables the user to observe if the UAV followed its tasking and what may have caused any discrepancies to have occurred; the imagery and data collected by the payloads can also be selected and displayed.

Beyond military roles such as surveillance, Dinç said that civilian applications may include the monitoring and inspection of power lines and oil pipelines.


Three shipyards set for Turkish LPD tender

RMK Marine's LPD design proposal for the Turkish Navy.

Three Turkish shipyards have responded to a request for tender (RfT) to design and build an amphibious landing platform dock (LPD) vessel for the Turkish Naval Forces.

Desan Shipyard, RMK Marine and SEDEF submitted their rival proposals to the Undersecretariat for Defence Industries (SSM) on 16 May. Çelik Tekne and Dearsan Shipyard, which had until recently been expected to compete, did not submit responses; the ADIK and Istanbul Denizcilik yards had already advised the SSM of their intention not to bid.

The LPD requirement calls for a logistically self-sustaining amphibious vessel able to transport, sustain and land a battalion-size force in the Aegean, Mediterranean and Black Sea operating areas. The ship will also have a secondary humanitarian relief role.

It is understood that the RfT specified a vessel with at least four helicopter landing spots, hangar space for four helicopters and a stern dock for two landing craft air cushion or four landing craft mechanised.

These characteristics, together with accommodation and vehicle/cargo storage for the embarked military force, have driven through-deck LHD-type designs of more than 25,000 tons displacement. This will make the LPD the largest naval vessel ever built in Turkey.

The SSM issued its RfT in February 2010, with bids originally due for return by the end of 2010.

However, the deadline was extended to mid-May 2011 to allow interested shipyards to decide their LPD bid strategy and finalise their design.

While the SSM mandated an indigenous prime contractor for the LPD programme, it has allowed Turkish shipbuilders to partner with overseas shipyards and design houses. SEDEF teamed with Spain’s Navantia to bid a variant of the latter’s Juan Carlos I strategic projection ship, while Desan’s design is believed to have been developed in conjunction with China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation.

Meanwhile, RMK Marine developed its LPD design in-house. However, it has used UK-based BMT Defence Services as a consultant for aspects of its solution.

The SSM anticipates that the bid evaluation process will take up to 12 months. Contract negotiations with a preferred bidder and the need for the selected shipbuilder to secure a financing package mean a final contract award is unlikely before late 2012.

The LPD project represents the largest single element of an ambitious plan to recapitalise the Turkish Naval Forces’ amphibious and logistics fleet. Eight 79 m fast landing craft tank are currently being built by ADIK and the same yard was in May 2011 contracted to build two 138 m landing ship tank vessels.