What Will Happen On Maritime Front After The Shooting Of The Russian Fighter?


Russian warship Korolev passing through Bosphorus on 28th November 2015

On 24 November 2015, one Turkish F-16 fighter, shoot down a Russian Su-24M fighter-bomber violating Turkish airspace.

The events happening after this incident are beyond the scope of this blog. I am going to try to explain this recent Turco-Russian crisis from a maritime point of view.

So what is going to happen on maritime front after the shooting down of the Russian fighter? The short answer is: Nothing.

The first reaction on Russian side in maritime domain was the deployment of the Slava class criuser Mosvka off the coast of Syrian town Latakia.

“Cruiser” Moskva “, armed with air defense system” Fort “, on Wednesday morning took the position area in the region of Latakia. His means of radar and missile system will be able to provide cover videoconferencing Russian air group in Syria, “- a spokesman said.

On the eve of the chief of the Main Operations Directorate of the General Staff, Lieutenant-General Sergey Rudskoy told reporters that the cruiser “Moskva”, equipped with air defense system “Fort”, takes the area near Latakia to strengthen defense. The exact date when not given.

Mosvka has passed through Turkish Straits on 25 September 2015 and she remained in the Eastern Mediterranean since that day.  Moskva has 8 vertical launcher for SA-N-6 ‘Grumble’ surface to air missiles with 8 rounds for each launcher. The SA-N-6 ‘Grumble’ is also known as S-300F (Fort) is a navalised version of the S-300 surface to air missile system.  The ship based missile is the 5V55RM which has a minimum range of 5 kilometers and a maximum range on 75 kilometers.

The deployment of the cruiser, the flagship of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, off the coast of Latakia will increase the protection for air base used by Russia and is more or less for the Russian public consumption.   I am quite sure that the captain of Moskva is not happy to act as a picket fence. As a picket fence the cruiser will be the first line of defence and there are not enough Russian warships to escort this capital ship should the crisis escalate.

In the unlikely event of escalation of the crisis between Turkey and Russia the cruiser Mosvka is alone and very vulnerable to the most potent Turkish weapon to be used: submarines.

According to the website of Turkish General Staff two submarines are conducting patrols in Eastern Mediterranean. TCG Dolunay is in the region 11th November 2015 and TCG Burakreis since 7th November 2015.

Besides Mosvka, the following Russian ships are in the region,

  • Kashin class destroyer Smetliviy
  • Nanuchka III class corvette Mirazh
  • Tarantul III class missile boat  R-109
  • Vishnya class intelligence-gathering ship Vasiliy Tatischev
  • Tanker Ivan Bubnov
  • Tug MB-31
  • Amur class repair ship PM-56

And the following Russian ships are on the way to the region:

  • Ropucha class large landing ships Korolev and Tsezar Kunikov
  • Auxiliary cargo ship Vologda-50

It is very unlikely for Mosvka to fire any missiles in anger against Turkish planes as this could potentially led to a large confrontation and in such event Turkey may evoke its right to close the Turkish Straits according to the article 20 of Montreux Convention.

Article 20. In time of war, Turkey being belligerent, the provisions of Articles 10 to 18 shall not be applicable; the passage of warships shall be left entirely to the discretion of the Turkish Government.

The Montreux Convention dictates a 8 day notification period for the Black Sea Powers. This means if any Black Sea nation wants to move their ships through Turkish Straits, they have to notify Turkey 8 days prior this crossing. Therefore if Russian Navy has decided on 24th November  after the shooting down of Su-24M, to send more warships to Syria 2nd December 2015 is the earliest day these ships can pass through Turkish Straits.

Russia must have an unlimited access to Turkish Straits. The so called Syrian Express deployments of Russian Ropucha and Alligator class lanrding ships and auxiliaries are vitaly important to keep Russian troops inside Syria supplied. If Russia cannot send its ships through Turkish Straits for any reason, the Russian soldiers may find themselves in a very similar position of General Paulus’ Army. This is an important reason why Russian counter agression to the shooting of its plane was asymetrical. This is why Russians are trying to hurt Turkey with diplomatical and economical responces rather than military actions.

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: memuruz.net

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.


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