SNMG-1 Left Istanbul

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ZrMs Tromp passing Hagia Sophia and Sultan Ahmet Mosque.

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ZrMs Tromp heading to the Marmara Sea.

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The flagship of the task force NRP D. Francisco De Almedia was first to leave.

The two ship strong Standing NATO Maritime Group-1 left Istanbul this morning.

SNMG-1 arrived in Istanbul on 24 July 2015, for a four day visit after spending 21 days in Black Sea with extensive training with Bulgarian and Romanian navies.

Unlike their previous passage through the Bosphorus, this time the ships sailed in broad day light making it much easier to take photos. Much appreciated.

ANS Soummam In Istanbul

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The Chinese build Daxin class training ship of the Algerian Navy 937 ANS Soummam arrived in Istanbul for a visit on 27 July 2015.

This visit is part of the training cruise for the midshipmen of Algerian Navy.

Major General, Commander of Naval Forces Acting Mohamed Lakmech, inspected Saturday in Algiers on Soummam training ship before leaving today as part of a naval training campaign that will focus on five Mediterranean ports of call and ended on 3 August.
The educational campaign was 2015, with a duration of 36 days, will benefit a hundred career officers LMD students in 2nd year of the Naval Postgraduate School (ESN) it will be initiated by the Algiers-stop Zeebrugee (Belgium).
It will continue with those of the ports of Funchal, Madeira (Portugal), Tunis (Tunisia) and Istanbul (Turkey) before it is completed by docking at the port of Algiers.
In conducting the inspection of the ship, General Staff and commander of the Naval Forces Acting stressed the importance for students trainees to “put into practice what has been acquired theory to broaden their knowledge by learning about what is happening in the world.

The previous visit of ANS Soummam to Istanbul was in 2013.

Standing NATO Maritime Group 1 Is In Istanbul

On 24 July 2015 Friday, the two ship strong Standing NATO Maritime Group 1 arrived in Istanbul for a port visit.
The task force made its northbound passage on 4 July 2015 late in the evening and spend the allowed 21 days exercising with Bulgarian and Romanian navies.

The ships are expected to leave Istanbul on 27 July 2015 Monday.

It is nice to see these ships in Istanbul and to observe them. Both ships are a result of the requirements of Netherlands Maritime Forces. Both ships are constructed in the Netherlands 9 years apart. The change in size, weaponry and sensors is striking. The change for a bigger ship with a emphasize on air defense.

The change for a bigger ship however resulted in reduced numbers. While there were 8 ship of the class of NRP De Almeida there are only 4 ships of the class of ZrMS Tromp.

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ZrMs Tromp and NRP De Almeida side by side. You can see the revolution in Dutch naval requirements. Both ship are constructed for Dutch Navy with 10 years apart.

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ZrMs Tromp and NRP De Almeida docked in Istanbul. The Portuguese ship is the flagship of the two ship strong task force.

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Stern view of ZrMs Tromp and NRP De Almeida.The difference in size, sensor and armament is very obvious.

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While the self-protection system and anti ship missiles remain the same the anti air missiles and the main target detection sensors has changed.

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A side by side comparison of the two ships main detection and fire control sensors.

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Portuguese Super Lynx helicopter: Hooters.

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The main mast of ZrMs Tromp. From top: Thales Sabre ESM antenna, APAR fire control radar and Satcom antennas and Mirador electro optical system.

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The main mast of ZrMs Tromp. From top: A seagull, Thales Sabre ESM antenna, APAR fire control radar

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Mirador electro optical system.

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Thales Smart -L 3D radar. This radar will receive ballistic missile detection capability after its upgrade in 2018.

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The Mk32 Mod9 fixed torpedo tubes on ZrMs Tromp. I wonder why they have not covered them with a panel to further reduce the radar signature.

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Signaal Goalkeeper CIWS system.

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The main mast of NRP De Almeida. A top of the mast is the Signaal Smart 3D radar. The two STIR fire control radars are at the base of the mast.

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The bridge of ZrMs Tromp with its navigation radars and communication antennas.

FS Forbin In Istanbul

FS Forbin moored in Istanbul. Photo: Serhat Güvenç. Used with permission.

FS Forbin moored in Istanbul. Photo: Serhat Güvenç. Used with permission.

We are having a distinguished guest since 7 July 2015. The French Horizon class destroyer D-620 FS Forbin is in Istanbul. Although she is classified as anti-air frigate she is to be considered as a destroyer.

The visit of FS Forbin is the first visit of a Horizon class warship in Istanbul ever. Her sister D-621 FS Chevalier Paul was in Marmaris two years ago.

The visit of FS Forbin is not a routing port visit just to show the flag and establish good relationships. The ship needed resupply and maintenance.

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The supply chain of FS Forbin. Photo: Alper Böler. Used with permission.

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Working on the aft SPN 735 surface radar. The radar is not accessible from inside the ship. Two sailors are working on the radar while the crane operator is clearly bored.

The Horizon class ships have two navigation and surface surveillance radars. The forward one is atop of the bridge and the aft one is on the mast that supports the SMART-L radar. It is not possible for the crew to access the aft radar from inside the ship. There are no hatches or stairs. Thus a crane was hired in Istanbul to allow two sailors to perform maintenance or repair work on the aft MM/SPN-753 navigation and surface surveillance radar. So this means there is no way to repair this radar underway. I find the decision to place that radar to an inaccessible place very strange.

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The on board helicopter is an AS-565 Panther with tail number 519. Photo: Alper Böler. Used with permission.

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Photo: Alper Böler. Used with permission.

10-12-CDY_3982The hangar of the ship looks very spacious. The ship accommodate larger helicopters such as NH90, than the currently on board AS-535 Panther.

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Interestingly the funnels and the masts of the Horizon class are not symmetrical.

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Sagem NGDS multi function decoy launcher. Photo: Alper Böler. Used with permission.

Below are more photos of important sensors and weapons of the ship.

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2 Oto Melara 76mm Super Rapid guns. The side by side configuration is not usual.

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A top of the middle mast is the Sagem EOMS NG optronic system. It rotates approximately 60 times a minute.

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Thales S-1850M long range air and surface search radar a variant of SMART-L radar

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DCNS Contralto-V anti-torpedo decoy launchers.

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GIAT 20mm F2 gun.

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Alenia Marconi NA 25 XP fire control system for the OTO Melera guns.

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The front mast. From top to down: Alenia Marconi SPY-790 EMPAR surveillance and fire control radar, sensors for ESM system, Alenia Marconi NA 25 XP fire control system, Thales C&S Surfsat-L SATCOM antenna for Syracuse satellite service, jammer of SIGEN EW Suite, 2 FURNO navigation radars and the fore SPN 735 surface search radar.

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Atop of the bridge: Jammer of SIGEN EW Suite, 2 FURNO navigation radars and MM/SPN-753 navigation and surface surveillance radar plus a number of unidentified sensors.

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Sylver A-50 VLS launcher for Aster 15 and Aster 30 missiles seems to be well protected from the sea.

TCG Gediz Finished Her Visit In Chennai

TCG GEdiz in Chennai port. Photo: http://chinditsdefence.blogspot.com.tr/

TCG Gediz in Chennai port. Photo: Chindits Blog

Turkish frigate TCG Gediz is nearing the end of her long deployment to the Asia. In 26 day time she will arrive in Turkey.

Her deployment is for the commemoration of the 125th anniversary of the Ottoman frigate Ertugrul’s historic voyage from Istanbul to Yokohama. She has finished her port visit in India today and is heading to Male, the capital of the Republic of Maldives.

Commander of the Turkish Navy frigate TCG Gediz, Yusuf Kocaman, may have steered his ship out of Chennai on Saturday morning towards the Maldivian capital Male but the pleasant memories of the city would remain evergreen in his memory making him to return at the earliest possible opportunity.

“Next time when I visit Chennai, I will drop anchor for a minimum of three days. Two days are not enough,” said Kocaman on board the TCG Gediz, which was acquired from the United States in 2000 and was known as USS John A Moore, the 11th ship of the Oliver Hazard Perry class of guided-missile frigates.

Talking about Gediz’s Chennai visit, he said Turkey is observing the 125th anniversary to retrace the Ottoman frigate Ertugrul’s historic voyage from Istanbul to Yokohama. Interestingly, Kocaman was expecting joint naval exercises with Indian Navy. “We wanted to have joint Navy exercises with INS Sumitra, the fourth and last Saryu class patrol vessel of the Indian Navy. Unfortunately it never happened. We only had two days of reception. Next time, we will plan to have at least three days of stay in Chennai port.” He also recalled his interaction with INS Sumitra crew in Djibouti.

“Chennai is the 15th port. We will be going to Male next and return to the Aksaz naval base in Turkey on July 31,” Kocaman said. “By then, we would have sailed 20,300 nautical miles which is equal to the perimeter of the world. We would also have visited 18 ports in 13 countries,” he added.

TCG Gediz In Manila

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TCG Gediz, the first Turkish warship to dock in Manila. Photo: Philippines Navy

On 15 June 2015, F-495 TCG Gediz becomes the first Turkish warship to dock in Manila, Philippines.

This 4 day visit in Manila will foster the bilateral ties of the two nations.

The Turkish Navy ship was met by the BRP Silang Patrol Gunboat (PG14) near Corregidor and escorted it to the port area in Manila.

“A meeting procedure is a customary Navy event observed internationally where the host’s ship meets with the visiting ship and escorts it to their port of call,” said Navy public affairs office chief Commander Lued Lincuna.

A port briefing aboard the Turkish vessel on security, safety and health was given by Philippine Navy personnel after the ship’s arrival.

The commanders of the ship will meet senior officials of the Philippine Navy and other top level military officers. There will also be tours, goodwill games, receptions and other professional exchanges as part of the port visit.

TCG Gediz is on a 122-day deployment covering 18 ports in 14 countries. It began its deployment on April 1 as it commemorated the 125th anniversary of the sinking of the Frigate Ertugrul en route to Japan

Turkish And Chinese Naval Forces Are Doing Reciprocal Port Visits

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F-495 TCG Gediz arrives at naval port Qingdao, east China’s Shandong Province, for a 3-day visit. Photo: Xinhua/Li Qian

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The Chinese Jiangkai II (Type 054A) class frigate 550 Weifang in Istanbul.

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The Chinese Jiangkai II (Type 054A) class frigate 547 Linyi in Istanbul.

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The Fuchi class replenishment tanker Weishan Hu 887 in Istanbul.

 

I think we are witnessing a rare moment in naval diplomacy. Turkish and Chinese Naval Forces are conducting reciprocal port visits.

Turkish Gabya class frigate F-495 TCG Gediz arrived at a naval port in Qingdao, east China’s Shandong Province, on May 22, 2015 for a 3-day visit. As reported earlier she is on an a commemorative deployment to honor the sunken Ottoman sail frigate Ertuğrul in Japan. Therefore TCG Gediz is visiting the same ports Ertuğrul visited 125 years ago.

While TCG Gediz is in China, 3 PLAN warships, 550 Weifang, 547 Linyi and 887 Weishan Hu arrived today in Istanbul for a port visit. The ships have passed through the Çanakkale Strait yesterday morning and arrived in Istanbul this morning. The duration of the port visit is 5 days.

The Chinese do not talk much about the visit of the Turkish warship. And while the Turkish ship will be open to public visits, the Chinese ships in Istanbul are not open to visit, thought the Chinese allowed visitors on board, while they were in Russia earlier this month.

This double standard makes me, a very sad man.

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.

SNMG-2 Finished It’s Stay In Istanbul

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On 21 March 2015 the ships of the NATO’s SNMG-2 have left the Black Sea. While the Turkish frigate TCG Turgutreis left the task force and returned to her home port in Gölcük, İzmit, the flag-ship of the SNMG-2, USS Vicksburg sailed straight to the Mediterranean.

The Canadian and Italian frigates made a 2 day port visit in Istanbul which ended on 23 March 2015.

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