TCG Göksu Returned From Her Anti Piracy Deployment

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Photo: Official Turkish Navy photo.

On 16 December 2013 after a 7 month deployment, Gabya class frigate, F-497 TCG Göksu returned her home port Gölcük.

She has been in the Gulf Of Aden and Indian Ocean to combat piracy.

Thank you for a job well done and welcome home.

TCG Gelibolu Replaces TCG Salihreis In SNMG-2

F-493 TCG-Gelibolu

Turkish Gabya class frigate F-493 TCG Gelibolu is replacing F-246 TCG Salihreis in SNMG-2, before the NATO’s task force sails to Gulf Of Aden to combat piracy.

There will be a farewell ceremony for TCG Gelibolu on 30 November in Aksaz Naval Base.

While Turkish Navy deploys Yavuz (MEKO 200 Track I) and Barbaros (MEKO 200 Track II A/B) class frigates to NATO missions, it is always a Gabya (Perry) class frigate that is sent to missions in Gulf Of Aden. The Gabya class ships are considered more comfortable in Indian ocean and are more economical with their fuel consumption.

It would be interesting to hear what RAN is thinking as it is the only other navy besides Turkish that operates both MEKO and Perry class frigates.

TCG Göksu Joins CTF-151

SONY DSC

The Turkish Navy announced that, the Gabya class Frigate F-497 TCG Göksu will take part in Joint Task Force-151 (CTF-151) between 6 June and 6 December 2013.

On 6 June 2013, on board of TCG Göksu was command hand over ceremony of CTF-151. Real Admiral Muhammad Ihsan Qadir from Pakistani Navy, replaced Read Admiral Giam Hock Koon from Singapore Navy.

TCG Göksu will serve as the flagship for Real Admiral Muhammad Ihsan Qadir in the next 3 months.

 

 

Turkey Exported GENESIS CMS To Pakistan

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The renowned Pakistani Naval expert and journalist Usman Ansari mentioned in his article in the May issue of the Warships International, about the Aman 2013 exercise, that Pakistani Navy has acquired the GENESIS combat management system for its Perry class frigate F-260 PNS Alamgir.

This is the first official acknowledgement that Turkey has sold the GENESIS CMS to Pakistani Navy, thought this has been rumored in Turkish for a couple of years. This is the first export success of the GENESIS CMS.

GENESIS was conceived by the Research, Project Development, Department of Turkish Navy. They built a prototype as a proof of concept and developed the system to the full extend.  After the system got enough maturity the GENESIS project was handed over to Turkish defence contractor Havelsan for further improvement, serial production and international marketing.

The GENESIS was created to update the old CIC of the Perry class frigates and replace all legacy consoles, displays with modern multifunction operator consoles. More importantly with the implementation of GENESIS all existing sensors and weapon systems of the Perry class frigates will be able to communicate with each other.  This system enhances the ships’ situation awareness and accelerates the defense capabilities, decreasing the detect-to-engage reaction time by more than half.

F-492 TCG Gemlik was the first ship to receive the GENESIS system.

As is GENESIS is marketable to almost all second-hand PERRY class frigate users. Thus Pakistani Navy becomes the first foreign user of the GENESIS CMS. Of course important questions like when the deal was signed what is the value of the contract what is the delivery time line are remain unanswered yet.

TCG Gökçeada Escorts Somalia Bound Cargo Vessel

TCG Gökova escorting the merchant vessel M/V Aqua Luna in Gulf of Aden. Photo: Official Turkish Navy Photo.

TCG Gökçeada escorting the merchant vessel M/V Aqua Luna in Gulf of Aden. Photo: Official Turkish Navy Photo.

The Turkish frigate F-494 TCG Gökçeada escorted the merchant ship M/V Aqua Luna carrying Turkish aid to Somalia.

M/V Aqua Luna chartered by Turkish Red Crescent was carrying 90 thousand canned goods,  5 thousand tons of sugar, 5 thousand tons of flour and many other goods and machinery need to overhaul Somalia’s infrastructure.

I was assuming that this escort duty would be performed by TCG Gökova as she has been in the with SNMG-2. The departure of TCG Gökçeada to the region was not announced either by the Turkish Navy or The Turkish General Staff. Both organisations used to be open about these deployments in the past.

Now, Turkish Navy has again two warships “East of Suez”.

 

 

TCG Gökova Will Participate to AMAN 2013 Naval Exerise

According to Turkish Navy, Turkish frigate F-496 TCG Gökova will participate to AMAN-2013 naval exercise between 4th and 8th March 2013.

The AMAN is a biannual naval exercise organised by Pakistan Navy. The exercise is usually conducted in North Arabian Sea. The aim of the exercise is:

  • Display of united resolve against terrorism and crimes in maritime domain.
  •  Contributing towards regional peace and stability.
  • Enhancing interoperability between regional and extra regional navies thereby acting as a bridge between the regions.

Various units and observers from USA, Australia, UAE, Bangladesh, China, Indonesia, UK, Italy, Japan, Malaysia and Sri Lanka will take part in the AMAN 2013 too. Currently TCG Gökova is attached to NATO’s SNMG-2 naval task force which conducts anti piracy operations on Gulf of Aden.

Greek Diaspora In USA Wants To Block Transfer Of Warships To Turkey (Part III)

As far as I understand the working of the US law making processes, the bill called “Naval Vessel Transfer Act of 2012″ which was introduced to the US House of Representatives in December failed to be voted by the US Senate before the end of the year 2012 and before the end of the 112th Congress.

I do not know if it is possible to reintroduce a similar bill in the 113th Congress, but should that not happen then the deal of granting Turkey two Perry class frigates is off the table.

The HALC is patting its own shoulders for their success of stooping “the transfer” of these ships. I would like to remind that Turkey was offered Perry class frigates before without an Greek blockade and refused to take the ships.

As I have written before, if the bill would become a law, it would only authorize the US President to transfer vessels to foreign countries. This does not mean that the foreign countries would pick these ships. While these ships were granted for free there would be a hefty price tag attached to the ships to bring them to the level of the existing Gabya (Perry) class frigates in Turkish Navy.

Lastly, these transfers are job creators here at home. Each frigate transferred will require 40 to $80 million of repair and refurbishment. This represents economic benefit to the United States through labor and services during the transfer process, as well as the potential for millions more in follow-on services, equipment, and training. According to estimates from U.S. sources, each frigate transfer creates or sustains approximately 100 shipyard jobs and 50 services jobs in the U.S. for approximately 6 months. Performing this ship transfer work in domestic shipyards that perform U.S. Navy overhauls and repairs lowers the cost of U.S. Navy maintenance by spreading costs over a wider base. The end result is an overall lower cost to our U.S. Navy and thus for the American taxpayer.

The influential naval journalist Mr.Christopher P. Cavas has written an informative article about this subject with some very sharp observations.

Having failed to produce timely defense spending bills or avoid a chaotic end to a year-long march toward sequestration, the recently-deceased 112th Congress also failed to approve a normally prosaic measure allowing the transfers of old U.S. Navy ships to friendly navies.

Failure of the transfer bill means the Navy will now need to spend millions of dollars, U.S. ship repairers won’t get a hefty dose of foreign work, and allied countries won’t have the chance — at least for now — to avail themselves of surplus U.S. Navy warships.

At issue is the Naval Vessel Transfer Act of 2012, a short, straightforward bill that lays out, by name and hull number, which ships the U.S. wants to transfer, what countries they would go to, and the terms of the transfer — loan, grant or sale. The measure long was a regular part of the annual defense authorization bills, but for the past few years has been submitted separately in order to give congressional foreign relations committees a chance to consider them.

This year’s proposal, to transfer 10 Oliver Hazard Perry-class to Mexico, Taiwan, Thailand and Turkey, was sent to Capitol Hill on June 4 and referred to the House Foreign Affairs Committee. There it languished for nearly seven months until New Year’s Eve when — only because Congress was in session to debate the so-called fiscal cliff situation — it was brought to the floor of the House for debate and a vote.

In remarks Dec. 31 to introduce the bill, Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., chairman of the committee, noted concerns about the deterioration in Turkish-Israeli relations. But she also commented on Turkey’s support for coalition anti-piracy and NATO operations.

Each frigate transferred, Ros-Lehtinen said, will require $40 million to $80 million in repairs and refurbishment, money spent almost entirely in the U.S. Each ship also, she added, has “the potential for millions more in follow-on services, equipment, and training.”

Without the transfers, Ros-Lehtinen said, the alternative “is to place the decommissioned ships into cold storage or have them be sunk. Navy funding is required for both the storage and the sinking option.”

The cost to inactivate each ship, according the Naval Sea Systems Command, is about $1.1 million, with annual maintenance costs of about $30,000.

Rendering the ships environmentally safe for recycling or sinking also would bring a hefty price tag.

If the bill “Naval Vessel Transfer Act of 2012″ was really stalled by the Hellenic American Leadership Council, to prevent Turkey being granted ships Turkish Navy does not need or want, this action have cost American tax payers $411 million to $811 millions.  I am not surprised at all. After all “Pyrrhic victory” is a Greek invention.

 

Further reading:

Greek Diaspora In USA Wants To Block Transfer Of Warships To Turkey

Greek Diaspora In USA Wants To Block Transfer Of Warships To Turkey (Part II)

Greek Diaspora In USA Wants To Block Transfer Of Warships To Turkey (Part II)

I would like to thank all of my reader who has taken the pains to show me that there are two different versions of the bill called “Naval Vessel Transfer Act of 2012″. This version is what you find when you search the Library of Congress. And this version is hat you find when you search the U.S. House of Representatives.

One of the version really mentions that two Perry class frigates may be granted to Turkey. Thus I was wrong to think that the “Naval Vessel Transfer Act of 2012″ was not mentioning Turkey. But I still believe that the HALC’s reaction is an unfounded or mistaken impression.

First: The Naval Vessels Transfer Act of 2012 is still in a bill and must pass both the US House of Representatives and US Senate and signed by the President. This bill may not go that far and be killed or changed somewhere along the way. Thus the wording on the bill is not final yet.

Second: In previous “Naval Vessel Transfer Acts” of earlier years Turkey was granted one destroyer USS Cushing in 2005; one mine hunter USS Black Hawk in 2006 and 2007 and two frigates USS George Philip and USS Sides in 2007. And none of these grants were taken by Turkish Government. The fact that USA granting warships does not mean that Turkey actually needs them or mean that Turkey will take them. It only means that USA is granting them; nothing more nothing less.

Third and most important point is the Gabya (Perry) class frigates in Turkish Navy service are in a better shape than the Perry class frigates in US Navy service. All Gabya class ships in Turkey service have received and extensive combat management systems modernization (GENESIS) and four of them are receiving Mk41 VLS with ESSM missiles (a capability that USN Perry’s lack) and 3D radars. It would be a very expensive and very long modernization process to upgrade the two frigates to the level of other Gabya class ships, if  the bill should become and a law and should Turkey accept the grant. It would be very wise to spend the money in local production programs instead.

I can totally understand the reason for HALC’s reaction but I still find it very illusional.

 

Greek Diaspora In USA Wants To Block Transfer Of Warships To Turkey

The  Hellenic American Leadership Council is campaigning against the transfer of two decommissioned US Navy warships to Turkey. Here is what they say in their campaign:

The H.R. 6649: Naval Vessel Transfer Act of 2012 was introduced last week, and we need your help to stop it.

The act has been put on the House calendar and may be voted on as soon as tomorrowH.R. 6649 transfers U.S. naval vessels to Turkey. This bill is another example of the U.S. giving preferential treatment to Turkey on the issue of defense deals, despite Turkey’s increased belligerence towards Cyprus and Israel and its continued territorial disputes with Greece.

If this bill passes, Turkey will add two U.S.-made guided missile frigates to its arsenal: the USS HALYBURTON (FFG–40) and the USS THACH (FFG–43). Until Turkey commits to a policy of peace in the region and ceases its provocative behavior which is leading to instability in the Eastern Mediterranean, the U.S. should stop giving preferential treatment to Turkey. H.R. 6649 should not pass. Write to your representative the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and demand that they vote against this ill-advised bill.

The italics and bold emphasizes are original. If they succeed could it be a dangerous blow to Turkish Navy?

Let us read the bill Naval Vessel Transfer Act of 2012.

Anyone who can spot the words “Turkey”; “Turkish Navy”, “USS Halyburton”, “USS Thach” will get a special Xmas gift from me.

The HALC is short for hallucination?

 

H/T: Albi.

TCG Gökova Escorts Mogadishu Bound Cargo Vessel

F-496 TCG Gökova escorting M/V Aqua Luna.

F-496 TCG Gökova escorting M/V Aqua Luna. Photo: Official Turkish General Staff photo.

F-496 TCG Gökova escorting M/V Aqua Luna. Photo: Official Turkish General Staff photo.

F-496 TCG Gökova escorting M/V Aqua Luna.  The Mk-41VLS launcher is clearly visible.Photo: Official Turkish General Staff photo.

According to the announcement made by Turkish General Staff, the Turkish frigate F-496 TCG Gökova escorted the cargo vessel M/V Aqua Luna as she was carrying humanitarian cargo to Somalia. The Turkish owned and Monrovia flagged freighter left the port of Mersin in late November and passed through the Suez Canal on 30th November.

TCG Gökova escorted  the cargo vessel during her 2650 nautical miles long trip. M/V Aqua Luna was chartered by Turkish Red Crescent and was carrying undisclosed humanitarian aid to Somalia. The Trip took 11 days from the Suez Canal to Mogadishu.

Although it has not been officially announced yet it is highly possible for F-496 TCG Gökova to replace the F-492 TCG Gemlik in CTF-151.

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