TCG Gediz Finished Her Visit In Chennai

TCG GEdiz in Chennai port. Photo: http://chinditsdefence.blogspot.com.tr/

TCG Gediz in Chennai port. Photo: Chindits Blog

Turkish frigate TCG Gediz is nearing the end of her long deployment to the Asia. In 26 day time she will arrive in Turkey.

Her deployment is for the commemoration of the 125th anniversary of the Ottoman frigate Ertugrul’s historic voyage from Istanbul to Yokohama. She has finished her port visit in India today and is heading to Male, the capital of the Republic of Maldives.

Commander of the Turkish Navy frigate TCG Gediz, Yusuf Kocaman, may have steered his ship out of Chennai on Saturday morning towards the Maldivian capital Male but the pleasant memories of the city would remain evergreen in his memory making him to return at the earliest possible opportunity.

“Next time when I visit Chennai, I will drop anchor for a minimum of three days. Two days are not enough,” said Kocaman on board the TCG Gediz, which was acquired from the United States in 2000 and was known as USS John A Moore, the 11th ship of the Oliver Hazard Perry class of guided-missile frigates.

Talking about Gediz’s Chennai visit, he said Turkey is observing the 125th anniversary to retrace the Ottoman frigate Ertugrul’s historic voyage from Istanbul to Yokohama. Interestingly, Kocaman was expecting joint naval exercises with Indian Navy. “We wanted to have joint Navy exercises with INS Sumitra, the fourth and last Saryu class patrol vessel of the Indian Navy. Unfortunately it never happened. We only had two days of reception. Next time, we will plan to have at least three days of stay in Chennai port.” He also recalled his interaction with INS Sumitra crew in Djibouti.

“Chennai is the 15th port. We will be going to Male next and return to the Aksaz naval base in Turkey on July 31,” Kocaman said. “By then, we would have sailed 20,300 nautical miles which is equal to the perimeter of the world. We would also have visited 18 ports in 13 countries,” he added.

SNMCMG-2 Deployed To Bulgaria

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F-244 TCG Barbaros. The flag ship of SNMCMG-2 heading to Bulgaria.

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F-244 TCG Barbaros. The flag ship of SNMCMG-2 heading to Bulgaria.

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Her legacy Mk-29 pepper box SeaSparrow launcher is replaced with Mk41 8 cell VLS. Her original AWS-9 radar is also replaced with SMART-S Mk2 radar. The later is easier to maintain and faster to repair.

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TCG Enez is the Turkish mine hunter is SNMCMG-2.

Since 2 July 2015, Turkish Navy is commanding NATO Mine Countermeasures Group Two SNMCMG-2. The first action of the group was to deploy to Bulgaria for the Bulgarian led naval exercise Breeze 2015.

The Change of Command Ceremony took place in Erdek Naval Base. According to official NATO Marine Command page, the two Turkish ship are the SNMCMG-2. The Spanish mine hunter M-36 ESPS Tajo was in Erdek and deployed to Bulgaria but she is not listed as part of the task force anymore.

The Standing Maritime Groups are the backbone and the kernel of NATO’s Maritime Response Forces providing NATO with a continuous maritime capability for operations and other activities,” said MARCOM Deputy Chief of Staff Operations Commodore Arien Minderhoud. “NATO remains as ever fully committed to the defense of its member nations. I am sure Standing NATO Mine Counter Measures Group 2 will continue to remain as a visible assurance of NATO’s unity, cohesion and resolve.”

“I am proud to hand over to my Turkish colleague SNMCMG2 that is ready for all naval tasks from mine warfare to more challenging operations” said Capt. Giovanni Piegaja. “I am sure we have completed our mission satisfactorily and contributed to NATO’s presence at sea by enhancing maritime security and assuring Allies of NATO’s solidarity and commitment to collective defence.”

Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group TWO (SNMCMG2), will continue its deployment by conducting various types of mine warfare trainings and exercises with navies as well as engaging in NATO’s counter-terrorism Operation ACTIVE ENDEAVOUR.

“My staff and I have well prepared and ready for the tasks ahead. Likewise I am confident that the units in my group are highly professional and motivated” said Capt. Ramazan Kesgin, Commander SNMCMG2 “I am certain we all will do our best to fulfil the expectations of our NATO Allies and tackle the challenges lying ahead of us wherever they are.

This the third time for Turkish Navy to command SNMCMG-2. The previous commands were between May 2001 – May 2002 by Captain Niyazi Şenol, June 2006 – June 2007 by Captain ErtuğŸrul Göktunalı and between July 2011 and July 2012 by Abdülhamit Şener.

I wish Captain Ramazan Kesgin and his crew friendly seas, following seas and much success.

Turkish Navy To Take The Helm Of SNMCMG-2

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TCG Barboros, will be the flag ship of SNMCMG-2 for the next couple of months.

Turkish Navy will take the command of NATO Standing Maritime Mine Counter Measures Group-2 on 2 July 2015.

The hand over ceremony will be held in Erdek Naval base, the home port of Turkish mine warfare ships.

The MEKO 200 class frigate F-244 TCG Barbaros will be the flag ship of the Captain Ramazan Kesgin. The task force will consists of the Spanish mine hunter M-36 ESPS Tajo and Turkish mine hunter M-262 TCG Enez.

Turkish Navy Receives Upgraded Submarines

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This photo shows TCG Batıray in August 2014. She is a sister boat to TCG Dolunay and TCG Doğanay.

Last week Turkish project management company STM Mühendislik, announced that they have finished the modernization project of two Turkish Ay class submarines.

As reported in earlier in this blog, in March 2010 Defense Industry Executive Committee (SSIK) decided to upgrade two  Atılay class submarines and one year later the contract was signed with STM.

Atılay class is based on German  Type 209 design and they are the oldest submarines in Turkish silent service. The oldest one was commissioned 34 and the newest one 20 years ago. Last year S-348 TCG Saldıray was decommissioned.

The newest two boats, S-351 TCG Doğanay and S-352 TCG Dolunay received an extensive modernization. The old Kollmorgen periscopes were replaced with Zeiss periscopes either SERO 400 or OMS 100. Furthermore a new inertial navigation system from Raytheon and the ARES-2N ESM system from Aselsan have replaced the existing ones.

It was planned to modify four of the torpedo tubes so that they can use Mk48 ADCAP Mod6 AT heavy weight torpedoes. But the press release made from STM omits any mention about this. The modernization project led by the STM remains significant in a way that for the first time in the history of Turkey, a civilian company has been appointed as a main-contractor of a navy submarine project.

TCG Gediz In Manila

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TCG Gediz, the first Turkish warship to dock in Manila. Photo: Philippines Navy

On 15 June 2015, F-495 TCG Gediz becomes the first Turkish warship to dock in Manila, Philippines.

This 4 day visit in Manila will foster the bilateral ties of the two nations.

The Turkish Navy ship was met by the BRP Silang Patrol Gunboat (PG14) near Corregidor and escorted it to the port area in Manila.

“A meeting procedure is a customary Navy event observed internationally where the host’s ship meets with the visiting ship and escorts it to their port of call,” said Navy public affairs office chief Commander Lued Lincuna.

A port briefing aboard the Turkish vessel on security, safety and health was given by Philippine Navy personnel after the ship’s arrival.

The commanders of the ship will meet senior officials of the Philippine Navy and other top level military officers. There will also be tours, goodwill games, receptions and other professional exchanges as part of the port visit.

TCG Gediz is on a 122-day deployment covering 18 ports in 14 countries. It began its deployment on April 1 as it commemorated the 125th anniversary of the sinking of the Frigate Ertugrul en route to Japan

The Contract For LPD Construction Has Been Signed

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The model of the future Turkish LPD.

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The model of the future Turkish LPD.

The contract signing ceremony for the LPD was the highlight of the IDEF 2015 was from the maritime point of view the.

On 7 May 2015 the contract for the production of one landing platform dock, was signed between Under-secretariat for Defence Industries and Sedef Shipyard.

The design is based on Spanish shipyard Navantia’s Juan Carlos 1 LPD and will be very similar to the Spanish and Australian ships. According to Under-secretariat for Defence Industries press release the ship is scheduled to be commissioned in 2021. The ship will be able to operate 60 days on sea, without replenishment.

The preliminary specifications of the Turkish LPD shows that the ship will not much different from her Spanish and Australian versions:

Canberra Juan Carlos Levent
Displacement (tons) 27.500 27.500 27.460
Length (meters) 230 230 230
Speed (knots) 19 21 20,5
Range (n. miles) 9.000 9.000 9.000
Crew 240 295 240

The exact plane and helicopter load is not published but Juan Carlos design has capacity for 11 medium class helicopters and up to 7 Harrier type planes. Nobody is talking it openly yet, but it is highly possible that the S/VTOL version of F-35 may be acquired in the future to be used on this ship. Turkey is a member of the F-35 alliance and wants to buy at least 100 planes of the land based version.

For self-defence, the ship will have at least two MK-15 Phalanx CIWS and 3 or 4 remote-controlled weapon platforms  such as Aselsan’s STAMP or STOP.

ECM and ESM systems, IR signature measurement systems, electro-optic sensors, torpedo defence systems will be among many subsystems provided by Turkish companies. The combat management system will be also indigenous and will be based on GENESİS CMS.

With the signing of the contract for the LPD, Turkey Navy has entered to the Dreadnought Owners Club of the 21. Century. The large amphibious ships with docking and flight capability are the new Dreadnoughts of our era.

Large amphibious ships are the only real multi-purpose ships of any navy can posses and are the naval equivalent of Swiss army knives.

The potential uses for a large amphibious ships can be:
• force projection (the most obvious use)
• evacuation of combatants and non-combatants
• command ship for task force
• logistical supply platform during a humanitarian crisis or disaster
• mother-ship for small boat operations and helicopters
• mine warfare (as all large amphibious ships of Turkish Navy have mine laying capability)

In 2006 , The Commander of Turkish Naval Forces Admiral Yener Karahanoğlu, laid down the long terms amphibious ship acquisition goals for Turkish Navy:

• One LPD
• Two LST’s
• 8 fast LCT’s
• 27 AAV/AAAV’s

The first project to start according to this road map was procurement of 8 LCT’s. This project officially started in 2009 with the signing of the contract and ended in 2014 with the commissioning of 8 LCT’s into Turkish Navy.

The procurement of the LST’s was the second project. For the LST’s UDI submitted a Request for Proposal. on May 2008. On 6 January 2010 ADİK shipyard was declared as the winner of the bid. A contract for the construction of two new LST’s was signed between Ministry of Defence and ADİK in 2011. The first ship was to be delivered in 48 months after the signing of the contract.

The tender process for LPD has started in 2011 when UDI submitted the RfP. In May 2011, three Turkish shipyards, Deasan, RMK Marine and Sedef submitted their bids for RfP to design and build a LPD type ship. RMK Marine submitted its own design, Sedef teamed with Navantia and submitted a redesigned Juan Carlos 1. The most secretive bid was Deasan’s. The shipyard teamed with China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation which builds the Type 071 amphibious ships for PLA(N).

On 27 December 2013 the Defence Industry Executive Committee decided to start contract negotiation with the Sedef Ship Building Company, which was signed on 7 May 2015.

When commissioned she will be the capital ship of Turkish Navy.

Second Generation Milgem Design Revealed

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A conceptual drawing of Milgem-G class. Original photo by Arda Mevlütoğu. Enhancements by me.

 

During the IDEF 2015 12th International Defense Industry Fair, Turkish Navy shared the first conceptual drawing of the second generation of Milgem ships which are also called as Milgem-G

So, what do we see here?

Nothing unorthodox or groundbreaking or very experimental. From the outside the ship is an enlarged Milgem. The inside changes can only be speculated at this moment.

The hull is basically the same as the existing Milgem class ships. It is longer and heavier due to the increased weapon load and other design changes, but there appears no important changes either on the hull or on the superstructure.

The main gun is a 76mm with a stealth cupola. There is 16 canister VLS just behind the gun. As Turkish Navy uses Mk41 VLS system it is safe to say that the same system will be used in Milgem-G class. These canister will be loaded with ESSM missiles.

The forms of the bridge and the main mast is almost identical to the existing Milgem class only slightly enlarge. There will be a Smart-S Mk2 radar and ARES-2 ESM suit on the mast.

There are 16 anti ship missiles in the area between the main mast and the funnel. This is the twice the usual load of the existing anti ship missiles normally carried on Turkish warships. So not all the missiles will be Harpoon otherwise will be too expensive to procure and maintain 16 anti ship missiles.

The design of Milgem-G from the funnel till the end of the ship is identical to the Milgem. The only major difference is the close in weapon system. While the Milgem has the RAM anti-air missiles the Milgem-G has a Phalanx gun. The reason for this change might be the high cost of the RAM missile system compared to MK-15 Phalanx.

There are two remotely controlled guns on the both sides of the funnel. The details are sketchy but I expect the chaff, flare launchers and torpedo counter measure launchers to be on their existent places. There is no need to change their places.

The above mentioned are the external differences between the two generation of Milgem ships. The internal changes are very hard to tell at this time. But nevertheless I think one might safely say that the combat management system of the second generation will be an improved version of the first generation.

Once the design is completed and cast, the Under-secretariat for Defence Industries, will issue a request for information from Turkish shipyards. This will mark the start of the construction program of the second class of the Milgem ships.

TCG Gediz In Hong Kong

When PLAN ships were passing through the Turkish Straits, a Turkish frigate was visiting China to return the favor.

TCG Gediz arrived in Hong Kong on 15 May and will stay there till 18 May. The visit of a Turkish warship to a Chinese port is equally rare as Chinese warships passing through the Turkish Straits.

The Turkish navy is paying a rare visit to Hong Kong and mainland waters this week, in a four-day trip that analysts describe as a shrewd move by the European nation to show its traditional allegiance to the West, but also its desire to build ties in Asia, particularly with China.

Last night, Turkey’s top diplomat in Hong Kong, Haldun Tekneci, hosted a reception aboard the frigate TCG Gediz, which docked on Friday in the country’s first naval visit for four years.

“We are super happy and we are so proud to see this warship because it has travelled so far,” he said, adding that the visit was a sign of growing relations with China and the East Asia region.

There was also a meeting at the People’s Liberation Army’s Hong Kong garrison – a courtesy call, Tekneci said – before they head to Qingdao , Shandong , tomorrow.

The TCG Gediz is making Asia the focus of a 122-day tour that started on April 1, taking in 14 nations with 18 stops in the region.

The China stops come at a sensitive time as Turkey’s planned purchase of a long-range missile defence system is still in limbo. It angered fellow Nato members over a 2013 deal to buy from a Chinese firm and has since agreed to look at versions offered by other countries while putting the Chinese deal on hold.

Nevertheless, Ankara’s relations with Beijing have grown significantly in recent years. In 2012, then vice-president Xi Jinping travelled to Turkey, resulting in deals worth US$4.3 billion across industries including finance, renewable energy and mining.

TCG Gediz in Port Klang

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TCG Gediz arrives at Port Klang in Maleysia. Photo: Dzirhan Mahadir. Used with permission.

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TCG Gediz at Port Klang in Maleysia. Photo: Dzirhan Mahadir. Used with permission.

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TCG Gediz in Port Klang in Maleysia. Photo: Dzirhan Mahadir. Used with permission.

Turkish frigate TCG Gediz arrived in Port Klang in Malaysia on 3 May 2015. She will continue to her journey on 5 May 2015.

The frigate is on a commemorative cruise replicating the route of the ill fated deployment of the Ottoman frigate Ertuğrul.

Turkish Navy Conducts Deniz Yıldızı 2015 Exercise

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TCG Oruçreis saling to the Black Sea.

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TCG Salihreis on her way to the Black Sea.

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TCG Turgutreis making her northbound passage in IStanbul.

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TCG Yavuz at night, on her way to the Black Sea.

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TCG Atak making her northbound passage. Photo: Yörük Işık. Used with permission.

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TCG Kılıç sailing to the Black Sea. Photo: Yörük Işık. Used with permission.

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TCG Mızrak heading to the Black Sea. Photo: Yörük Işık. Used with permission.

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TCG Zıpkın making her northbound passage. Photo: Yörük Işık. Used with permission.

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TCG Bozcaada heading to the Black Sea. Photo: Yörük Işık. Used with permission.

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TCG Bandırma making her northbound passage. Photo: Yörük Işık. Used with permission.

 

On 6 April 2015 we had witnessed northbound passage of a large number of Turkish warships, 5 frigates, 2 corvettes, 4 fast attack craft in total. The reason is the start of the Deniz Yıldızı 2015 naval exercise in Black Sea.

According to the Turkish Navy website following units will take part in the exercise: 6 frigates, 3 corvettes, 5 fast attack craft, 2 submarines, 7 auxiliaries, 2 patrol boats,  3 maritime surveillance planes, 7 helicopters helicopters.  From Coast Guard 2 OPV’s, 4 cutters and 1 SAR helicopter will participate in the exercise.

The exercise is scheduled to end on 16 April. On 11 April the participating ships will make port visits in several Black Sea towns.

This is the list of the participants as far as I could find:

Number Name Type
A-573 TCG Binbaşı Saadettin Gürcan Tanker
A-XXX Auxiliary
A-XXX Auxiliary
A-XXX Auxiliary
A-XXX Auxiliary
A-XXX Auxiliary
A-XXX Auxiliary
F-240 TCG Yavuz Frigate
F-241 TCG Turgutreis Frigate
F-245 TCG Oruçreis Frigate
F-246 TCG Salihreis Frigate
F-500 TCG Bozcaada Corvette
F-502 TCG Bandırma Corvette
F-XXX Corvette
F-XXX Frigate
F-XXX Frigate
P-330 TCG Kılıç Fast attack craft
P-332 TCG Mızrak Fast attack craft
P-336 TCG Zıpkın Fast attack craft
P-337 TCG Atak Fast attack craft
P-XXX Fast attack craft
P-XXX Patrol boat
P-XXX Patrol boat
S-XXX Submarine
S-XXX Submarine
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