The Turkish armed forces consist of ground forces, air forces, naval forces, gendarmerie (in peacetime subordinated to the minister of internal affairs) and coast guard. Organizationally, they are part of two ministries - the Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of the Interior of Turkey. The recruitment of the Turkish army carried out by conscription. The system of recruitment and service in the Turkish army is spelled out in the law on universal military service. According to this document, military service is mandatory for all males between the ages of 20 and 41, who do not have medical contraindications. The term of service in all types of armed forces today is 12 months, while Turkish citizens have the opportunity to receive exemption from conscription by paying a certain amount of money to the country's budget. In 2013, it was about 30 thousand lire (17 thousand dollars) - a considerable amount for any average Turkish recruit.
Upon completion of military service, privates and sergeants are transferred to the reserve. During the year they are in the reserve of the first stage, which is called the “special appeal”, after which they are transferred to the reserve of the 2-th queue (up to 41 year) and the 3-th queue (up to 60 years). At the same time, the contingent of the “special appeal” and the reservists of the next lines in the case of the announcement of mobilization are sent to complete the existing or emerging parts and formations.
Turkish Ground Forces
Ground forces form the basis of the country's armed forces (approximately 80% of their total strength). Direct control of them is carried out by the commander of the ground forces through his headquarters. He is subordinate to the headquarters of the ground forces, four field armies (PA), nine army corps (AK), including 7 in the field armies and three commands (training, doctrine, army aviation and rear). According to the Armed Forces-2007 program adopted back in 2014, by the end of 2014 the number of ground forces was planned to be reduced to 280-300 thousand people at the same time as modern weapons and military equipment, as well as command and control equipment, were built up.
The plan provided for the liquidation of two field armies: the 3 th field army (grouping on the borders of Armenia and Georgia) and the 4 th Aegean (on the west coast of Turkey). At the same time, it was planned to create a single command of the three types of armed forces (ground forces, air force and navy) and to transform the General Staff into the appropriate "unified" headquarters, which will be subject to the command of the Armed Forces. On the basis of the existing headquarters of the 1 th field and 2 th field army, the commands of the Western and Eastern groups of forces should be created, and the entire existing territory of Turkey in operational and military-administrative terms is divided into two parts.
Tanks "Leopard2A4" on the streets of Ankara
As part of this plan, the number of the Turkish army was reduced by 10-20 thousands of soldiers a year, many military units and formations were disbanded. For example, only in the last three years 5 tank brigades from 14 were disbanded, while the remaining 9 tank brigades were equipped with modernized and modern military equipment. A part of the infantry brigades was also disbanded, and some of them were transferred to the state of mechanized formations. At the same time, the task of fighting the military formations of Kurdish separatists is fully shifted to the Turkish gendarmerie, for which the latter is reinforced by armored vehicles transferred from the ground forces. Most likely, in addition to the already available gendarmerie armored personnel carriers BTR-60 (about 340 units) and BTR-80 (240 units).
The main striking force of the Turkish ground forces are tanks. All are in service with the Turkish army tanks of foreign manufacture. About 3-x thousand tanks are in service, but more than 1200 of them are completely outdated American M48, these machines are mainly taken out of storage or used in training centers. The most modern tank at the disposal of the Turkish Army is the German Leopard 2А4, there are 339 units. It is planned to upgrade these tanks to А6 by the Turkish company ASELSAN. In addition, there are 392 German tanks Leopard 1 of various modifications and a little more than 1200 of even older American tanks M60 of various modifications.
Organizationally, the tank brigades include 3 tank battalions, the mechanized brigades - 1 tank battalion. Each tank battalion consists of 41 tanks. The headquarters and management of the brigade consists of 2 tanks, the remaining 39 combat vehicles are distributed among 3 tank companies. Each tank company consists of 13 tanks (1 tank of the company commander and 4 platoons of 3 tanks each). Judging by the frames news agencies, American tanks M60 (development of the late 1950s) of various modifications are still actively used by the Turkish army.
Tanks M60 Turkish Army
The fleet of armored vehicles of the Turkish army is quite diverse and consists of tracked and wheeled armored personnel carriers and tracked infantry fighting vehicles, as well as various vehicles based on them. Their total number exceeds 4500 units. Of these, the majority is Turkish-made equipment, with the exception of the obsolete American M113 and M59.
Anti-tank weapons are portable and transportable ATGM, RPG, self-propelled anti-tank complexes (48 ATGM FNSS ACV-300 TOW and 156 ATGM М113 TOW). The number of PU portable and portable ATGM in the Turkish army exceeds 2400 units (Otokar Cobra, Eryx, TOW, Milan, Cornet, Competition). In addition, the Turkish armed forces have more than 5 thousands of RPG-7 grenade launchers and more than 40 thousands of M72А2.
The ground forces are armed with more than 1200 ACS and 1900 towed guns, almost 10 thousands of mortars. At the same time, the vast majority of American-made artillery systems, many of which are seriously outdated (М110, М107, М44Т, etc.). The most modern artillery systems are the X-NUMX-mm T-155 Fırtına self-propelled guns, which are a licensed copy of the South Korean K155 Thunder SAU (9 in service, an order for the 240 SAU), and X-350 Panned T-155 Panzer how-to 155 T-225 SAU (about XNUMX)
155-mm SAU T-155 Fırtına
The Turkish military is paying considerable attention to multiple rocket launchers. The Turkish army has 12 American MLRS MLRS (227 mm), 80 MLRS T-300 "Kasigra" (modern Chinese MLRS WS-1 caliber 302 mm), 130 T-122 "Sakarya" (Soviet BM-21 "Grad" on Turkish car chassis), more than 100 MLRS T-107 (old Chinese 63 Tour, 107 caliber mm) and 24 own towed RA7040 MLRS 70-mm caliber.
Army air defense is represented by anti-aircraft artillery, MANPADS and self-propelled systems with MANPADS. Small-caliber anti-aircraft artillery guns number over 2,8 thousands of units. Portable anti-aircraft missile systems (Stinger, Eagle, Red-I) more than 1,9 thousands of units. In addition, there are 150 ZRK "Altygan" (8 "Stingers" on the M113) and 88 "Zipkin" (4 "Stinger" on the basis of the car "Land Rover").
The basis of the strike power of army aviation are American combat helicopters AN-1 "Cobra" (39 machines), as well as 6 latest Turkish T-129 (created on the basis of the Italian helicopter A-129, it is planned to build 60 machines). In addition, the military has up to 400 transport and multi-purpose helicopters (S-70 Black Hawk, UH-1, AS.532, AB-204 / 206) and up to 100 light aircraft. The gendarmerie uses Russian-made 18 Mi-17 helicopters.
Attack helicopter T-129
A curious detail is that in recent years, Turkey has become the second (after Bulgaria) NATO country in Europe, armed with tactical missiles. We are talking about American ATACMS 72 (launcher for them are MLRS MLRS) and at least 100 own operational tactical missiles J-600T, which were copied from the Chinese B-611.
Turkish Air Force
Turkish Air Force include 4 command. All combat vehicles are distributed between two tactical aviation commands. Training aircraft are part of the Training Aviation Command. Transport aircraft as part of the Air Force Headquarters Command. The country's Air Force has a 34 airfield with an artificial runway. As part of the Air Force serves up to 60 thousands of people.
The basis of the combat power of the Turkish Air Force is the X-NUMX multi-purpose fighter F-168C and the 16 training fighter F-40D. Most of them were produced under license in Turkey itself. In addition, remains in service until 16 obsolete Canadair NF-40 fighter canadian production. Also, the Air Force has more than 5 training aircraft, 180 refueling aircraft KC-7R, two DRLO Boeing 135 aircraft (ordered by 737 in total) and up to 4 transport aircraft. The main transport aircraft of the Turkish Air Force is - Tusas CN-95M (235 units). This is the Spanish transport aircraft CASA CN-48, which was produced in Turkey under a license.
F-16 Turkish Air Force
Ground-based air defense is represented by the obsolete US NIM-14 medium-range NIM-Hercules (72 PU) medium-range US missile system, as well as the American X-NUMX medium-range “Rapier” 48 American X-NUMX medium-range SAM systems. In the future, the country's air defense system will be significantly strengthened by a contract signed with China for the supply of 21 divisional sets of long-range air defense systems HQ-84, which in turn was created using the technological base of the Soviet-Russian C-12 air defense systems. 9 February 300 of the year Turkish Defense Minister Ismet Yilmaz noted that the missile defense system of Turkey created with the help of China will not be integrated into the NATO missile defense system.
The plans of the Turkish Air Force to seriously upgrade its fleet of combat aircraft. In particular, a lot is said about the contract for the purchase of American fighter 5-th generation F-35A. We are talking about the acquisition of such fighter 100. The first two aircraft must be commissioned by the Turkish Air Force already in 2018 year. In the future, they completely replace the Canadair NF-5 and F-16 fighters, which, despite all the upgrades carried out, are considered obsolete vehicles. The seriousness of the intentions of the Turkish side is confirmed by the fact that at the end of 2016, the Turkish company Roketsan is planning to launch tests of the SOM-J cruise missile, which is designed for suspension on F-35 Lightning II fighter jets.
Tusas CN-235M Turkish Air Force
There are no foreign troops in Turkey, but the US Air Force regularly uses Incirlik and Diyarbakir airbases for its operations. According to data published by the Internet resource WikiLeaks, tactical nuclear weapons are stored on the territory of the Incirlik base weapon - B-61 aerial bombs. Officially, this information has never been confirmed.
The Turkish Navy organizationally consists of four commands - the Northern and Southern naval zones, the naval fleet and training command. This type of armed forces is headed by an army admiral who reports directly to the chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces. The Navy Commander is promptly subordinated to the Coast Guard Command, which in peacetime is under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of the Interior (up to 80 patrol boats). The Navy includes up to 50 thousand people.
Currently, the Turkish fleet is the strongest fleet in the Black Sea. In 2013, Admiral Vladimir Komoyedov, in an interview with the Free Press, emphasized that the Turkish fleet even surpasses the combined fleet of Russia and Ukraine 4,7 times. Since then, the situation has changed significantly. Even the hypothetical unification of the fleets of Russia and Ukraine after all the events of recent years can be forgotten. But the Russian Black Sea Fleet has finally begun to qualitatively update with modern warships, and yet it will not be possible to significantly reduce the existing gap in the near future.
Corvette F 511 "Heybeliada" type "MILGEM" Turkish Navy
The core of the ship of the Turkish Navy are mainly warships of foreign projects. The main striking force of the fleet is 16 frigates and 8 corvettes. Among the frigates, 8 units of the Gaziantep type were distinguished (frigates of the type Oliver Hazard Perry were transferred by the Americans, all were upgraded), 4 frigates of the Yavuz type (German frigates of the MEKO 200 type) and 4 of the frigate Barbaros (of the MEKO 2000TNN type) . The six available corvettes of the Turkish Navy are the former French corvettes of the D'Estin D'Or type and the 2 corvette of the MILGEM type of their own Turkish design (a total of 8 units are planned to be built).
The submarine forces of the Turkish Navy are represented by German-made 14 diesel submarines: including the 8 modern 209 / 1400 “Preveza” project and six relatively new 209 / 1200 “Atylay” project. These submarines are the most successful submarines supplied for export, they are in service with fleets 13 countries of the world. As part of the Turkish Navy, the 6 Atylai 209 / 1200 boats, which were part of the fleet from 1976 to 1989, are planned to be replaced by modern German submarines of the 214 type with an air-independent propulsion system (AIP), the contract for their construction was signed in 2011 year .
Also in the Turkish Navy there is one brigade of marines and special forces - the 5 squadron SAS (anti-sabotage combat swimmers) and the 9 squadron SAT (combat swimmers-saboteurs). Naval aviation includes the Spanish CN-10M 235 base patrol aircraft, the S-24В anti-submarine helicopter, the multi-purpose and transport helicopter 70 and the 29 transport aircraft.
Submarine type 209 Turkish Navy
In general, today the Turkish armed forces have a fairly high level of combat capability, a substantial number, a professional and well-trained officer corps, satisfactory technical equipment (in qualitative terms). In quantitative terms, the equipment of the army with various weapons and heavy equipment is high. The Turkish army is able to solve the tasks of ensuring the country's defense against a large-scale external attack and at the same time carry out a local antiterrorist operation inside its territory. Also, the Turkish armed forces are able to take part in coalition operations involving all types of armed forces. The implementation of international and national programs for the modernization and production of weapons and military equipment will significantly increase the impact capabilities of the Turkish armed forces, which will help to cope with the existing and future threats and challenges to the Turkish state.
Experts call the strengths of the Turkish army:
- a high level of authority and support of the Armed Forces in wide sections of Turkish society;
- the exceptional status and position of officers in the military environment and society;
- a stable vertical of military administration, the presence of corporate and clan (in parts, combat arms) solidarity;
- A hard level of discipline in all divisions and units;
- saturation of the Armed Forces with military equipment and heavy weapons systems;
- availability of modern controls in the operational and tactical units;
- integration into the NATO command and control systems;
- systematic operational and combat training of troops;
- own industrial base, suitable for the production, modernization, repair of many types of military equipment and weapons, control and communications equipment, ammunition.