INS Trikand In Istanbul


INSTrikand in Istanbul.


INS Trikand being pushed to the dock by the tugs.


The business end of INS Trikand. From left to right: 100mm gun A 190E, SA-N-/ Gadfly launcher for surface to air missiles, VLS launcher for Brahmos anti ship missiles; 12 barreled anti submarine mortar.


Top of the pilothouse. From left to right: Ratep 5P-10E Puma fire control radar for 100mm gun and Plank Shave (Garpun-B) fire control radar for anti ship missiles. One commercial navigation radar.


For self-protection the INS Trikand has two AK 630 multi barreled guns.


The main mast of INS Trikand. From top to down: Top Plate 3D air seach radar (Fregat-M2EM); KEvin Hugnes navigation radar; Nyada MR212/201 (Palm Frond) navigation radar; antennas for ASOR (TK-25E-5) electronic counter measures system.

In the morning hours on 4 October 2015 Istanbul welcomed a very rare visitor: the Indian Navy vessel INS Trikand.

Despite being a large navy, Indian warships very seldom visit Istanbul.

The Talwar (Project 1135.6) class frigate INS Trikand arrived in Istanbul for a 3 day port visit. The youngest ship of this class, INS Trikand will engage extensively with the Turkish Navy according to the twitter account of the Indian DOD spokesman. Apart from professional interactions, a number of sports and social engagements are also planned.
The interaction between two navies has increased in the last few years especially since Turkish Navy started to deploy warships for anti piracy operations in Indian Ocean.In April 2015 frigate TCG Gediz visited Mumbai.

Victory Day 2015


NL123 TCG Sarucabey in Izmir for celebrations and public visiting.


TCG Göksu. She was in Istanbul for the celebrations.


TCG Büyükada. She was in Istanbul too, for the celebrations and public visiting.


We are grateful to those who paid the ultimate price for our independence and for our country.

This year we celebrate the 93th anniversary of the victory in the Battle of Dumlupınar, the final battle in the Turkish War of Independence in 1922.

The Battle of Dumlupınar was fought from 26 August to 30 August 1922, at the end of the battle the invading Greek Army was definitely and distinctively beaten and the almost all the invading foreign forces were repelled.

This victory opened the way of the independent Turkish Republic, which is more valuable to us than anything else.

FS Forbin In Istanbul

FS Forbin moored in Istanbul. Photo: Serhat Güvenç. Used with permission.

FS Forbin moored in Istanbul. Photo: Serhat Güvenç. Used with permission.

We are having a distinguished guest since 7 July 2015. The French Horizon class destroyer D-620 FS Forbin is in Istanbul. Although she is classified as anti-air frigate she is to be considered as a destroyer.

The visit of FS Forbin is the first visit of a Horizon class warship in Istanbul ever. Her sister D-621 FS Chevalier Paul was in Marmaris two years ago.

The visit of FS Forbin is not a routing port visit just to show the flag and establish good relationships. The ship needed resupply and maintenance.


The supply chain of FS Forbin. Photo: Alper Böler. Used with permission.


Working on the aft SPN 735 surface radar. The radar is not accessible from inside the ship. Two sailors are working on the radar while the crane operator is clearly bored.

The Horizon class ships have two navigation and surface surveillance radars. The forward one is atop of the bridge and the aft one is on the mast that supports the SMART-L radar. It is not possible for the crew to access the aft radar from inside the ship. There are no hatches or stairs. Thus a crane was hired in Istanbul to allow two sailors to perform maintenance or repair work on the aft MM/SPN-753 navigation and surface surveillance radar. So this means there is no way to repair this radar underway. I find the decision to place that radar to an inaccessible place very strange.


The on board helicopter is an AS-565 Panther with tail number 519. Photo: Alper Böler. Used with permission.


Photo: Alper Böler. Used with permission.

10-12-CDY_3982The hangar of the ship looks very spacious. The ship accommodate larger helicopters such as NH90, than the currently on board AS-535 Panther.





Interestingly the funnels and the masts of the Horizon class are not symmetrical.


Sagem NGDS multi function decoy launcher. Photo: Alper Böler. Used with permission.

Below are more photos of important sensors and weapons of the ship.


2 Oto Melara 76mm Super Rapid guns. The side by side configuration is not usual.


A top of the middle mast is the Sagem EOMS NG optronic system. It rotates approximately 60 times a minute.


Thales S-1850M long range air and surface search radar a variant of SMART-L radar


DCNS Contralto-V anti-torpedo decoy launchers.


GIAT 20mm F2 gun.


Alenia Marconi NA 25 XP fire control system for the OTO Melera guns.


The front mast. From top to down: Alenia Marconi SPY-790 EMPAR surveillance and fire control radar, sensors for ESM system, Alenia Marconi NA 25 XP fire control system, Thales C&S Surfsat-L SATCOM antenna for Syracuse satellite service, jammer of SIGEN EW Suite, 2 FURNO navigation radars and the fore SPN 735 surface search radar.


Atop of the bridge: Jammer of SIGEN EW Suite, 2 FURNO navigation radars and MM/SPN-753 navigation and surface surveillance radar plus a number of unidentified sensors.


Sylver A-50 VLS launcher for Aster 15 and Aster 30 missiles seems to be well protected from the sea.

Republic Day 2014

DSC_6198_1 kopya DSC_6072_1 kopya

Today we are celebrating the 91th anniversary the creation of Turkish Republic.

I am grateful to those who made it possible for me and my family to live in this beautiful country under our own flag.

And I can’t think of a better was to celebrate our independence with a couple of elegantly decorated ships.

Foreign Warships On Bosphorus – Nostalgia Edition




TCG Yavuz

On Saturday I have found these old 4 photos in an antique shop in Istanbul and bought them. I have removed the photos from their old and deteriorated frames.

The first photo shows the British submarine HMS M-1 in Istanbul. Though I have no date on the back of the photo or on the frame I can see snow on the roof of the submarine and on the roofs of the buildings in the back ground. A quick search on the internet provided me with a couple of photos from the same submarine in Istanbul in February 1919. Thus I believe my photo was taken around that time. It can be pretty cold in Istanbul in February.

The second photo shows either an Admiralty Modified R class or a S class Royal Navy destroyer. The next photo was taken on board of this ship with her crew and the mascot dog posing. Again this photo has to be taken during the Allied occupation of Istanbul between 1918 and 1923

The last photo is the only one that had a note on the back: “German battleship ‘Goeben’ at Ismid Nr Constantinople 1918” . I do not need any notes to identify this beautiful ship, which shaped the history of this nation it was nice to know that the photo was not taken in Istanbul. Some ships of the Ottoman Navy were interned in the Golden Horn in Istanbul while the Goeben / Yavuz was interned in a place near Izmit. This place is know today as the Gölcük Naval Base and is the main base of Turkish Navy.

RFA Lyme Bay In Bodrum


L-3007 RFA Lyme Bay in Bodrum. Photo:

Royal Fleet Auxiliary Lyme Bay has docked in Bodrum for a port visit. Her sister, RFA Mounts Bay, made also a port visit in Bodrum during last year’s deployment.

L-3007 RFA Lyme Bay is currently on a 4 month-long deployment in the Mediterranean called Cougar 2014 with other Royal Navy and Royal Fleet Auxiliary  units.

According to Royal Navy the Cougar is a four-month deployment, 14, includes a series of demanding amphibious and maritime-based exercises with partner nations throughout the Mediterranean and Middle East region and ensures that the task group is ready to respond to any contingency the UK Government directs upon it.

The Royal Navy’s Response Force Task Group (RFTG) in Cougar 2014 has already conducted exercise with Greek and Albanian armed forces.

RFA Lyme Bay will leave Bodrum on 21 September 2014.

Victory Day 2014


We are grateful to those who paid the ultimate price for our independence and for our country.

This year we celebrate the 92th anniversary of the victory in the Battle of Dumlupınar, the final battle in the Turkish War of Independence in 1922.

The Battle of Dumlupınar was fought from 26 August to 30 August 1922, at the end of the battle the invading Greek Army was definitely and distinctively beaten and the almost all the invading foreign forces were repelled.

This victory opened the way of the independent Turkish Republic, which is more valuable to us than anything else.

The Commander of Turkish Naval Forces Visits China

According to the website of Ministry of National Defence The People’s Republic of China, Admiral Bülent Bostanoğlu, commander of the Turkish Navy and his party met with Wu Shengli, commander of the Navy of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army

Wu Shengli said that developing a mutually-trustful, win-win and everlasting relationship between the two navies is of great significance for both sides in jointly handling security challenges, deepening the strategic connotations of the relationship between the two countries and the two militaries, and safeguarding each other’s strategic interests. He hoped that the two navies of the two countries can maintain exchanges at all levels, increase exchange visits of warships, push forward cooperation in escort mission, deepen academy exchanges, and carry out joint training of amphibious troops. Wu Shengli also invited the Turkish naval cadets to join the warship training voyage organized by the Dalian Naval Academy next year.

Bostanoğlu said that the friendly relations between China and Turkey are precious and valuable. Turkey attaches great importance to its relationship with China, and the Turkish navy will be devoted to deepening the exchanges and cooperation between the two navies of the two countries and push forward the development of the bilateral relations.

Bostanoğlu and his delegation will also visit the North China Sea Fleet, the East China Sea Fleet, the Naval Submarine Academy and the Institute of Naval Medicine under the PLAN, as well as naval ships and planes.

Admiral Bülent Bostanoğlu also met, with Fan Changlong, vice chairman of the Central Military Commission of the People’s Republic of China on 7 July 2014.

Fan Changlong said that the friendship between China and Turkey goes back to ancient times (emphasis is mine), noting the two countries have maintained sustained, healthy and steady progresses on their friendly cooperative relationship since the establishment of the diplomatic ties, and have supported and coordinated with each other in major international and regional issues.

Fan also said that the relations between the Chinese and Turkish militaries have always maintained a sound momentum of development as evidenced by frequent high-level mutual visits, extensive exchanges and cooperation in military training, exercise and academy education, as well as mutual support in international peacekeeping missions and anti-piracy escort missions.

Fan stressed that the Chinese side attaches great importance to its military relations with the Turkish side, and is ready to further enhance pragmatic cooperation with Turkey in various areas including exchanges between the two navies, so as to upgrade the military cooperation and advance the relations between the two militaries to a higher level.

Bostanoğlu said although Turkey and China are far apart geographically, the people of the two countries have profound friendship. Turkey opposes all forms of terrorism and stands ready to work with China to carry out joint anti-terrorism actions. He hailed the smooth development of the relations between the Turkish and Chinese militaries. He expressed that he will constantly push forward the development of the friendly relations between the two militaries.

I think that Mr. Changlong was trying to be nice when he said that “the friendship between China and Turkey goes back to ancient times”. Let’s not forget why the Great Wall of China was build and against whom.



Lest We Forget: The Gallipoli Campaign

Yesterday and today at dawn, many Turks, Australians and New Zealanders commemorated the 99th anniversary of the  Gallipoli wars and the death. This is post I have written 4 years ago. But I don’t think anything has changed.

It was clear to the Allied commanders, after their attempt to force the Dardanelles by the naval alone, failed dramatically in 18 March; ground troops were needed to silence the Turkish defenses along the Strait.

On the dawn of 25th April after more a month of preparation and planning British, French and ANZAC troops landed on the beach on Gallipoli and Anatolia. This was the beginning of the one of the gruesome campaigns of the First World War.

For the next 8 and half months over 200.000 soldiers of all participants were either killed, wounded, hospitalized by illness or went missing.

The Gallipoli wars were particularly important for Turks, Australians and New Zealanders. Although the ANZAC came to our home as invaders there is a special bond between these nations. Long forgotten are the atrocities of the war. Every year thousands of Aussies and Kiwis come to Çanakkale and visit the battleground and attend the dawn service in Anzac Cove (now this is the official name of the cove). I do not know any other commemoration where two former enemies join to remember their fallen soldiers.

Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, who personally fought against the ANZAC’s in Gallipoli, later wrote in 1934 for his former advisories the following words:

Those heroes that shed their blood and lost their lives… You are now lying in the soil of a friendly country. Therefore rest in peace. There is no difference between the Johnnies and the Mehmet’s to us where they lie side by side now here in this country of ours… you, the mothers, who sent their sons from faraway countries wipe away your tears; your sons are now lying in our bosom and are in peace. After having lost their lives on this land. They have become our sons as well.

Dissecting Jpost Op-ed “Turkey vulnerable to rising Russian power in the Black Sea”


A ESSM missile being fired from a Mk-41 launcher on board of a Turkish frigate. But Mr. Tanchum tells us that these missiles will get into Turkish inventory in 2016. May be these are not the ESSM missiles Mr. Tanchum is looking for.

Yesterday, The Jerusalem Post published an op-ed by Micha’el Tanchum, which was first published in the Turkey Analyst.  This this op-ed Mr. Tanchum explains that:

With the annexation of Crimea, Turkey faces a stronger and bolder Russian naval power in the Black Sea. A resurgent Russia may be tempted to exploit its temporary naval dominance to alter current Black Sea energy exploitation and transportation arrangements more in its favor and to the detriment of Turkey and its partners in the Caucasus.

While there a some aspects in this op-ed where I whole hearty agree there also some obvious and large material mistakes that raises questions about the credibility of the writer and his reason the write such a text.

Let’s start:

After gaining experience from the building of the slightly larger but more lethal TF 100 anti-air warfare frigates, Turkey then intends to build a series of TF 2000 frigates. Double the size of the TF 100, the TF 2000 anti-air warfare frigate will significantly advance the Turkish fleet’s transformation into a blue-water navy.

This is not correct. TF-2000 air defense ship project will supersede TF-100 project. TF-100 project is scheduled to start around 2020 to replace the MEKO 200 Track I frigates. On the other hand TF-2000 will be a major ship program and will form the mainstay of Turkish Navy with long range air defense sensors and weapons. TF-2000 is in early design phase and TF-100 does not exists even on blue-paper. Therefore it is not possible to say that one class of ships will be the double of the other as there is no data to compare at all. But I agree that TF-2000 will advance Turkish Navy into a blue-water navy.

The TF 100 frigates will be the first Turkish vessels to carry the American-manufactured RIM-162 Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile (ESSM) system capable of countering the current generation of supersonic anti-ship missiles.

It is absolutely and utterly false that TF-100 frigates are going to be the first ESSM capable ships in Turkish Navy. As you can see from the photo above Turkish Navy has today ESSM capable ships in operation. As the regular readers of this blog and people who really follow the developments in Turkish Navy know, Turkish Navy has installed Mk-41 vertical launcher systems in 4 of its 8 Gabya (ex Perry) class frigates. And the main 2D search radars of these 4 ships with Mk-41 are being replaced by 3D radars. The main reason for the installation of the Mk-41 is to use the ESSM missile which is incompatible with the Mk-13 launcher on these ships.In addition to 4 Gabya class frigates 2 MEKO 200 Track IIB class frigates have Mk-41 launchers. This 2 ships are also capable to use ESSM missiles. And this capability will be retrofitted to the 2 MEKO 200 Track IIA frigates when their Mk-29 launcher will be replaced by Mk-41 VLS.

 Turkey’s strategic vulnerability was not anticipated because of the view in Turkish policy circles that Turkey enjoys a relative parity with Russia in the Black Sea. However, the approximate parity exists only when Russia’s Black Sea Fleet is matched against all the major assets of the Turkish navy. Prior to the Crimean conflict, Russia’s Black Sea fleet consisted of 24 major surface combatants and one diesel submarine while Turkey’s major naval assets consist of approximately 24 surface combatants and 14 submarines. The parity is illusory as it is unlikely that Turkey would be able to deploy all or most of its naval assets in a Black Sea conflict.

I have always found making a comparison between Turkish and Russian Naval Forces very difficult as Russia has 3 other Fleets and it is not clear whether Turkey can mobilise all its major naval units to the Black Sea.
But I have difficulty to calculating Mr. Tanchum’s math on units numbers. The Turkish side is simple: 8 Gabya frigates + 8 MEKO 200 frigates + 6 Burak corvettes + 2 Ada corvettes and came up to 24 major surface units. On Russian side the math is not so simple. I have tired to remake Mr. Tanchum’s calculation based on Jane’s Fighting Ship reference book: 1 Slava cruiser + 1 Kara cruiser + 1 Kashin destroyer + 2 Krivak frigate + 6 Grisha frigate + 2 Sivuch corvettes + 5 Tarantul corvettes + 2 Nanuchka corvette makes 20 major surface units.
I have no idea where the other 4 units mentions in the op-ed were added to the Russian side. On the other hand if one is adding Tarantul and Nanuchka class ships to a comparison on Russian side then one has to add Yıldız and Karayel class fast attack craft on Turkish side. As in terms of displacement, on board weapons and sensors there is not much difference between Tarantul and Nanuchka class corvettes and Yıldız and Karayel class fast attack craft. Therefore I am thinking that Mr. Tanchum’s numbers are either biased or he has chosen his sample units poorly, which makes the above quoted comparison dubious.

With the annexation of Crimea, Turkey faces a stronger and bolder Russian naval power in the Black Sea. Russia now possesses the Ukrainian navy’s submarine and several, if not most, of Ukraine’s 11 major surface combatants. Even without the Ukraine’s naval assets, Russia’s own new additions to its Black Sea Fleet will enable Moscow to dominate the region. Russia recently put to sea the first of its six Admiral Grigorovich-class frigates. All six frigates are designated for service in the Black Sea Fleet.

It is true that the annexed Ukrainian naval assets increased the roster of the Russian Black Sea Unit. But this is only on paper. In reality most of the Ukrainian units taken by Russians are unfit for service and pose no thread to anyone. There are some reports that Russia has started to return some of the Ukrainian naval units back to Ukraine as they are not fit for service in Russian Navy. The Ukrainian submarine Zaporizhzhya sized by Russian forces was declared unfit for service but is still in Russian hands. Thus until newly build naval units start to arrive in the Black Sea the enlargement of Russian Black Sea units through the influx of Ukrainian naval units is not realistic thread.

Russia’s own new additions to its Black Sea Fleet will enable Moscow to dominate the region. Russia recently put to sea the first of its six Admiral Grigorovich-class frigates. All six frigates are designated for service in the Black Sea Fleet.

It’s true that Russia wants to improve its Black Sea Fleet with new frigates and submarines. But it is wrong to assume that these ships are going to be an addition the current warships. On the contrary these new constructed warships will replace existing old warships which reached the end of their usefulness. Therefore these new warships will not increase the number of Russian warships in the Black Sea 1:1.

Within the same 2016 timeframe, Russia will also add six newly improved Kilo-class diesel-electric submarines to its Black Sea Fleet ahead of Turkey’s deployment of an equivalent number of Ada-class anti-submarine corvettes. These two Russian procurement programs alone will quickly tilt the balance of naval forces in Russia’s favor, giving Russia a significant strategic advantage for a window of four to eight years depending on the pace of Turkey’s resumed production schedule

The above quoted paragraph shows that making naval analysis is not Mr. Tanchum’s strong suit. He is fundamentally wrong in his assumption that the main Turkish adversary of the Russian Kilo class submarines will be the Ada class corvettes. One does not fight airplanes with SAM missiles. One does not fight enemy tanks with ATGMs. The main weapons Turkey will use against the Kilo class submarines that will start to enter into service in (at least) 3 years time will be the submarines Turkey possess.   And with 14 submarines in service Turkey has the strongest diesel-electric submarine force in NATO. These submarines are a huge force multiplier and one of our countries most important silent and deadly weapons. Six of the 14 submarines in Turkish inventory are nearing their useful life and they will be replaced by AIP Type 214 submarines. Even if Russian Black Sea Fleet enjoys an advantage in numbers for a time the air independent submarines will have the upper hand against the Russian submarines as they will not be AIP equipped.

It’s noteworthy that the new submarine construction programme of Turkey was never mentioned in this text.

Until Ankara can rectify the gap in naval capabilities created by MILGEM’s delays, Turkey will not be able to defend its national interests adequately as Russia attempts to reestablish its sphere of influence in the greater Black Sea region

During the Cold War the Black Sea was divided between NATO nation Turkey and 3 Warsaw Pact nations Bulgaria, Romania and USSR.  How we have 3 NATO nations Turkey, Bulgaria and Romania. Plus Ukraine, Russia and Georgia. With the annexation of Crime by Russia the status quo in the Black Sea which was created at the end of the Cold War has changed. But this change is not unmanageable for Ankara as long as we have a long term political goal and will toreach it.

It is beyond any doubt that the cancellation of Milgem construction tender given to RMK Marine shipyard has created a havoc among the Turkish naval armament projects. But believing this delay will hamper Turkey’s ability to defends its national interest is wish full thinking.



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