>First flight of CN235 ASW for Meltem programme

>Ankara, 2 December 2008 – Thales announced on 2 December 2008 that the Turkish Navy’s future CN235 maritime patrol aircraft made its first flight.

Modified by Thales and industrial partners TAI, Havelsan, Aselsan and Milsoft, the aircraft features the AMASCOS system (Airborne MAritime Situation and COntrol System) to provide Turkish naval forces with advanced anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare capabilities.

Meltem is one the most ambitious maritime surveillance and patrol programme and consist of 3 parts.

Meltem (I) is the purchase of three CN235s for Exclusive Economic Zone surveillance missions by the Turkish Coast Guard and six CN235s in AsuW and ASW missions.

Meltem (II) is the integration of AMASOC and its sub components on the above mentioned planes.

Meltem (III) is purchase of ten ATR-72 ASW planes and integration of AMASCOS on to them. For Meltem (III) Aleina is the prime contractor.

Turkish Airforce operates 50 CN-235 planes for troop and VIP transport, SIGINT/ELINT and CSAR missions. When this plane was chosen for the Meltem (I) project this decision was criticised.

The critics stated that CN-235 was not able to fulfill the operational demands of Turkish Navy as her performance was not up to this demands. When ATR-72 ASW plane was chosen from Meltem (III) the claims of the opponents seemed to be right.

Turkish Navy needs patrol planes for maritime surveillance, monitoring territorial Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) waters, for detecting all forms of illicit trade and trafficking, accidental pollution and oil dumping, and for search-and-rescue operations.

I hope we start to see these planes to enter into the service soon.

12 Years After The Contract Thales Finally Delivers Maritime Patrol Aircraft To Turkish Navy

Thales delivers 5 planes and a certificate. Photo: Thales.

Thales delivers 5 planes and a certificate. Photo: Thales.

I am sure that the good people of Thales are in a celebration mood. Here is an excerpt form their press release:

Thales announces the delivery of the final standard for the maritime patrol aircraft to Turkey as part of the MELTEM II programme, for which Thales is the prime contractor. To this day, five of the six aircraft have been delivered to this standard, with the sixth set for delivery before the summer. This follows the three maritime surveillance aircraft which were sent to the Turkish coastguards last year.

Pierre Eric Pommellet, Senior Vice President of Thales in charge of Defence Mission Systems, officially handed over the delivery certificate for the aircraft to the Chief of Staff of the Turkish Navy. On this occasion, he highlighted the “strong relationships that have been established throughout the programme with Turkish industry partners, TAI, Havelsan, Aselsan and Milsoft. These have enabled the success of this aircraft transformation programme and pave the way for future partnerships between Thales and the Turkish industry. We’re focusing on developing this close cooperation and are very proud these maritime patrol aircraft reach a technological and operational standard of excellence. The Turkish Navy can now rely on Thales’s state-of-the-art AMASCOS solution to conduct their maritime patrol missions.”

16 years after the maritime patrol plane  project has started and 12 years after Thales was contracted to deliver the AMASCOS,  the five out of total six aircraft of the Meltem project  were finally handed over to the Turkish Navy on 29 April 2014. I am quite sure that Thales and their Turkish partners have developed strong relationship in the last 12 years when they were working to get the things done. They had all the time in the world for building strong relationships.

When the Meltem project started, this and this aircrafts were not even on drawing boards. Since then they have taken off are operational.

Since the start of the Meltem has been beleaguered with delays. The project has 3 parts:

  • Meltem I:  The purchase of three CN-235′s for Exclusive Economic Zone surveillance missions by the Turkish Coast Guard and six CN-235′s in AsuW and ASW missions for Turkish Navy. This part of the project started in 1998 and ended in 2002.
  • Meltem II:  The integration of AMASCOS  (Airborne MAritime Situation & Control System) and its sub components on the above mentioned planes. The Thales made AMASCOS  was selected as the main C3I system for the above mentioned CN-235 planes back in 2002. Thales acts as the main contractor and Turkish companies TAI, Havelsan, Aselsan and Milsoft are acting as sub contractors. According to the contract the planes were to be in service in 2007. But the first modified plane made its maiden flight one year after the contractual delivery date. The aircraft started to enter into contemporary commission only in 2012 both in Turkish Navy and Turkish Coast Guard. And in 2013 the planes for the Coast Guard were officially commissioned. Yesterday’s ceremony means that this phase is almost ended.
  • Meltem III: When in 2008 the contract was signed for Meltem (III), Aleina was supposed to to deliver ATR-72 ASW planes and integrate the AMASCOS system and the sensors to them. 6 years later all we got are two ATR-72 TMU maritime utility aircraft and a reduction on total number of planes from 10 to 8 including the TMUA’s. The utility planes are by the way unarmed and have no sensors. So they are no good for hunting submarines.


I have told in then, I and I am telling it now, the Meltem acquisition project should be thought in business and project management courses as a case study as an example how not to run a project.

Turkish Navy Naval Parade In Dardanelles

On 18 March,we have celebrated the victory of against the Allied Fleet in 1915.  I am honored and delighted to share some of the excellent photos Mr. Ahmet Güven, a very dear contributor to these blog before shared these beautiful photos.


A-579 TCG Cezayirli Hasan Paşa passing through Dardanelles.


F-247 TCG Kemalreis anchored at Dardanelles.


F-247 TCG Kemalreis anchored at Dardanelles.


F-247 TCG Kemalreis anchored at Dardanelles.


F-247 TCG Kemalreis anchored at Dardanelles.


F-247 TCG Kemalreis anchored at Dardanelles.


F-247 TCG Kemalreis anchored at Dardanelles. At the background from left to right P-330 TCG Kılıç, P-335 TCG Imbat, P-334 TCG Meltem, P-337 TCG Atak


F-241 TCG Turgutreis anchored at Dardanelles


F-241 TCG Turgutreis anchored at Dardanelles


F-241 TCG Turgutreis anchored at Dardanelles


F-241 TCG Turgutreis anchored at Dardanelles


SG-701 TCSG Dost at Dardanelles


SG-701 TCSG Dost at Dardanelles

Republic Day 2013

F-495 TCG Gediz in Istanbul.

F-495 TCG Gediz in Istanbul. She is one of the most capable Perry class frigates afloat world wide with her Mk41 VLS containing ESSM missiles, Smart-S 3D radar, upgraded combat management software and rebuild CIC.

Tomorrow is the 90th anniversary of the foundation of Turkish Republic. Many different events are planed to celebrate our republic and one of them is to open Turkish warships to public. This year the Gölcük Naval Base, the main base of Turkish Navy will have an open door day and many ships will be accessible for the public. The following Turkish warships will be open to public:

Number Name Type City
S-358 TCG Çanakkale Submarine Gölcük
F-244 TCG Barbaros Frigate Gölcük
P-336 TCG Zıpkın Fast attack boat Gölcük
A-595 TCG Y. K. Güngör Replenishment Ship Gölcük
F-496 TCG Gökova Frigate İzmit
F-245 TCG Oruçreis Frigate İstanbul
F-495 TCG Gediz Frigate İstanbul
P-334 TCG Meltem Fast attack boat Karadeniz Ereğli
P-330 TCG Kılıç Fast attack boat Mersin
F-502 TCG Bandırma Corvette İzmir
P-348 TCG Yıldız Fast attack boat İskenderun
F-493 TCG Gelibolu Frigate Antalya
P-1203 TCG Kumkale Patrol boat Bozcaada
P-1205 TCG Karabiga Patrol boat Gökçeada


Finaly: The First ATR-72 Maritime Utility Plane Is Delivered

The first ATR-72-600 plane for Turkish Navy at Alenia-Aermacchi factory in Italy.

The first ATR-72-600 maritime utility aircraft for Turkish Navy at Alenia-Aermacchi factory in Italy.

The Turkish Navy has received the first ATR 72-600 Turkish maritime utility aircraft (TMUA) from Alenia Aermacchi on 25 July 2013.

Maritime Utility Aircraft is a very elegant expression and means that the aircraft has neither weapons nor any sensors.

Alenia Aermacchi was awarded the contract to deliver two ATR 72-600 TMUA and six ATR 72-600 turkish maritime patrol aircraft (TMPA) to the Turkish Navy.
Under the contract, the company will supply the first TMPA to the Turkish Navy in February 2017 while deliveries are scheduled to be completed by 2018.
The two ATR 72-600 TMUA, which are undergoing modification at the company’s facilities in Naples, Capodichino and Torino-Caselle, will be used by the Turkish Navy for utility roles and personnel and cargo transport missions.
Fitted with new radios, the TMUA aircraft features an identification friend-or-foe system (IFF) as well as tactical tables and communications equipment for the crew.
“The TMUA aircraft features an identification friend-or-foe system.”
The Turkish aerospace industry will modify the six green ATR72-600 aircraft to ATR 72-600 TMPAs in Ankara, Turkey, by installing specific equipment to meet the Turkish Navy maritime patrol requirement.
Fitted with Thales airborne maritime situation and control system (AMASCOS) mission system, the six ATR 72-600 TMPA multi-role assets will be equipped with automatic identification system (AIS) and link 16 and will also support the latest generation weapon systems such as the Mk 54 light weight torpedo.
The second ATR72-600 TMUA is expected to be delivered within the first half of August while first Turkish Navy flying instructors have completed the new aircraft training at Alenia Aermacchi’s Training Centre in Caselle.

The above text is form the press release of the Italian company. Well originally they were contracted in 8 years ago (in July 2005) to deliver 10 ATR 72-500 airplanes which should have the necessary sensors and weapons to conduct anti submarine warfare.

After 8 years of delays what we have is an unarmed plane for utility work instead of hunting submarines.

In May 2013 the original contract was amended from 10 ATR 72-500 ASW planes to 2 ATR-72 600 TMUA and 6 ATR-72 600 TMPA planes.

I have told in then, I and I am telling it now,  the Meltem acquisition project should be thought in business and project management courses as a case study as an example how not to run a project.

Sea Breeze 2013 Naval Exercise

P-334 TCG Meltem.

P-334 TCG Meltem.

While the Breeze 2013 naval exercise has started in Bulgaria, Ukraine is hosting the Sea Breeze 2013 naval exercise. The choise of names and the timing makes it very easy to confuse the two exercises. The Sea Breeze 2013 starts today and will end on 20 July 2013.

Germany, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Romania, Turkey, Canada, Italy and Bulgaria will take part in the exercise.

It is not a coincidence that the two exercise are running almost simultaneously as the non Black Sea participants of these exercises such as the Spanish Frigate F-103 Blas De Lezo and the Greek fast attack boat P-263 Aittios may only stay in the Black Sea for a limited amount of days. Therefore it was necessary to organize the two exercises near simultaneously.

For those who like to create conspiracy theories the simultaneous start of two naval exercise in The Black Sea might be seen as the NATO’s response to Russian actions in the Med.

In the first day of activity of the conference around 70 military officers from countries-members worked out issues of planning forces during the training and started planning operation. In particular, it was determined that from Ukrainian side divisions and subdivisions of all groups of the Armed Forces of Ukraine will take part in the exercise. In general, it will be exercised in See Breeze-2013 interaction of over 20 ships and vessels, around 15 planes and helicopters, united brigade of marine corps, subdivisions of special units and search and rescue forces etc.

“The peculiar attention in planning of the following Sea Breeze is paid to cooperation with forces of the State Service for Emergency Situations of Ukraine which in 2013 will exercise for the first time,” told co-director of exercise of the Ukrainian part, Capitan of 1 rank Ihor Teryohin.

It should be noted that Sea Breeze-2013 exercise is targeting holding maritime security operations with the emphasis on evacuation measures. The participants of the maneuvers will exercise a series of joint trainings in liquidation of consequences of natural disaster and man-made accidents and also improve skills of interaction in the course of humanitarian actions directed to keeping security among civil population.

I was able to identify 5 of the 15 warships mentioned above.

TCG Salihreis
Blas De Lezo
 Spain Frigate
P-334 TCG Meltem Turkey Fast Attack Craft
A-572 TCG Yzb. İhsan Tulunay Turkey Tanker
P-24 Sukhumi Georgia Patrol Boat

Any additional information about the participating units is as always welcomed.

Turkish Warships In Istanbul

Two Turkish Kılıç class, missile armed fast attack boats are visiting Istanbul. They were open to public visit today and they will be open tomorrow too.

P-334 TCG Meltem.

P-334 TCG Meltem.


P-338 TCG Bora.

Turkish Navy To Get 8 ATR-72-600 Planes Instead Of 10 As Originaly Agreed.

The heavy edited announcement from the Italian aircraft maker Aleina Aermacchi made it sound so nice, it was too good to be true.

Alenia Aermacchi has signed an agreement with Savunma Sanayii Müsteşarlığı (SSM), the Turkish Undersecretariat for Defence Industries to deliver two ATR 72-600 TMUA (Turkish Maritime Utility Aircraft) and six ATR 72-600 TMPA (Turkish Maritime Patrol Aircraft) to the Turkish Navy. The contract calls for strong industrial collaboration between Alenia Aermacchi and Turkish Aerospace Industry (TAI) for the duration of the project.

But the magic lasted only one paragraph.

The agreement is an amendment to a previous deal between Alenia and the Turkish government for the delivery of 10 ATR 72-500 ASW to the Turkish Navy.The most important change into the contract amendment is the adoption of the new -600 version of the ATR 72, the best in class of regional Turboprop. The original contract was based on the now out of production ATR 72-500.

I think the whole Meltem acquisition project should be thought in business and project management courses as a case study as an example how not to run a project.

When the Project started in 1998, CASA was still an independent company; the C-295 has just made its maiden flight and its ASW version did not exist even in the dreams of the CASA/EADS/Airbus Military engineers. After 16 years we still do not have any fully operational ASW planes for our navy.

And it gets only worse. Last week the Alenia announced that they were going to delivery 8 new planes to Turkish Navy. This is actually BS as two of the planes will be two ATR 72-600 TMUA (Turkish Maritime Utility Aircraft) which means in plain English that these planes will carry neither weapons nor any sensors. They will be used cargo planes.

Thanks to the agreement, the Turkish Navy will obtain the last generation ATR72-600 equipped with a glass cockpit as well as more powerful engines that guarantee best performance and supportability for the next 30 years.

The two ATR 72-600TMUA–already in the modification phase at Alenia Aermacchi’s plant in Naples-Capodichino–will be used by the Turkish Navy for personnel and cargo transport and will be delivered in June and July 2013 .

In July 2005 a contract was signed to procure 10 ATR-72-500 planes for ASW missions, to be used by Turkish Navy after the first part of the program involving the CN-235 planes was stuck.  8 years later, the Italians realized that they cannot deliver the 10 planes to according to the deal done in the contract so they had to renegotiate the whole deal. Now we get 2 planes less but a newer version of the ATR-72 plane as production of the  -500 variant is discontinued in the mean time.

As the newer -600 version has improved engines it is believed that the performance of the -600 will be superior to the old -500 version. But this fact has to be proven first.

I must give my respects to the PR people of the SSM and Alenia as they deserved it by making a good news from the rotten state of the whole Meltem Project; that is some spin doctoring.

Turkish Navy Naval Parade In Dardanelles

Just like in the previous years, on 18 March 2013, Turkish Navy organized a naval parade in Dardanelles, to commemorate the 98th anniversary of the victory against the Allied Fleet in 18 March 1915.

Unlike past 3 years, I was not able to travel to Çanakkale to watch the parade. But instead I am honored and delighted to share some of the excellent photos Mr. Ahmet Güven. All photos in this post are his work and used by me with his permission.

Following ships took part in the parade:


F-245 TCG Oruçreis

F-246 TCG Salihreis.

F-246 TCG Salihreis. With her brand new SMART-S Mk2 3D air/surface search radar.


F-247 TCG Kemalreis.

F-497 TCG Göksu. She too had her brand new Smart-s Mk2 3D radar.

F-497 TCG Göksu. She too displayed her brand new SMART-S Mk2 3D air/surface search radar.


F-497 TCG Göksu

F-511 TCG Heybeliada.

F-511 TCG Heybeliada.


P-1203 TCG Kumkale


P-1205 TCG Karabiga


P-332 TCG Mızrak


P-334 TCG Meltem


P-336 TCG Zıpkın


P-337 TCG Atak


M-267 TCG Ayvalık


M-270 TCG Akçay


P-330 KILIÇ 15 July 1997 24 July 1998
P-331 KALKAN 22 Sep 1998 22 July 1999
P-332 MIZRAK 5 Apr 1999 8 June 2000
P-333 TUFAN 25 July 2001 26 July 2005
P-334 MELTEM 1 Sep 2004 26 July 2005
P-335 IMBAT 26 July 2005 March 2007
P-336 ZIPKIN 27 Sep 2006 17 Sep 2007
P-337 ATAK 4 Jan 2006 14 Jan 2009
P-338 BORA 2007 7 April 2010

P330 (2) P331 (2)P-332 TCG MızrakP333P334P335 (2) P336 (2)P337P338

Displacement: 552 tons full load
Dimensions: 62.4 x 8.5 x 2.5 metres
Speed, Range: 42 knots, 1050 miles at 30 kts.
Crew: 45 (7 officers)

Guns: 1 x 76mm/62; 2 x 40mm/70
Missiles: 8 x Harpoon SSM

Radars: MW 08, surface search; STING, fire control; SCOUT/KH1007, navigation

This class was ordered in two batches. The first batch of three ships are called KILIÇ-I and the second batch of remaining 6 as KILIÇ-II. P-330 TCG Kılıç and P-333 TCG Meltem were constructed in Germany, the remaining in Gölcük Naval Shipyard.

These class has a similar hull, machinery as the Doğan and Yıldız classes but are bigger and heavier. The Kılıç class has a redesigned mast and superstructure for reduced radar cross-section.

They can make 24 knots in sea state 5.


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