Ukrainian Frigate Hetman Sahaidachny Passed Through Turkish Straits

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Ukrainian frigate Hetman Sahaidachny passing through the Bosphorus.

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Ukrainian frigate Hetman Sahaidachny passing through the Bosphorus.

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Ukrainian frigate Hetman Sahaidachny passing through the Bosphorus.

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Ukrainian frigate Hetman Sahaidachny passing through the Bosphorus.

The flagship of the Ukrainian Navy, the Krivak III (Project 1135.1) class frigate Hetman Sahaidachny passed through the Turkish Straits today and is now in the Black Sea. I have no information about her destination. It can be Sevastopol or Odessa. We will know better tomorrow.

The ship was doing anti piracy operations first with the CTF-151 and later with Operation Atalanta since September 2013.

A large Ukrainian flag was hoisted as she was passing through the Bosphorus contrary to the earlier reports that she has changed flags.  During her passage she was escorted by large patrol boat TCSG-90 from Turkish Coast Guard. Turkish Coast Guard vessels usually escort foreign warships during their passages through Turkish Straits.

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A few minutes later a Turkish Meko 200 class frigate TCG Yavuz passed through the Bosphorus and followed the Ukrainian warship towards the Black Sea.

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Turkish frigate F-240 TCG Yavuz sailing towards the Black Sea

I do not think that the Turkish warship was shadowing the Ukrainian frigate or escorting her, but the presence of the Turkish frigate was not a coincidence either.

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Ukrainian frigate Hetman Sahaidachny passing through the Bosphorus. Photos: Kerim Bozkurt. Used with permission.


A group of Ukrainians were cheering as the flagship of their navy passed by them.

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Ukrainian frigate Hetman Sahaidachny passing through the Bosphorus. Photos: Kerim Bozkurt. Used with permission.

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Ukrainian frigate Hetman Sahaidachny passing through the Bosphorus. Photos: Kerim Bozkurt. Used with permission.

USS Mount Whitney Back In The Mediterranean

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USS Mount Whitney in the middle of the Marmara Sea. I was 30 minutes too late.

After finishing her 15 day Odyssey in the Black Sea, the flag-ship of the US 6th Fleet, LCC-20 USS Mount Whitney passed through the Turkish Straits on 20 November 2013 and returned to the Mediterranean.

During her 15 days in the Black Sea she visited Burgas in Bulgaria, Batumi in Georgia  and Constanta in Romania and conducted small scale exercise with the local naval forces. 

TCG Kemalreis Got A New Radar

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MEKO 200 Track IIB class frigate F-247 TCG Kemalreis on Bosphorus. Her original AWS-9 radar was replaced with Smart Mk2 3D radar.

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We had a nice sun set today.

The Barbaros (MEKO 200 Track IIB) class frigate TCG Kemalreis was sighted today passing through Bosphorus with her new radar.

When these ships were commissioned they had BAE Systems AWS-9 3D radar to provides long-range surveillance and target indication data. But the difficult and sometimes dangerous maintenance and the structural complexity of the AWS-9 radars made this change necessary.

TCG Kemalreis is the 7th ship in Turkish Navy to receive this radar. The others are F-246 TCG Salihreis, F-495 TCG Gediz, F-496 TCG Gökova, F-497 TCG Göksu, F-511 TCG Heybeliada, F-512 TCG Büyükada.

Ukrainian Corvette On Her Way To Operation Active Endeavour

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Ukrainian corvette Ternopil, passing through Bosphorus.

The Ukrainian, Grisha (Project 1124 EM/P) class corvette U-209 Ternopil passed through the Bosphorus today. She will take part in NATO anti terror operation in Mediterranean Operation Active Endeavour.

The Ukrainian has deployed two warships at the same time for two different operations. The Krivak class frigate U-310 Hetman Sahaydachniy is in the Gulf of Aden to conduct anti-piracy operations while as mentioned U-209 Ternopil will take part in Operation Active Endeavour.

The simultaneous deployment of two warships is a considerable feat for the Ukrainian Navy considering their size and resources.

This is the Google translation of the official announcement of the Ternopil deployment:

Today, October 8, antisubmarine corvettes Naval Forces of Ukraine “Ternopil” under Captain 3rd rank Oleg Grigoriev went from Sevastopol in the Mediterranean Sea to the tasks NATO antiterrorist operation “Active Endeavour”. While patrolling in a certain area of the Mediterranean Ukrainian crew of the ship will carry out practical steps to monitor civilian shipping, collecting and recording information on suspicious vehicles, their maintenance and inspection, maintenance vehicles with loads of special importance, antimine of civilian shipping. On board the “Ternopil” is an observation team of crew and unit of Marines.

Commander of the Naval Forces of Ukraine Yuriy Admiral Il’yin when wiring the ship said that the corvette “Ternopil” their participation in Operation “Active Endeavour” is doing noble work for the Navy and the state. Head of the Armed Forces expressed confidence that the crew of honor perform all tasks.

Personnel also read out greetings from the head region, which has patronage over the ship – Head of Ternopil Regional State Administration Valentine Hoptyana. The Governor wished the sailors swimming successful and happy return to home base.

Since parting words to the crew and asked Assistant Secretary of Defense Ukraine stock Admiral Viktor Maksimov, Sebastopol City Council member Peter Kudryashov, Chairman of the Board of Veterans Ukraine Navy Rear Admiral Victor reserve Nosenko, director of “skeleton” Leonid Sobolev.

Help. practical phase of NATO antiterrorist operation “Active Endeavour” in the Mediterranean began Oct. 6, 2001.

According to the agreement between Ukraine and NATO on Ukraine’s participation in naval operations in the Mediterranean, the state supports the Alliance by bringing the operation of ships and inspection teams of the Naval Forces of Ukraine.

The purpose of the operation – to prevent trafficking of weapons, drugs, preventing terrorism, human trafficking and the control of shipping.

TCG Karamürselbey On Bosphorus

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Turkish Sarucabey class landing ship NL-124 TCG Karamürselbey passing southbound, through Bosphorus on 29 September 2013. Photo: Deniz Yaman. Used with permission.

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Turkish Sarucabey class landing ship NL-124 TCG Karamürselbey passing northbound, through Bosphorus on 7 October 2013. Photo: Eser Çelebiler. Used with permission.

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Turkish Sarucabey class landing ship NL-124 TCG Karamürselbey passing northbound, through Bosphorus on 7 October 2013. Photo: Eser Çelebiler. Used with permission.

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Turkish Sarucabey class landing ship NL-124 TCG Karamürselbey passing northbound, through Bosphorus on 7 October 2013. Photo: Eser Çelebiler. Used with permission.

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Turkish Sarucabey class landing ship NL-124 TCG Karamürselbey passing northbound, through Bosphorus on 7 October 2013. Photo: Eser Çelebiler. Used with permission.

Russian Ropuchas and Alligators are not the only landing ships pass through the Bosphorus. Here are photos of our indigenous NL-124 TCG Karamürsel showing her two recent passages.

She is the sister of NL-123 TCG Sarucabey and both are enlarged version of the now deleted Çakabey class.These ships can carry 600 troops, 11 tanks and 2 LCVP’s and have mine laying capability as a secondary role. Hence the letter “N” on the pennant number. Both were constructed now closed Taşkızak Naval Shipyard.

Most probably both TCG Sarucabey and TCG Karamürselbey will be replaced by the new landing ship class being constructed at ADIK Shipyard.

Turkish Warships On Bosphorus

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Turkish patrol boat P-127 TCG AB-27 passing through the Bosphorus.

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Turkish patrol boat P-129 TCG AB-29 passing through the Bosphorus.

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Turkish Coast Guard interceptor SG-25 TCSG-25 passing through The Bosphorus.

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Turkish frigate F-244 TCG Barbaros in Istanbul to celebrate the reopening of the Naval Museum in Istanbul.

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Turkish frigate F-244 TCG Barbaros in Istanbul to celebrate the reopening of the Naval Museum in Istanbul. Photo: Kerim Bozkurt. Used with permission.

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Two patrol boats and one landing craft passing through Bosphorus. Photo: Kerim Bozkurt. Used with permission.

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Two patrol boats on Bosphorus. Photo: Kerim Bozkurt. Used with permission.

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The patrol boat P-1200 TCG Tuzla passing through Bosphorus. Photo: Kerim Bozkurt. Used with permission.

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The patrol boat P-1207 TCG Tekirdağ passing through the Bsophorus. Photo: Kerim Bozkurt. Used with permission.

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The patrol boat P-1209 TCG Kilimli passing through the Bosphorus. Photo: Kerim Bozkurt. Used with permission.

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Landing craft Ç-120 TCG Ç-120 passing through Bosphorus. Photo: Kerim Bozkurt. Used with permission.

On 4 October the Naval Museum in Istanbul was reopened after a 6 years of renovation and reconstruction. The museum is just across the mausoleum of the great Turkish Admiral Barbaros Hayrettin Paşa. The MEKO 200 Track II class frigate F-244 TCG Barbaors was in Istanbul to take part in the reopening ceremony of the naval museum. She is the only ships that carries the old battle ensign of Admiral Barbaros Hayrettin Paşa.

The ship spotters were also able to witness more Turkish warships. The two old patrol boats TCG AB-27 and TCG AB-29 which passed through the Bosphorus will soon be replaced by newer boats of the Tuzla class such as TCG Tuzla, TCG Tekirdağ and TCG Kilimli seen passing through the Bosphorus later. 

Photos From Recent Warship Passages In Bosphorus

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Russian Alligator class 152 Nikolia Filchenkov passing through the Bosphorus on 12 September 2013. Photo: Kerim Bozkurt. Used with permission.

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Russian Alligator class 152 Nikolia Filchenkov passing through the Bosphorus on 12 September 2013. Photo: Kerim Bozkurt. Used with permission.

Russian Kashinin class destroyer 810 Smetlivy passing through the Bosphuros on 13 September 2013. Photo:   haberler.com

Russian Kashinin class destroyer 810 Smetlivy passing through the Bosphuros on 13 September 2013. Photo: haberler.com

Click here for more photos from the passage of Smetlivy and click here for a short video.

It was not only Russian ships that passed through the Bosphorus this weekend. The SNMCMG-2 has left the Black Sea after spending 19 days in various ports in the region.

M-1061 FGS Rootweil and M-263 TCG Erdemli leaving the Bosphorus on 14 September 2013.

M-1061 FGS Rottweil and M-264 TCG Erdemli leaving the Bosphorus on 14 September 2013. Photo: denizhaber.com.tr

Victory Day 2013 (Part 2)

TCG Gediz with her new Smart Mk2 3D radar

TCG Gediz with her new Smart Mk2 3D radar

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This year F-243 TCG Yıldırım, F-244 TCG Barbaros and F-495 TCG Gediz were in Istanbul to commemorate the 91th anniversary of the victory in the Battle of Dumlupınar, the final battle in the Turkish War of Independence in 1922.

All the ships were open to the public and for me the highlight was the CIC of the TCG Gediz.

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Turkish Coast Guard vessels TCSG-5 and TCSG-312 also took part in the celebrations.

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I was also able to take the photo of another coast guard vessel. The pedestal at the end of the cabin is similar to the pedestal on P-141 TCG Yunus-1 and P-142 TCG Yunus-2 in Turkish Navy service. This pedestal is a clear indicator the Turkish Coast Guard will install remote-controlled machine gun platform STAMP on these vessels.

977 Dae Jo Young In Istanbul

Korean KDX-2 class destroyer 977 Dae Jo Young docking at Istanbul port.

Korean KDX-2 class destroyer 977 Dae Jo Young docking at Istanbul port.

On 29 August 2013, the Korean KDX-II class destroyer 977 Dae Jo Young, arrived in Istanbul for a undefined port visit.

The ship is not a stranger in Istanbul as she was here before, in 2008 with the replenishment tanker 57 Chun Lee.

SNMG-2 Press Conference On Board SPS Blas De Lezo

From left to right: Commander Levent Bingöl , Rear Admiral Eugenio Diaz Del Rio, Commander Fernando Alvarez Blanco

On 24 July 2013 late afternoon NATO’s Standing Maritime Group 2 (SNMG-2) arrived in Istanbul.

The group was in the Black Sea since 5 July and visited Bulgaria, and Ukraine and conducted training with Bulgarian and Romanian naval units.

Currently, SNMG-2 consists of the Spanish frigate F-103 SPS Blas De Lezo and Turkish frigate F-246 TCG Salihreis

I was invited to the press conference on board of SPS Blas De Lezo on 25 July 2013. It was my third visit of a Spanish warship but my first press conference so it was quite an interesting event.

Rear Admiral Eugenio Diaz Del Rio is the current commander of the Maritime Group 2, for a period of a year starting June 15th 2013.
He, with the commander of the SPS Blas De Lezo Commander Fernando Alvarez Blanco and the commander of TCG Salihreis Commander Levent Bingöl answered the question of the press.

Real Admiral Diaz Del Rio explained that there will two different stages during his command. In the first stage SNMG-2 will remain mainly in the Mediterranean and in the Black Sea and will support NATO’s Operation Active Endevour and take part in naval exercises Doğu Akdeniz organized by Turkish Navy, Briliant Mariner/Mare Aperto by Italy or Naias by Greece.

In the second stage in 2014 will relived SNMG-1 in the Gulf of Aden and will take the responsibly of the NATO’s anti-piracy operation Ocean Shield for the first 6 months.

He also told that the current composition of SNMG is going to change in late August as more warships will join the group.

Upon my question how he would elaborate this the Black Sea cruise of the SNMG-2 he told that being in the Black sea was interesting as a member of the Spanish Navy he did not had many opportunities to be there. The training of SNMG-2 with the Bulgarian and Romanian naval units was in his opinion very good and helped these NATO navies in gaining the experiences other older NATO navies already have.

Real Admiral Diaz Del Rio compared this force to the fire fighters and said “We must always be ready for any kind of situation emerging in our area. We do not have luxury of saying we need 24 hours to be ready”

He also praised the support of Turkish Navy. SNMG-2 was refueled by Turkish oiler 3 times when it was in the Black Sea. Real Admiral Diaz Del Rio informed that during his tour as Staff Operations Officer at NATO’S Standing Naval Force in the Mediterranean (STANAVFORMED) in 2000 he was stationed on board of a Turkish ship and had a very good working relations with Turkish Navy.

The admiral answered my question whether a plan at NATO level or at national level for Spain existed to position AEGIS platforms such as the frigate Blas De Lezo on the Black Sea, to support NATO initiative to provide a BMD for Europe by saying that NATO was to provide command and control for the BMD system components and every participating nation was going to provide their equipment accordingly.

Upon a question how it feels to have an admiral and his staff on board the commander of the SPS Blas De Lezo Commander Fernando Alvarez Blanco said that Real Admiral Diaz Del Rio, was his boss in their previous tenure and they have been working together for a long time.

Commander Blanco also told that Turkish delegations have visited the frigate and they have been extensively briefed about the working of the AEGIS system. He also told us that the AEGIS system was working well in coastal/littoral Sea such as the Mediterranean or the Black Sea especially if you have a previous knowledge of the area and the expected threads.

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