Update on the Turkish Armed Forces;
The Turkish armed forces
Currently, the Turkish army - the best army in the Middle East. In 2015 the number of Turkish armed forces (excluding reserve) - 410 500 people. In the time of war, you can easily use the military-trained reserve of up to 90 thousand people, of which 38 thousand people - a reserve first. The level of military spending in 2014, Turkey was in 15th place in the world - 22.6 billion dollars (data Stockholm International Peace Research Institute). At the same time the number of personnel in Europe is not the army, which would be more Turkish (except for Russia). For example, in the German armed forces today is about 170 thousand people, the British Army is about 180 thousand people, and they are continuously decreasing.
Turkish Armed Forces consist of the Army, Air Force, Navy, Gendarmerie (in peacetime subordinated to the Minister of Internal Affairs) and the Coast Guard. Organizational they are part of two ministries - the Ministry of Defense and Ministry of Internal Affairs of Turkey. Acquisition of the Turkish army carried out on draft principle. The system of recruitment and service in the Turkish army prescribed in the law on conscription. According to this document, military service is compulsory for all males aged 20 to 41 years who have no medical contraindications. Service life in all kinds of armed forces is now 12 months, while Turkish citizens are able to obtain an exemption from conscription by paying to the state budget a sum of money. In 2013 it was about 30 thousand lire (17 thousand dollars) - a considerable average for all Turkish conscript amount.
At the end of conscripts enlisted men transferred to the reserve. During the year, they are in the reserve of the first stage, which is referred to as "special appeal", and then transferred to the reserve of the 2nd stage (up to 41 years) and the 3rd stage (up to 60 years). This contingent of "special appeal" and reservists following the queue in the event of mobilization are directed to the fitting of existing or emerging units and formations.
Turkish Land Forces
Ground forces are the basis of the armed forces of the country (about 80% of the total). The direct management of implementing land forces commander, through its headquarters. At his command are the headquarters of the land forces, four field Army (PA), nine army corps (AC), including 7 in field armies and three Command (training, doctrines, army aviation and logistics). As adopted in 2007 the program "Armed Forces - 2014" to the end of 2014 the number of ground troops was planned to cut up to 280-300 thousand people at the same time with the building of modern weapons and military equipment, as well as management tools.
The plan was envisaged the elimination of the two field armies: the 3rd Field Army (grouping on the borders of Armenia and Georgia) and 4th Aegean (on the west coast of Turkey). At the same time it was planned to create a unified command of the three armed services (Army, Navy and Air Force) and converted to the corresponding General Staff "combined" headquarters, which will be subject to command kinds of aircraft. On the basis of the existing headquarters of the 1st field and 2nd field army command must be created in Western and Eastern group of troops, and the entire territory of Turkey's existing operational and military administratively divided into two parts.
As part of the plan the number of Turkish army was reduced by 10-20 thousand soldiers a year, many were disbanded military units and formations. For example, in just the last three years it was disbanded 5 tank brigades of 14, while the remaining nine armored brigades equipped with an upgraded and modern military equipment. It was also part of the infantry brigades disbanded, and some of them were transferred to the State of mechanized units. The task of conducting combat Kurdish separatist military forces fully shifted to the Turkish gendarmerie, for which the latter is enhanced armor transmitted from the ground forces. Rather, in addition to those already available to the gendarmerie BTR-60P (about 340 pieces) and BTR-80 (240 pieces).
The main striking force of Turkish ground troops are the tanks. All available armed Turkish army tanks of foreign manufacture. On arms is about 3 thousand tanks, but more than 1,200 of them are completely outdated American M48, these machines are mainly deposited or withdrawn are used in training centers. The most modern tanks at the disposal of the land forces of Turkey is the German Leopard 2A4, they number 339 pieces. Planned modernization of these tanks to the level A6 Turkish company ASELSAN. In addition, there are 392 German Leopard 1 tanks of various modifications and nearly 1,200 more old American M60 tanks of various modifications.
The Organization of the tank brigades included three tank battalions, in the mechanized brigades - 1 tank battalion. Each tank battalion consists of 41 tanks. The staff and management team consists of 2 tanks, 39 armored rest distributed to 3 tank Wrotham. Each tank company consists of 13 tanks (1 tank company commander and platoon 4 to 3 tanks). According to HR news agencies, the American M60 tanks (development of end 1950) of various modifications are still actively used by the Turkish army.
Park armored vehicles of the Turkish army is quite diverse and is represented by tracked and wheeled armored personnel carriers and tracked infantry fighting vehicles, as well as various machines based on them. Their total number exceeds 4,500 units. Of these the most part - is a technique of Turkish origin with the exception of older American M113 and M59.
Portable anti-tank weapons are represented and we carry anti-tank RPG, self-propelled anti-tank systems (48 ATGM FNSS ACV-300 TOW anti-tank systems and 156 M113 TOW). Number of PU Ammunition capacity and portable anti-tank systems in the Turkish army exceeds 2,400 (Otokar Cobra, Eryx, TOW, Milan, Cornet, contest). In addition, armed Turkish troops have more than 5000 RPG-7 and more than 40 thousand M72A2.
At the armed ground forces is more than 1,200 self-propelled guns and towed guns in 1900, almost 10 thousand mortars. The vast majority of US-made artillery systems, many seriously outdated (M110, M107, M44T, etc.). The most advanced artillery systems are 155-mm self-propelled guns T-155 Fırtına, representing licensed copy SAU South Korean K9 Thunder (240 in service, an order for 350 self-propelled guns), and 155-mm towed howitzers T-155 Pantera (about 225 units).
Considerable attention is paid Turkish military multiple rocket launchers. On arms of the Turkish army has 12 US 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 automotive chassis), MRL more than 100 T-107 (old Chinese Toure 63, 107 mm) and 24 of its own towed RA7040 MLRS caliber of 70 mm.
Army air defense presented antiaircraft artillery and self-propelled MANPADS MANPADS. Small-caliber guns antiaircraft artillery there are more than 2800 units. Man-portable air defense systems (Stinger, Igla, Red Eye), more than 1.9 million units. In addition, there are 150 air defense missile system "Altygan" (8 "Stinger" on M113) and 88 "Zipkin" (4 "Stinger" on the basis of the car "Land Rover").
The basis of the striking power of the army aviation helicopter gunships were American AH-1 "Cobra" (39 cars), as well as 6 new Turkish T-129 (created on the basis of the Italian A-129 helicopter, planned to build 60 cars). In addition, the disposal of military transport and 400 multipurpose helicopters (S-70 Black Hawk, UH-1, AS.532, AB-204/206) and 100 light aircraft. The gendarmes used 18 Mi-17 helicopters of the Russian manufacture.
An interesting detail is the fact that in recent years Turkey has become the second (after Bulgaria) NATO country in Europe, which are armed with tactical missiles. It is about 72 US ATACMS (launcher for them are MLRS MLRS) and at least 100 of its own tactical missiles J-600T, which have been copied from the Chinese B-611.
Turkish Air Force
Turkish Air Force include 4 Command. All combat vehicles are distributed between two tactical air command. Training aircraft are part of Training Air Command. Transport aircraft as part of the Air Force Command headquarters. At the disposal of the country's air force has 34 airport with artificial runway. The air force is up to 60 thousand people.
The basis of the combat power of the Turkish Air Force is 168 multi-role fighters F-16C and 40 training fighter F-16D. Most of them were produced under license in Turkey. In addition, it remains in service to 40 obsolete fighter Canadair NF-5 Canadian production. Also, the Air Force has more than 180 training aircraft, 7 refueling aircraft KC-135R, two AWACS aircraft Boeing-737 (just ordered 4) and 95 transport aircraft. The main Turkish military transport aircraft is - Tusas CN-235M (48 units). This Spanish transport aircraft CASA CN-235, which was produced under license in Turkey.
Ground air defense presented an outdated medium-range air defense system the US MIM-14 Nike-Hercules (72 PU), PU 48 American medium-range air defense missile system "Hawk-21", and 84 short-range SAM British "Rapier". In the future, the country's air defense system will be significantly strengthened by the signed contract with China for the supply of 12 divisional sets of long-range air defense missile system HQ-9, which in turn created using the technological base of the Soviet / Russian air defense systems S-300. February 21 2015 Turkish Defense Minister Ismet Yilmaz said that created with the help of the Chinese missile defense system in Turkey will not be integrated into NATO's missile defense system.
The plans of the Turkish Air Force seriously upgrade its fleet of combat aircraft. In particular, a lot of talk about the contract for the purchase of American fighter aircraft 5th-generation F-35A. They included the acquisition of 100 fighters. The first two aircraft should go into service in the Turkish Air Force, 2018. In the future, they are completely replace fighters Canadair NF-5 and F-16, which despite all the modernization, are considered to be already obsolete machines. The seriousness of the intentions of the Turkish side confirmed by the fact that at the end of 2016 the Turkish company Roketsan plans to begin trials of a new cruise missile SOM-J, which is designed for suspension on the F-35 Lightning II.
Foreign troops in Turkey is not, however, the US Air Force regularly uses for its operations Incirlik airbase and Diyarbakir. According to published online resource WikiLeaks data, at the base of Incirlik kept tactical nuclear weapons - bombs B-61. Officially, this information was never verified.
Turkish Naval Forces
Turkish Naval Forces is organized into four commands - North and South naval zones, the Navy and Training Command. The head of the of the armed forces - the Army, Admiral, who reports directly to the Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces. Commander of the Navy operational command of the Coast Guard is subject, which in peacetime under the Ministry of the Interior (80 patrol boats). The navy numbers 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 "Free Press" said that Turkish fleet exceeds even the combined fleet of Russia and Ukraine by 4.7 times. Since then the situation has changed significantly. Even a hypothetical merger 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 started qualitatively updated with modern warships and yet significantly reduce the existing gap in the short term, it will not succeed.
The core of the ship of the Turkish Navy warships are predominantly foreign projects. The main striking force of the fleet - 16 frigates and corvettes 8. Among frigates release of 8 units of the "Gaziantep" (passed the Americans frigates of the "Oliver Hazard Perry," have all been modernized), 4 frigates of the "Yavuz" (German frigates type MEKO 200) and 4 of the frigate "Barbaros" (type MEKO2000TN-II) . Six available to the Turkish Navy corvettes are former French corvettes of the "D'Estaing" and corvette type 2 «MILGEM» Turkish private development (likely planned to build 8 units).
Turkish Navy Submarine forces represented 14 diesel submarines Germany: including 8 modern project 209/1400 "Preveza" and six relatively new project 209/1200 "Atylay." These submarines are the most successful submarines are exported, they are in service with navies of 13 countries of the world. As part of the Turkish Navy 6 submarines of Project 209/1200 "Atylay", which entered the fleet from 1976 to 1989, will be replaced by modern German submarine type 214 airindependent propulsion (AIP), a contract for their construction was signed in 2011 .
Also in the Turkish Navy has one brigade of marines and naval commandos - 5th Detachment SAS (anti-sabotage combat swimmers) and the 9th detachment SAT (frogmen-saboteurs). Naval aviation includes 10 basic Spanish patrol aircraft CN-235M, 24 antisubmarine helicopter S-70B, and 29 multi-purpose transport helicopters and transport planes 9.
In general, today the Turkish armed forces have a fairly high level of combat capability, a significant number, professional and well-trained officer corps, satisfactory technical equipment (in qualitative terms). In quantitative terms, the different equipment of the army weapons and heavy equipment - high. Turkey's army is able to meet the challenges of national defense from large-scale foreign attack and at the same time to carry out a local anti-terrorist operation in its territory. Also, the Turkish armed forces are able to take part in coalition operations involving all existing branches of the armed forces. Implementation of international and national programs for modernization and production of arms and military equipment could significantly increase the strike capabilities of the armed forces in Turkey, which will deal with current and future threats and challenges of the Turkish state.
Strengths of the Turkish army experts call:
- A high level of credibility and support in broad sections of the Armed Forces of the Turkish society;
- Exceptional status and position of officers in the military environment and society;
- Sustainable management of the military hierarchy, the presence of corporate and clan (in installments, combat arms) solidarity;
- Hard level of discipline in all departments and units;
- Saturation of the Armed Forces military equipment and heavy weapons systems;
- Availability of modern means of management in operational and tactical levels;
- Integration into the system of command and control of NATO;
- Systematic operational and combat training of troops;
- Private industrial base, suitable for the manufacture, modernization, repair of many types of military equipment and arms control and communication systems, ammunition.