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.

TCG Büyükada Exercises With Bahraini Warship

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TCG Büyükada conducts a passing exercise with Bahraini warship Hawar. Photo: Turkish Naval Forces.

TCG Büyükada is continuing with her Indian Ocean deployment.

She was in Doha, Qatar, between 3 and 6 March for a scheduled port visit. After leaving Qatar she made PASSEX with the Bahraini war ship RNBS Hawar.

TCG Büyükada is now making a port visit in Jubail, Saudi Arabia. She is scheduled to return to Turkey in 30 days.

A Submarine Sighted

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On 7 March 2015, a Turkish Navy, Atılay class submarine was sighted passing through Bosphorus.

Since Turkish Navy stopped painting the pennant number of the submarines on their hulls, it is impossible to identify each individual submarine anymore. While this new painting scheme helps the submarines to blend and prevents IR/FLIR/LLTV using trackers or electro-optic directors any high contrast target, it makes ship spotting difficult.

Last month when USS Cole was in the Black Sea it was reported that she had participated in an underway engagement with Turkish frigate F-243 TCG Yıldırım and submarine S-350 TCG Yıldıray on 21 February 2015.

Since this is the first Atılay class submarine returning from the Black Sea and the only one recently reported to be deployed in the region, I think it is safe to say that this submarine is S-350 TCG Yıldıray.

TCG Barbaros Receives New Weapons and Sensors

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TCG Barbaros passing through Bosphorus in 2014. Photo: Yörük Işık. Used with permission.

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TCG Barbaros passing through Bosphorus in 2015. Photo: Yörük Işık. Used with permission.

Above are two photos of MEKO 200 Track IIA class frigate F-244 TCG Barbaros. The first photo was taken in April 2014, the second in February 2015. Though the resolution is not optimal two fundamental change made on the ship in less than 10 months is clearly visible.

Gone are the old AWS-9 search radar and Mk-29 SeaSparrow launcher. They are replaced by a (probably a 16 cell) Mk41 VLS and a SMART-S Mk2 3D radar. This means TCG Barbaros can now fire Sea Sparrow and Evolved Sea Sparrow missiles on board. And the life of the radar maintenance technicians got a lot more easier.

TCG Büyükada In Pakistan

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TCG Büyükada arriving in Karachi. Photo: Corporate Ambassador.

 

On Tuesday, 17 February 2015, F-512 TCG Büyükada arrived in Karachi, Pakistan. The ship is expected to leave the city today, according the to press release made by Turkish Navy.

The Pakistani newspaper Daily Times reported that Pakistan Navy and Turkish Navy will hold a bilateral naval exercise commencing on February 19 with an aim to enhance interoperability and operational understanding. Turkish Navy Ship TCG BUYUKADA arrived at Karachi to participate in the exercise, which included an elaborate harbour and sea phase, said a statement on Tuesday. Turkish Naval Attache in Pakistan and senior officials of Pakistan Navy received the ship. The exercise being first of the series is a landmark reflection of historic ties between the two navies. Pakistan Navy and Turkish Navy have been interacting since long in order to improve upon level of coordination, interoperability and training.

Turkish Parliament Extended The Anti-Piracy Mission Of Turkish Navy

On 3 February 2015, The Grand National Assembly of Turkey, extended the presence of Turkish Navy in  Gulf of Aden, Arabian Sea, and adjacent seas.

The first bill allowing Turkish government to deploy Turkish Naval Forces for anti piracy operations was accepted in 10 February 2009. It was extended in one year periods ever since.

Turkish warship are  tasked with:

  • Performing reconnaissance and patrol duties,
  • Calling on ships suspected of piracy/ armed robbery, on the radio, boarding them if their flag country approves and interfering in accordance with the international law if the ship is not showing any flag,
  • Escorting and protecting merchant ships,
  • Helping merchant ships under attack of pirates/sea robbers,
  • Intervening, stopping, neutralizing, and confiscating any vessels used by pirates/sea robbers, and using appropriate force if necessary,
  • Arresting and detaining pirates/sea robbers and armed persons in these vessels,
  • Accepting the representatives of the countries that will prosecute pirates/ armed robbers on board, for the preparations of judicial proceedings, according to the UN resolution 1851.
  • Arresting and detaining, pirates/armed robbers on board until they are being handed over to the countries that will prosecute them,
  • Turning in, the suspects of pirates/sea robbers with the exception of the case that these are Turkish citizens, to the authorities the nation where the pirates/sea robbers will be prosecuted,
  • Executing all kinds of policing duties including interrogation, collecting evidence.

TCG Büyükada Conducts Counter Piracy Operations

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TCG Büyükada conducts replenishment at sea with HMAS Success. Photo: NATO MARCOM.

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TCG Büyükada in Indian Ocean. Photo: NATO MARCOM

It was an busy week for the Ada class corvette TCG Büyükada.

On Sunday and Tuesday, TCG BUYUKADA conducted replenishment at sea (RAS) training with the Royal Australian Navy ship HMAS SUCCESS (OR 304), a multi-product replenishment oiler.
Monday, TCG BUYUKADA exercised with the Japan Maritime Self Defence Force ship JS HARUSAME (D-102), an independent deployer conducting counter-piracy in the region, testing common procedures and manoeuvres between these forces. During the interaction with the JMSDF, the Commander of Deployment Surface Force for Counter Piracy Enforcement, Captain Masatoshi Kashihara, visited TCG BUYUKADA and briefed on the activities of the ship in the operations area.
Wednesday TCG BUYUKADA had the opportunity to perform passing exercises (PASSEX), to include manoeuvring training and formation drills with the Korean Ship ROKS DAE JO YEONG in the Arabian Sea. The Commander of TCG BUYUKADA Lieutenant Commander Ali Tuna Baysal welcomed the Commander of the Korean Escort Task Group XVII and Commanding Officer of ROKS DAE JO YEONG Captain Sun-Woo Hwang, on board TCG BUYUKADA. Captain Sun-Woo Hwang and his contingent were briefed on the TCG BUYUKADA’s deployment in the region and her participation in Operation OCEAN SHIELD. The two Commanders also shared their experiences with counter-piracy operations and discussed future opportunities to work together.
Thursday the crew of TCG BUYUKADA conducted fire-fighting training with the Royal Omani Navy. This training is part of broader regional capacity building activities with countries in the area of operations. Fourteen Royal Omani Navy personnel observed the training, which included briefs about the fire-fighting systems, damage control and firefighting organization of the TCG BUYUKADA and direct observation of a fire simulation on the mess decks.

 

As reported earlier, TCG Büyükada is on a 87 day deployment to the Indian Ocean. The corvette is expected to arrive back in Turkey on 15 April 2015.

TCG Büyükada Joins Operation Ocean Shield

TCG Büyükada in Indian Ocean. Photo: NATO.

NATO’s Maritime Command reported that on 6 February 2015, the Ada class corvette TCG Büyükada has joined the Operation Ocean Shield.

The ship 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 several counter-piracy naval forces operating in the Indian Ocean.

“We are very pleased by Turkish Navy’s continued support to counter piracy efforts and its firm commitment to international maritime security,” said Commander NATO Allied Maritime Command, Vice Admiral Peter Hudson. “Though the number of piracy attacks has significantly declined, piracy at sea has not been eliminated, so vigilance by the international community remains necessary.”

As reported earlier, TCG Büyükada is on a 87 day deployment to the Indian Ocean.

The corvette is expected to arrive back in Turkey on 15 April 2015.

Will TKMS Pay Penalty For the Delays In Reis Class Construction Project?

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This presentation by TKMS shows the local Turkish content in the upcoming Type214TN submarines. which is substantial compared to the previous submarine construction projects.

The German newspaper Handelsblatt run a story about the penalty to be paid by German submarine constructor Thyssen Krupp Marine Systems (TKMS) to Turkey. The reason for this payment is the delay in, construction of 6 Type 214 TN submarines Turkey as agreed to buy From TKMS in 2009.

On 2 July 2009, a contract was signed between Turkey and Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft GmbH (HDW), Kiel, a company of TKMS, and MarineForce International LLP (MFI), London, for the delivery of six material packages for the construction of Class 214 submarines which are now called as the Reis class.

The value of the contract is estimated as 2,5 billion €. There is %80 offset agreement. The submarines will be built in Gölcük Naval Shipyard where 11 submarines of Type 209, were previously built. According to the original contract terms the construction was to start in 2011, and the first sub delivered in 2015.

The reasons for the delay of the construction is both technical and commercial.

The technical delay is related to the much reported to the stability problems the Type 214 submarines experienced. The stability problem was one of the main reasons why Greek Navy refused to accept its first Type 214 HS Papanikolis years ago in the first place. The solution to the stability problem by TKMS was to add weights to certain places in the submarine in order to create a stability. But Turkish Navy was not satisfied with this come up with its own solution where the center of gravity of the submarine was relocated,by adding extending the length of the submarine. The solution has to be validated by TKMS and this is one of the delay in the project. This also means that Turkish Navy is working seriously in submarine design and problems associated with it.  In the end Turkish Type 214 submarines will be a few meters longer than the other nations Type 214 submarines.

The Type 214 construction project is the last project where Turkish Navy will construct a submarine to a foreign design and subsystems. It is not a secret that the next submarines constructed by Turkish Navy will be local design with most of the critical components ans sub systems produced with local input. It is not surprising to see the large Turkish industrial participation in the Type 214 project as this project is regarded as preparation phase for the Milli Denizaltı  (Milden). Milli Denizaltı means National Submarine in Turkish. So it is understandable for the Germans to drag their feet in the Type 214 project especially when they know that this is the last of its kind.

A New Missile For Turkish Naval Helicopters

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This is a photo of a Turkish S-72B Sea Hawk helicopter firing a missile. There are many things, one can say about this photo.

The special 100th Anniversary Logo of the Turkish Naval Aviation is painted on the side of the fuselage dates the photo to 2014.

The usual missile armament of Turkish Navy helicopter are Penguin Mk2 and AGM-114K Hellfire II missiles. The bright red color of the missile indicates that it is not a serial production unit. Thus this must be a photo of a test firing of a missile in development for Turkish Navy helicopters.

There are some speculative information on Turkish websites that this missile might the a naval version of the Mızrak long-range anti tank missile developed by Roketsan.

If this photo turns out indeed to be a test firing of a navalized version of Mızrak, then the missile may have an Imaging Infra-Red (IIR) seeker  and a range longer than 15 km. These features will enable to helicopter to stay out of the range of SAM missiles her target may be carrying.

 

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