Lest We Forget: TCG Dumlupınar

On 4 April 1953, in the wee hours of the morning two Turkish submarines  TCG Dumlupınar and her sister boat TCG 1. İnönü,entered from the Aegean into the Dardanelles Strait, as the returning from the NATO naval exercise Blue Sea.

The Commodore of First Submarine Squadron was in command of the two submarines and he was on board of TCG Dumlupınar. When the submarine reached the Cape Nara, the narrowest point of the Strait the Swedish flagged cargo ship M/V Naboland collided with the submarine. The accident happened at 02:15 in the morning.

M/V Naboland rammed TCG Dumlupınar from starboard forecastle just aft of the forward diving planes. The submarine rolled to port with force of the impact and sunk immediately. 5 sailors who were in the sail at the time of the collision survived. Rest of the crew, 81 men, were trapped inside her hull. She sunk at the narrowest point of Dardanelles at 85 meters.

22 sailors trapped in the aft torpedo compartment were able to release the submarine’s sunk buoy. The rescuers above the water tried to give hope and moral but time was an enemy. Submarine rescue and salvage ships were rushed from the main naval base in Gölcük after the incident. But all efforts to reach the submarine and rescue the survivors failed cause of very strong water currents and insufficient equipment.

The last words from the submarine, before the currents tore the cable of buoy were: For our country.

Since that fateful day, on every 4th of April we remember those that have a watery grave were no rose will grow.

Russians Doubled Their Submarine Force In The Black Sea


The existing Russian Varshaviyanka (project 877) class submarine Alrosa on left and the newly gained Russian Foxtrot (Project 641) class submarine Zaporizya on right. Photo: Anton Blinov.

Last weekend on 22 March 2014, a second submarine joined the Russian Black Sea Fleet. This Foxtrot (Project 641) class submarine, launched in 1970 is not among the new constructions to strengthen the Black Sea Fleet. It is more or less adopted.

According to RIA Novosti the half of the crew of the Ukrainian submarine Zaporizya decided to join the Russian Navy.

Captain 1st Rank Anatoly Varochkin, the commander of the Black Sea Fleet’s submarine flotilla, told RIA Novosti that half of the Zaporizhzhia’s crew, including the captain, refused to serve in the Russian Navy and left the vessel. “Half of the submarine’s crew is ready to serve [Russia] and fulfill their tasks. They know their vessel and will continue service,” Varochkin said adding that the submarine was in a poor technical condition.

Well the submarine is old and she can probably cannot dive deeper than her periscope depth which might be between 12 to 15 meters. But it is not important what the Russians got it is important how they have got it.

The Russian blogger Anton Blinov has an excellent set of photos taken at the re flagging ceremony of the old Soviet, old Ukrainian new Russian submarine.


For further reading:
The Ukrainian Submarine Zaporizya Made Her First Dive
The Ukrainian Submarine Is Back In Regular Service
The Sole Ukraine Submarine Conducted Sea Trials In Black Sea
Russians Teach Ukrainians How To Escape From A Sunken Submarine
Turkey To Train Ukrainian Submariners?
Renewal of Naval Relations Between Russia and Ukraine
Russia Is Helping Ukraine To Maintain A Submarine

A Submarine Sighted

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A Turkish Type 209/1400 Preveze/Gür class submarine passing through the Bosphorus

Today on 19 March  2014, in the early morning hours, one Turkish Type 209 / 1400 class submarine sailed through Bosphorus to Marmara Sea. I want to hope that she has spent very busy days back in the Black Sea monitoring all the naval traffic and gathering intelligence. 

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.

With 6 Type 209/1200, 4 Type 209/1400 and 4 Modified Type 209/1400 class submarines in service, Turkey has the largest conventional submarine fleet in the NATO.

Turkish Warships On Bosphorus

The Dost class OPV of Turkish Coast Guard and one unidentified Turkish submarine were seen passing through the Bosphorus on 21 January 2013.


SG-702 TCSG Güven on Bosphorus. Photo: Kerim Bozkurt. Used with permission.


SG-702 TCSG Güven on Bosphorus. Photo: Kerim Bozkurt. Used with permission.


A Turkish Type 209/1200 class submarine on Bosphorus. Photo: Kerim Bozkurt. Used with permission.


A Turkish Type 209/1200 class submarine on Bosphorus. Photo: Kerim Bozkurt. Used with permission.

An Update On Submarines Of The Black Sea Navies

The submarines are getting fashionable again by the navies of the Black Sea nations.

Well not every country is happy to have a silent service in its navy. Bulgaria its sole Romeo (Project 633) class BNS Slava in 2011 and sold her bulk in December 2013, effectively ending its submarine service after 94 years.

But Bulgaria is the exception. Ukraine has spent considerable amounts of money and time to get her only submarine a veteran Foxtrot (Project 641) class U-01 Zaporizya back in to service. This boat is in regular service since January 2013.

The Russian Black Sea Fleet has one active Kilo class (Project 877) diesel submarine, Alrosa (originally Varshavyanka) and one Tango class submarine Svyatoy Knyaz Georgiy. Though still listed as an active unit the status of the Svyatoy Knyaz Georgiy is dubious. This is why Russia is planning to add 6 new submarines to the BSF in the next couple of years. The first of these boats Novorossiysk is launched in November 2013 and is expected to enter into the Black Sea in July 2014.

According to Romanian website economica.net, Romanian Navy decided to modernize and reactive it’s only submarine Delfinul.  She is a Kilo class diesel submarine. She entered into service in 1986 and she has not been used since 1996.

The cost of reactivating the submarine is estimated between $20 – 30 million. It is also not clear whether the announcement of the Romanian Defense Minster in Contanta was just for a lip service or for real.

Bulgaria Sold Its Submarine

The Bulgarian Navy decommissioned its sole Romeo (Project 633) class BNS Slava in 2011 and terminated Bulgaria’s submarine force after 94 years.

According to BlackSeaNews website the decommissioned bulk of the former BNS Slava was sold to a private company for €355 thousand.

The closed bidding Bulgarian submarine “Hope” sold nearly 710 thousand leva (355 euros) with a starting price of BGN 480 thousand (240 thousand euros). Her new owner was a Bulgarian trading company Fintron Bulgaria.

Reported by Ukrinform citing Bulgarian information portal maritime.bg.

According to experts, obsolete underwater vessel in its current state is a scrap. It was sold without weapons and other special equipment. Therefore, if the new owners decide to use a submarine for exotic travel, it will have to invest in its renovation of approximately seven million leva (3.5 million euros).

The former Soviet submarine S-36 was built on the Gorky factory “Red Sormovo” the average torpedo submarine unit. Boat launched on September 27, 1959, commissioned September 30, 1960.June 27, 2008 she was taken out of the Navy in Bulgaria. In April 2009, “Hope” was formally transferred to Varna city authorities to build her museum. But the boat was just standing.

After the withdrawal of November 1, 2011 from the Bulgarian Navy last submarine “Slava” (with the same type it “Hope”), it was decided to create a museum on it, as it is in the best condition.

How will the new owner to use the submarine was not reported.

A New Submarine Will Join Russian Black Sea Fleet Next Year

Russian submarine Alrosa passing through Bosphorus on 19 September 2012.

Russian submarine Alrosa passing through Bosphorus on 19 September 2012.

According to Ukinform, the Russian Black Sea Fleet will receive a new submarine in July 2014.

The new unit, aptly named as  Novorossiysk is a Kilo/Varshavyanka (Project 636) class submarine. She will join a Kilo/Varshavyanka (Project 877V) class submarine Alrosa and Tango (Project 641B) class submarine St. George already serving in the Black Sea.

The submarine Alrosa suffered a fire in November 2011 and she received a lengthily overhaul in Kronshtadt in 2012. The operational readiness of St. George is very dubious due to her old age.




Brilliant Mariner 2013


The map of the exercise area of the Brilliant Mariner 2013. Photo: Mamadu from radioscanner.ru

Between 26 September and 6 October 2013, a large fleet of warships from NATO’s Response Force (NRF) and from other task forces will take part in Brilliant Mariner 2013 maritime exercise in the Mediterranean Sea.

According to Turkish Navy F-246 the frigate TCG Salihreis, the mine hunter M-264 TCG Erdemli and the submarine S-358 TCG Çanakkale are going to take part in this exercise.

TCG Salihreis is the Turkish contribution to the NATO’s SNMG-2 task force and TCG Erdemli is part of the NATO’s SNMCMG-2. This means that the Gür class submarine TCG Çanakkale, is the only Turkish national participant to the exercise.



Greek Submarine Ran Aground

Two tugs assits the grounded submarine Proteus. Photo: Flashnews.gr

Two tugs assits the grounded submarine Proteus. Photo: Flashnews.gr

According to Greek defence.point.gr, one Greek submarine has ran aground in Souda Bay, Crete.

As announced by the Navy General Staff, the Submarine PROTEUS during sailing in the bay of Souda Bay, Crete, and during evasive ship moved near shore and epakoumvise an ancient underwater pier.

No member of the crew was injured, the submarine is not a security problem and there has been no damage.

Perform actions for detachment of the ship and return to Naval Base Souda for scrutiny.

The 209 Type 1100 class submarine S-113 HS Proteus which ran aground was one of the four submarines which recevied and upgrade in Greek service. HS Proteus and her sisters were given a “weapons discharge and fire control update” as early as 1991‐1992, enabling them to fire Sub‐Harpoon anti‐ship missiles.

The modernisation package included Sub Harpoon, flank array sonar, Unisys FCS, Sperry Mk 29 Mod 3 inertial navigation system, GPS and Argos ESM.

More On Breeze 2013 Naval Exercise

The Breeze 2013 Naval Exercise -not to be confused with the Sea Breeze 2013 naval exercise hosted by Ukraine- has started in Varna Bulgaria.

In the period July 6-15 the international Breeze 2013 naval drill will take place in the western part of the Black Sea. Over 15 different vessels, helicopters and planes take part in the exercise. Ships from Spain, Turkey, Greece, as well as a US P-3C Orion plane will take part in the exercise. Improving coordination is one of the tasks of the exercise, which also aims at preparing teams for working in joint international operations in cases of crises.

According to Turkish Naval Forces and Bulgarian Defence Ministry following warships will participate to the exercise:

TCG Salihreis
Blas De Lezo
 Spain Frigate
Fast Attack Craft
TCG 1. İnönü
TCG Bora
Fast Attack Craft
TCG Sığacık
Mine Sweeper
F-42 Verni Bulgaria Frigate

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