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

TCG Büyükada Evacuates 55 Turkish Citizens From Aden

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TCG Büyükada in Aden, embarking the Turkish citizens on board. Photo: Official Turkish Navy photo.

 

Today, the Milgem class Corvette F-512 TCG Büyükada evacuated 55  Turkish citizens trapped in Yemen.

The corvette was deployed to the Gulf of Aden and was in the region since January. It is the first major operation for TCG Büyükada. This is also the first non combatant evacuation operation for any Milgem class warship.

The ship has more accommodation that its crew but the spare bunks are not enough for 55 civilians. TCG Büyükada will disembark the civilians in Djibouti where a Turkish Airline airplane will bring them home.

This is the official press release:

After the launch of the military operation in Yemen by the coalition forces under the leadership of Saudi Arabia, a meticulous work has been carried on for the evacuation of the Turkish citizens who are in Yemen and requesting their evacuation. During the whole process, ultimate care has been shown not to endanger the safety of our citizens, and a multifaceted approach has been pursued by considering all available options.

In this context, TCG Büyükada Frigate of the Turkish Naval Forces on mission in the adjacent waters completed the evacuation of 55 citizens who were in Aden. Our citizens will be taken firstly to Djibouti, and thence they will be transferred to Turkey by a Turkish Airlines aircraft.

We welcome the safe and sound evacuation of our citizens from Aden thanks to the devoted and skillful efforts of our relevant institutions and the initiated coordination.

TCG Gediz Sets Sail For Far East

TCG Gediz sailing in Marmara Sea

TCG Gediz sailing in Marmara Sea

On 2 April 2015, the Gabya class frigate F-495 TCG Gediz set sail from Aksaz Naval base, Marmaris for a 122 day deployment.

The highlight of this deployment will be the commemoration of the sinking of the Ottoman frigate Ertuğrul off the coast of Wakayama Prefecture in Japan.

TCG Gediz will follow he original route of Ertuğrul 125 years ago and will visit 18 different ports in 14 countries.

This is from Wikipedia:

Ertuğrul, launched in 1863, was a sailing frigate of the Ottoman Navy. While returning from a goodwill voyage from Japan in 1890, she encountered a typhoon off the coast of Wakayama Prefecture, subsequently drifted into a reef and sank. The maritime accident resulted in the loss of 533 sailors, including Admiral Ali Osman Pasha. Only sixty-nine sailors and officers survived and returned home later aboard two Japanese corvettes.

Turkish Participants To Joint Warrior 2015-1

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TCG Gökova

The Turkish Navy is participating to the Joint Warrior 2015 exercise with frigates F-496 TCG Gökova, F-497 TCG Göksu, submarine S-359 TCG Burakreis and mine hunter M-266 TCG Anamur.

TCG Göksu is currently part of NATO’s naval task force SNMG-2 and TCG Anamur is with the NATO’s mine warfare task force SNMCMG-2.

Exercise Joint Warrior is a semi-annual training exercise conducted in the coastal waters off the United Kingdom. The training, led by the United Kingdom, is designed to provide NATO and allied forces a multi-warfare environment in which to prepare for global operations. Participating countries aim to improve interoperability and prepare forces for future combined exercises.

The exercise will run form Saturday 11 April until Friday 24 April and will feature 55 war ships and submarines, 70 aircraft and around 13,000 personnel from 13 participating countries.

After the completion of the exercise TCG Gökova and  TCG Burakreis will take in Flag Officer Sea Training in Plymouth between 4 May and 12 June 2015.

 

TCG Büyükada Rejoins Operation Ocean Shield

TCG Büyükada in Operation Ocean Shiled. Photo: NATO MARCOM

According to NATO Maritime Command web site, Turkish corvette F-512 TCG Büyükada joined the NATO Counter Piracy Operation Ocean Shield for a second time.

TCG Büyükada is on a deployment to the Gulf Of Aden since January and she is expected to return to Turkey in 15 days. Previously in February she again joined the NATO task force for the Operation Ocean Shield.

This is the second counter piracy deployment of the Turkish corvette in the past two months. During her tour of duty, the ship will operate with recently joined Royal Australian Navy Oiler HMAS SUCCESS. TCG BUYUKADA will conduct regular counter piracy patrols in Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean and provide support to NATO’s regional capacity building efforts in order to enhance interoperability and cooperation between the nations in the area. The ship will also conduct training with naval forces operating in the Indian Ocean.

“I would like to express my gratitude to the Turkish Navy for its determined support to counter piracy and firm commitment to international maritime security,” said Commander NATO Allied Maritime Command, Vice Admiral Peter Hudson. “Multinational contributions are essential to defeating piracy in the region and strengthening the cooperation between naval forces. Wider support to this international mission brings us closer to eliminate the threat.”

Built by Istanbul Naval Shipyard under the Turkish National warship program, TCG BUYUKADA is a modern littoral combat warship with indigenous surface, air and anti-submarine warfare capabilities. The 2400 ton, 99.5m long corvette is equipped with numerous weapons and systems and carries a helicopter and a crew of approximately 90 Sailors.

“During the course of our duty, we will expand on our experiences from the first deployment,” said the Commander of TCG BUYUKADA, Lieutenant Commander Ali Tuna BAYSAL. “As her commander, I am very pleased that TCG BUYUKADA has the opportunity to contribute again to addressing piracy in the region.”

18 March 1915: Çanakkale Is Impassable

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The battlefield of the naval battle on 18 March 1915

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Fort Hamidiye under enemy fire during the battle on 18 March 1915

 

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A 381mm dud shell from dreadnought HMS Queen Elisabeth

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Fort Çimenlik in Çanakkale after the enemy bombardment

100 years ago the idyllic town Çanakkale was the center of a very fierce and bloody fighting. This fighting shaped the directly the future of Turkey, accelerate the end of the Romanov dynasty and created an unique Australian identity  following the war.

On 18 March 1915 when the Allied Armada made up of 18 battleships and numerous of cruisers and destroyers tried to forced her way up the Dardanelles. Their destination was Istanbul, the capital of Ottoman Empire.

Everything seem to be on the side of the Allied naval forces until at around 14.0, when a small cloud of yellowish smoke, which turned black afterwards, came out of the starboard quarter of the French warship Bouvet. This old battleship had struck a mine. One of the mines laid ten days ago by small Ottoman minelayer Nusret. Bouvet sank in a very short time.

In a matter of a couple of minutes first HMS Inflexible and shortly  later HMS Irresistible struck to same mines from Nusret.

Of the 18 capital ships that sailed in the Dardanelles that morning HMS Ocean, HMS Irresistible and Bouvet never returned. HMS Inflexible and Gaulios had to be beached at the near by small island in order to be rescued. Suffren heavily damaged by Turkish guns had to be docked at Malta for intensive repairs..

Winston Churchill defined those mines as the reason for the prolonging of the war and the enormous casualties, in the interview he made with “Revue de Paris,” in 1930.

The failure of the naval forces forced the Allied forces to land troops ob Gallipoli peninsula which led to long and bloody trench warfare.

The legacy and the heroism of the defenders of Çanakkale will never forgotten. Çanakkale geçilmez.

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