TCG Işın Launched

A-583 TCG Işın before the launching. Photo:

A-583 TCG Işın before the launching. Photo:

I know this headline is confusing as there is already one ship named as TCG Işın in Turkish Navy inventory. But apparently her days are limited.

The ship today launched is the first of the two RATSHIP (Rescue and Towing Ship) Istanbul Shipyard is constructing for Turkish Navy. Istanbul Shipyard a private company, was selected to build one submarine rescue ship and two salvage and rescue ships by SSM in June 2010. The submarine rescue ship A-601 TCG Alemdar was launched on 29 April 2014.

According to the press release of Undersecretariat for Defence Industries, the rescue and Towing ship will be capable of towing the broken down, wrecked and ran ashore ships as well as fire-fighting. Moreover, she, which will be equipped by the modern rescue systems and equipment such as remotely operated vehicle (ROV), atmospheric diving suit, submarine ventilation system, pressure rooms etc., can also perform the underwater repair works and wreck removal.

The complete design, construction, outfitting and integration of the Rescue and Towing Ship are being performed by Istanbul Shipyard. In this scope, the total industry participation and offset percentage of 65% enables the utilization of Turkish industry capabilities through the acquisition of the construction material and services as well as most of the systems integrated on the vessel.

The new A-583 TCG Işın will be handed over to Turkish Navy in January 2015.  That means the days of the old and veteran A-589 TCG Işın are limited.

This is the video of the launch:

TCG Alemdar Launched


A-601 TCG Alemdar after the launching. Photo: Istanbul Shipyard

This breaking story is almost one month old and show that the Turkish Shipyard have a lot to learn in public relation and in explaining to the public what they are accomplishing.

On 29 April 2014, the submarine rescue mother ship also known as MOSHIP, A-601 TCG Alemdar was launched by Istanbul Shipyard.

Istanbul Shipyard a private company, was selected to build one submarine rescue ship and two salvage and rescue ships by SSM in June 2010.

The main task of this ship will be rescue submarines that are unable to resurface themselves. She will be able to provide life support to the stranded crew of a distressed submarine up to 600 meters depth. She will carry ROV’s, atmospheric diving suits and other necessary equipment.

With fourteen modern diesel-electric submarines in service, the Turkish Navy is the biggest operator of conventionally powered submarines among both European and NATO countries. However, the existing submarine rescue and salvage ships in the Turkish Navy were built in the 1950s and they are now reaching the end of their life-spans.

It is important for the Turkish Navy to maintain an appropriate degree of salvage and recovery capability to support its large submarine force, so it is a joy to see that a very complex ship with many complex equipment on board was launched.

This is the video of the launching:

First Steel Is Cut For Turkish TCG Bayraktar

LST_NG_2 copy LST_NG copy

Suddenly and silently the construction of the first of the two new LST class ships has started.

The first steel was cut on 14 May 2014 at ADİK Shipyard. The first ship will be called as TCG Bayraktar; the name proves that the old TCG Bayraktar, an old LST-511 class landing ship is out of commission.

The contract for the construction of two new LST class landing ships was signed between ADIK shipyard and SSM in 16 June 2011. It took almost two years for the shipyard to find the 370 million Euro credit to cover the project as required by the contract.

The shipyard expect to hand the ship to Turkish Navy in 34 months on 17 February 2017.

Turkey Requests MK 48 Torpedoes From USA

On 12 May 2014, the State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to Turkey for MK 48 Mod 6 Advanced Technology All-Up-Round (AUR) Warshot torpedoes and associated equipment, parts, training and logistical support for an estimated cost of $170 million. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale.

The Government of Turkey has requested a possible sale of up to 48 MK 48 Mod 6 Advanced Technology All-Up-Round (AUR) Warshot Torpedoes, containers, fleet exercise sections, exercise fuel tanks, surface recovery cage and tools, exercise hardware, maintenance facility upgrades, support and test equipment, spare and repair parts, personnel training and training equipment, publications and technical documentation, U.S. Government and contractor engineering, technical, and logistics support services, and other related elements of logistics support. The total estimated cost is $170 million.

The Republic of Turkey is a partner of the United States in ensuring peace and stability in the region. It is vital to the U.S. national interest to assist our North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) ally in developing and maintaining a strong and ready self-defense capability that will contribute to an acceptable military balance in the area. This proposed sale is consistent with those objectives.

The proposed sale will improve Turkey’s capability for self defense, modernization, regional security, and interoperability with U.S. and other NATO members. Turkey will use the enhanced capability of the MK 48 Mod 6 Advanced Technology torpedoes on the new CERBE Class submarines (214 Type 1200). Turkey has significant experience in maintaining and supporting advanced torpedoes, particularly MK 46 Mod 5A(S)W and MK 54 Lightweight Torpedoes (LWT), and has capable infrastructure that will require minimal updates. Turkey is capable of integrating, employing, and maintaining the MK 48 Mod 6AT Torpedo.

The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region.

The principal contractor will be Raytheon Company Integrated Defense Systems in Keyport, Washington; and Lockheed Martin Sippican in Marion, Massachusetts. There are no known offset agreements associated in connection with this proposed sale

The above notification is hardly surprising. When the selection of Cerbe Class (214 Type 1200) AIP submarines was made back in 2009, the Mk 48 torpedoes were announced as their primary weapon. The selection of US made torpedoes over German torpedoes was not expected as Turkish Navy already uses German torpedoes in its German designed submarines: Atılay class (209 Type 1200), Preveze class (209 Type 1400) and Gür class (209 Type 1200 Mod).

The technical parameters of the German torpedoes are by default configured in the the fire control software developed by another German company Atlas Elektronik. This is why in Turkish Type 209 submarines German torpedoes are used as standard weapon.

According to media reports HDW demanded a very high sum for the integration of Mk-48 torpedoes in to Type 214. This is typical HDW. When Greece wanted to have Italian Blackshark torpedoes for their Type 214 submarines, the money HDW demanded for the integration was so high that Greece decided to use German torpedoes instead. Therefore, Turkey selected Atlas Elektronik instead of HDW as the main contractor for the integration of Mk-48 torpedoes into the Atlas Elektronik’s ISUS command and control software.

Turkish company Havelsan,  acting as sub contractor for Atlas Elektronik, will develop the plug in software to integrate the USA made torpedoes to German made fire control software.

But the Cerbe class submarines are not the only platform for the US torpedoes. Two of the six Atılay class (209 Type 1200) submarines are also getting the software upgrade to fire and control the MK 48 torpedo.

TCSG Yaşam Was Handed Over To Turkish Coast Guard


SG-704 TCSG Yaşam was handed over to Turkish Coast Guard. Photo: RMK Marine

On 13 May 2014 RMK Marine finally handed over the last ship of Dost class OPV to Turkish Coast Guard.

The contract for the construction of 4 ships at RMK Marine Shipyard was signed on 16 January 2007. The keel of the first ship TCSG Dost was laid on 3 Mays 2008.

The design of the these ships are based on the Sirio class vessels produced by Italian Fincantieri. With this ships Turkish Coast Guard is able to perform its duties mainly search and rescue in sea state 5 and higher. These ships also have greater endurance than the coast guard cutters mainly used.

TCG Gazal On The News


A-587 TCG Gazal in exercise with a MEKO 200 Track I class frigate. Photo: Hürriyet

The Turkish daily Hürriyet ran a photo reportage on A-587 TCG Gazal. She is one of the few World War 2 veteran ships still remaining in Turkish Navy and is 72 years old.

She was launched in December 1942 as USS Sioux a Cherokee class tug. After 30 years of service in US Navy she was leased to Turkish Navy in 1972 and was renamed as TCG Gazal. The was completely transferred to Turkish Navy in 1973.

A couple of photos that I like most:



For the rest of the beautiful photos of this iron lady click here.

Technical Specifications Of Turkish LPD

L-61 SPS Juan Carlos 1

L-61 SPS Juan Carlos 1

I have received a copy of the press release made by Defense Industry Undersecretariat, after posting my blog about the Turkish LPD project.

I have created the below table with the information on the press release to make a comparison between the Spanish Juan Carlos, Australian Canberra and Turkish LPD, all based on the same Navantia design.

Canberra Juan Carlos Levent
Displacement (tons) 27.500 27.500 19.000
Length (meters) 230 230 200
Speed (knots) 19 21 20
Range (n. miles) 9.000 9.000 7.000
Crew 240 295 240

Please mind that the information about the Turkish LPD is estimations and may change during the course of the project.

The crew will be 190 sailors, 56 air crew, 50 medical staff, 200 command staff and up to 700 marines.

The LPD will be able to carry 13 MBT’s, 27 armored amphibious attack vessels, 6 armored personnel carriers and 33 truck in the garage bay.

The air component will consist of 4 at least 15 ton helicopters on the flight deck and 4 at least 15 ton helicopters or 3 UAV’s in the hangar.


Turkey Has Chosen Its New Dreadnought

Soon under a Turkish flag!

Soon under a Turkish flag!

On 27 December 2013 the Defence Industry Executive Committee made a statement consisting of just one sentence:

After the completion of the evaluation of the bids for Landing Platform Dock (LPD) project by Defense Industry Undersecretariat, on 26 December 2013, the Defense Industry Executive Committee decided to start contract negotiation with the Sedef Ship Building Company; and if the negotiations with Sedef Ship Building Company should fail the negotiations shall continue with Desan Ship Building Company.

The Turkish of official statements can be very long and confusing and sometimes ignorant of grammar rules and as I wanted to remain royal to the one sentence of the original statement the translation is less than perfect. I do apologies for that.

The statement might be small but its importance is huge. This statement declares that Turkey Navy is about to enter into the Dreadnought Owners Club of the 21. Century. As you see 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. The 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 the procurement of 8 LCT’s. In 2007, Ministry of Defence’s Undersecretariat for Defence Industries (UDI), submitted a Request for Proposal (RfP) for 8 LCT’s. From the four companies that bid, ADİK shipyard was chosen. On June 2009, a contract was signed between UDI and ADİK for the production of 8 ships. The exact value of the contract was not made public but it is estimated to be around 100 million EUR. The first ship Ç-151 was launched on 2 October 2010. All 8 units have been delivered to Turkish Navy by December 2013.

The procurement of the LST’s was the second project. For the LST’s UDI submitted a RFP on May 2008. On 6 January 2010 again 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 will 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 their 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).

With this weeks announcement Sedef – Navantia partnership was selected for the largest warship, Turkish Navy will operate.

The details of are vague but according to the Twitter account of Navantia, the Spanish company will provide the engines, the turbine, the IPMS (Integrated Platform Management System) and LCM-1E landing craft.

I’m quite sure that many Spaniards at the economically beleaguered Navantia are celebrating this decision. Navantia was the only company that was able to give a working example of the ship it  offered The RMK Marine’s bid exists only on paper and nobody know much about the Chinese solution much expect it is being constructed. The LPD project is a huge project in every sense and it seems that no body wanted to take any risks by choosing a non-existing ship.

When commissioned she will be the capital ship of Turkish Navy. The dreadnought era of Turkish Navy has started.

Russia And Greece Signed An Agreement On Military Cooperation

Last week Russia and Greece signed an intergovernmental agreement on military cooperation, during the visit of Russian Defense minister Sergei Shoigu to Athens.

It is worth of mentioning that this visit was conducted just before Athens will take the Presidency of EU for the next 6 months staring in 1.1.2014. Greece is NATO’s only member country to pursue fruitful military technological cooperation with Russia.

We signed an agreement that opens new frameworks and new boundaries for our further work in the sphere of military-technical cooperation,” Sergei Shoigu told journalists after talks with his Greek counterpart Dimitrios Avramopoulos in Athens.

The deal concerns armaments supplied previously as well as military hardware, maintenance and new hardware supplies, Shoigu said.

A Russian deputy defense minister, Anatoly Antonov, said after the talks that Shoigu had proposed that Avramopoulos consider working out an agreement to streamline the procedure for Russian navy vessels calling at Greek ports.

Antonov said the two defense ministers had also discussed the possibility of holding personnel training events and exchanging experience in the fight against terrorism and piracy, as well as other areas of cooperation.

This new agreement will make it easier for Russian ships to dock at Greek port during their deployment in the Mediterranean thus making Greece a reliable alternative to the Syrian port Tartus.

According to Greek blog SManalysis, Russia will help Greek Navy to support the Zubr class hovercraft. Greek Navy has procured 4 of these air-cushioned landing craft. Three of them joined the Greek Navy in 2001 and the last one in 2005. They have a displacement of 550 tons and can carry up to 130 tons military material: 3 main battle tanks or 10 armored personnel carriers or 230 troops.

One of them was decommissioned in 2010 and the operational status of the remainder was dubious.

TCSG Güven Commissioned


TCSG Dost, sister ship of TCSG Güven seen here during one of the builders trials.

The third off shore patrol vessel for the Turkish Coast Guard, SG-702 TCSG Güven was delivered today to the end user.

The design of the these ships are based on the Sirio class vessels produced by Italian Fincantieri. With the commissioning of these ships Coast Guard will be able to perform its duties mainly search and rescue in sea state 5 and higher.

The contract for the construction of 4 ships at RMK Marine Shipyard was signed on 16 January 2007. The keel of the first ship TCSG Dost was laid on 3 May 2008. She was launched on 9 June 2010 and was supposed to enter service last year.

These are the first large ships of the Turkish Coast Guard which never used any boat with a large displacement than 200 tons. Their primary task will be search and rescue missions on heavy seas and in bad weather when the smaller boats cannot operate. Secondary missions will be showing the flag, patrolling the seas and prevention of smuggling.

The first two ships SG-701 TCSG Dost and SG-703 TCSG Umut were commissioned in May 2013. The forth ship SG-704 TCSG Yaşam is scheduled to be commissioned in January 2015.

This ceremony was also a good opportunity for RMK Marine to polish its reputation and maybe to mend its tainted relations with the government.


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