TCG Gazal On The News

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A-587 TCG Gazal in exercise with a MEKO 200 Track I class frigate. Photo: Hürriyet

The Turkish daily Hürriyet ran a photo reportage on A-587 TCG Gazal. She is one of the few World War 2 veteran ships still remaining in Turkish Navy and is 72 years old.

She was launched in December 1942 as USS Sioux a Cherokee class tug. After 30 years of service in US Navy she was leased to Turkish Navy in 1972 and was renamed as TCG Gazal. The was completely transferred to Turkish Navy in 1973.

A couple of photos that I like most:

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A10124933

For the rest of the beautiful photos of this iron lady click here.

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 Coast Guard Boats Get New Sensors

SG24blg
SG55blg
SG255blg
SG8blg
SG80blg

I regret any misunderstanding that my previous post may have caused. I was just away temporary for a week-long holiday. That was all.

The photos you see above are the Coast Guard boats I have encountered during the week in various coastal towns.

The last photo of the SG-80 TCSG-80 is the most interesting of them all for me. As you can see below enlarged, Turkish Coast Guard has started to install a thermal imaging system to its boats. This is long-due addition to these boats sensors. This particular sensor suite look very similar to Aselsan’s Falconeye electro-optical sensor system. If this is the case than the system has thermal imaging system, a high performance day TV, target acquisition system and a laser pointer. Four boats of various classes have received this new sensor already. Read more of this post

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.

The Mysterious Boat On Bosphorus Identified

The handover ceremony of the Italian patrol boat to Romanian Border Guard. Photo: Romanian Embassy  in Italy

The handover ceremony of the Italian patrol boat to Romanian Border Guard. Photo: Romanian Embassy
in Italy

The boat from my previous post has been identified as a Bigliani class patrol boat.

I thank everyone who shared his/her information and made comments. Your help and support is as always very much appreciated.

This is the official announcement of the handover ceremony in late May 2013:

On 27 May 2013, in the presence of Inspector General of the Romanian Border Police, John BUDA Quaestor Police Chief, and Finance Guard Assistant Commandant-General Emilio Spaziale corps, at the Nautical School of Finance Guard to Gaeta held official handover ceremony of two class ship “Bigliani” Finance Guard fitted to the Romanian Border Police. At the event, the Romanian Embassy in Italy has participated Adina LOVIN prime collaborator.

Delivery and reception of the two vessels, which were divested Free Italian Finance Guard, was made ​​under the provisions of the Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Administration and Interior of Romania and the Ministry of Economy and Finance of Italy in collaboration informative to combat economic crime financial , signed in Bucharest on 14 December 2005.

Background elements

Finance Guard’s police force with military status under the Ministry of Economy and Finance of the Italian Republic, with competent bodies under the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Romania made an intensive cooperation, according to the Memorandum of Understanding signed on 14 December 2005

 

Mysterious Boat On Bosphorus

The myterious boat on Bosphorus.

The mysterious boat on Bosphorus. Photo: Victor M.S. Barreira, used with permission.

The above photo shows a boat that is moving in high speed on Bosphorus. The photo was taken by Mr. Victor M.S. Barreira, on 8 june 2013.

The boat in picture does not have the appearance of a pleasure craft for private use. It has as far as I can see both Turkish and Romanian flags and looks like a boat for government service but I have no further information about it expect the photo.

So I will welcome any additional information regarding this boat from my readers.

HMS Ark Royal Reached Her Final Destination

HMS Ark Royal in arriving her final destination in Aliağa. Photo: haberciniz.biz

HMS Ark Royal in arriving her final destination in Aliağa. Photo: haberciniz.biz

The decommissioned British aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal has finished her 22 day voyage from Portsmouth to Aliağa and reached her final destination.

She was bought by Turkish scrapyard Leyal for 10 million TL (aproximately 3.400.000,- GBP and 5.280.000,- USD). This company has quite an expertise in scrapping warships: HMS Invincible, HMS Cardiff, HMS Newcastle, HMS Glasgow, HMS Exeter, HMS Southampton, HMS Nottingham, RFA Oakleaf , RFA Bayleaf, RFA Forg George  and German destroyer Rommel.

 

Turkmenistan Makes Another Quiet Purchase Of Warships

The model of the fast attack boat Dearsan is building for Turkmenistan.

The model of the fast attack boat Dearsan is building for Turkmenistan.

Mr.  Joshua Kucera who has en extensive knowledge about Central Asia has written a post about the Turkmenistan naval rearmament. I am glad to say that I help him to write his post, originally published by EurasiaNet.org. He also allowed me to share his post as whole here:

TURKMENISTAN MAKES ANOTHER QUIET PURCHASE OF WARSHIPS

June 6, 2013 – 4:26 pm, by Joshua Kucera

Turkmenistan is buying eight new well armed naval vessels from Turkey, marking a substantial increase in capability for the country’s nascent navy.

The ships will be built by Dearsan, the Turkish shipyard Which had already been contracted by Turkmenistan for two fast patrol boats. The eight new ships will be of the same size as the two previous ships, but better armed.Each will be equipped with four anti-ship missiles, two remote-controlled MANPADS-sized surface-to-air missile launchers, a 40 mm main gun, a six-barreled anti-submarine mortar, two remote-controlled 12.7 mm guns and two Remote-controlled 25 mm guns.

This is according to Cem Devrim Yaylali, who blogs at Bosphorus Naval News . Yaylali Dearsan spoke to a representative at the recent IDEF defense expo in Istanbul, and took a photo of the model that Dearsan was presenting. And he was generous enough to pass along the information and photo to The Bug Pit.

Turkmenistan had already been reported to be acquiring five missile boats from Russia, in addition to the two Dearsan fast patrol boats.
Dearsan I asked for confirmation and more information, but did not hear back. That is not surprising: they have been very quiet about their previous deals with Turkmenistan, no doubt at Ashgabat’s request.

The model as appears to have the same 40 mm main gun and the ASW mortar used in Tuzla class. The ASW mortar has been moved to B position to create space for surface to surface anti ship missiles. I was not told the type of the missiles but the launcher boxes of the model resemble very much to Otomat/Teseo. There are two remotely controlled SAM launchers one in the forecastle one in the aft. The missiles and launchers look like adaptation of some MANPADS surface to air system. In addition to these weapons there are two STAMP 12,7 mm remote-controlled machine gun turrets a top of the bridge and two 25 mm STOP remote-controlled gun turrets.

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.

TCG Tarsus Sighted

P1204 TCG Tarsus

P-1204 TCG Tarsus

On 23 April 2013 I have sighted the 4 boat of the Tuzla class patrol boats P-1204 TCG Tarsus.

She was returning from sea trial. It is interesting to note that while she is manned by naval personnel and under the command of  an officer she returned to the builder’s yard. The ASW rocket launcher at aft seem to be not installed.

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