18 March 2015 Naval Parade (Part 2)

I am posting a couple of wide-angle shots to give an impression about the general conduct of the naval parade.

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4 fast attack craft in formation. There is two more but I could not squeeze them in the the photo.

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The corvettes and patrol boats passing through Çanakkale.

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A wide-angle view of the helicopter fly past. 3 Navy S-70B Seahawks are in the front, followed by 3 Coast Guard AB-412’s and 3 (one not in the picture) Army AS-532UL Cougar Mk1.

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T-129 Atak. Turkish attack helicopter based on Italian Mangusta helicopter frame. 3 of them took part in the ceremonies.

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For the photos of the ships click here.

18 March 2015 Naval Parade (Part 1)

On 18 March 2015, Turkish Navy organised a Naval Parade in Çanakkale Strait to commemorate Turkish Victory over the Allied Armada 100 years ago.

6 Navy and Coast Guard helicopters, 3 maritime patrol planes and 6 Army helicopters took part in a fly over. And the Turkish Stars, the aerobatic demonstration team of the Turkish Air Force made a display. The focal point of the commemorations was the Çanakkale Martyrs’ Memorial, was off the limit for me. But I was never the less able to take photos of the warships taking part in the parade, Coast Guard Boats, providing security and ships that were open for public.

TCG Fatih and TCG Akçay were moored in Çanakkale and were open for public visitation:
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The point ship of the naval parade was the replica of the small minelayer TCG Nusret. She was followed by TCG Alanya, TCG Akçakoca and TCG Ayvalık. This was a very propitiate selection ans the mines of the original Nusret laid 100 years ago had a had very definitive results, from the point of view of the continuation of the battle and the future of the world, the mines laid as Sir Winston Churchill once said.
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The second line of the ships were the frigates TCG Oruçreis, TCG Salihreis, TCG Yıldırım, TCG Yavuz, TCG Gemlik and corvettes, TCG Heybeliada, TCG Bozcaada and TCG Bafra.
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The frigates were followed by the patrol boats TCG Türkeli and TCG Karabiga.
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Coast Guard section was headed by TCSG Dost. TCGS Güven, TCSG 303 and TCSG 106 followed her.
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The fast attack boats were the last group of ships to take part in the parade. TCG Mızrak, TCG Kalkan, TCG Atak, TCG Doğan, TCG Tayfun, TCG Rüzgar.
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The following boats provided security during the ceremonies:
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Large landing ship TCG Osmangazi made an appearance in Çanakkale but she did not take port in the commemorations.
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TCG Büyükada Exercises With Bahraini Warship

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TCG Büyükada conducts a passing exercise with Bahraini warship Hawar. Photo: Turkish Naval Forces.

TCG Büyükada is continuing with her Indian Ocean deployment.

She was in Doha, Qatar, between 3 and 6 March for a scheduled port visit. After leaving Qatar she made PASSEX with the Bahraini war ship RNBS Hawar.

TCG Büyükada is now making a port visit in Jubail, Saudi Arabia. She is scheduled to return to Turkey in 30 days.

SNMG-2 Trains With The Turkish Navy In The Black Sea

NATO MARCOM published an press release today about the exercise between Turkish Naval Forces and SNMG-2. And the published the photo below:

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SNMG-2 ships with two Turkish frigates. Photo: NATO/MARCOM.

 

From left to right you can see an Improved Tetal class Romanian corvette, the Canadian frigate HMCS Fredericton, 3 Turkish MEKO 200 Track 1 frigates (marked with red arrows) and the German tanker FGS Spessart.  The nearest Turkish frigate is F-240 TCG Yavuz. The others are F-241 TCG Turgutreis and F-242 TCG Fatih.
The text of the press release is below:

BLACK SEA – NATO ships assigned to Standing NATO Maritime Group Two (SNMG2) recently completed exercises in the Black Sea with ships from the Turkish Navy.  SNMG2 is in the Black Sea to assure allies in the region of the Alliance’s commitment to collective defence and to enhance NATO’s maritime force interoperability.

Led by Rear Adm. Brad Williamson (USA N), SNMG2 is currently comprised of the flagship USS Vicksburg (CG 69), HMCS Fredericton (FFH 337), TCG Turgutreis (F 241), FGS Spessart (A 1442), ITS Aliseo (F 574) and ROS Regina Maria (F 222).

SNMG2 units were joined by Commander, Turkish Destroyer Division Three, Capt. Murat Sirzai, embarked aboard TCG Yavuz (F 240) and Turkish units TCG Fatih (F 242) and a Turkish submarine. During the multinational exercise, the ships tested anti-air, anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare tactics and procedures, as well as basic ship-handling maneuvers and communications drills.

“Opportunities to train with different units from our Allied nations only further enhance our ability as a ready maritime force,” said SNMG2 Staff Planning Officer, Lt. Taner Erdem (TUR).

While in the Black Sea SNMG2 will also participate in exercises with the Bulgarian and Romanian navies before returning to the Mediterranean to resume patrols; contributing to maritime situational awareness in the region.

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Turkish frigate TCG Fatih passing through Istanbul Strait. Photo: Shonquis Moreno. Used with permission.

Though a certain date was not mentioned in the press release, the information in the text is at least 3 days old. The Turkish frigate TCG Fatih made her southbound passage through Istanbul Strait on 6 March 2015.

SNMG-2 Arrives In Varna

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Bulgarian frigate BNS Drazki, in Varna. Photo: Nikolay Zlatev. Used with permission.

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Canadian frigate HMCS Fredericton arriving to Varna. Photo: Nikolay Zlatev. Used with permission.

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Turkish frigate TCG Turgutreis arriving to Varna. Photo: Nikolay Zlatev. Used with permission.

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German tanker FGS Spessart in Varna. Photo: Nikolay Zlatev. Used with permission.

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Italian frigate ITS Alieso in Varna. Photo: Nikolay Zlatev. Used with permission.

The ships assigned to Standing NATO Maritime Group Two (SNMG-2) arrived to-day to the Bulgarian port Varna. There is a very strong north wind in the Black Sea throughout the weekend and I think the sailors are happy to be in a port in this weather. According to the excellent Bulgarian blog SeaDog, the flagship of the task force USS Vicksburg did not enter the harbor due to strong winds. She is expected to arrive on 8 March 2015.

“Our Sailors are excited to visit Varna and to interact with the people who represent this city and nation,” said Rear Admiral Williamson. “More importantly, we are looking forward to getting back underway and training with the professional mariners of the Bulgarian Navy.”

During the port visit, SNMG2 leadership will meet with local Bulgarian authorities and Navy officials to discuss numerous issues of shared importance, to include exercises in the Black Sea.

SNMG2 is in the Black Sea as part of a regularly scheduled deployment to the region to assure NATO Allies of the Alliance’s commitment to collective defense. During the deployment, SNMG2 ships are training with ships from the Bulgarian, Romanian and Turkish Navies.

According to Russian websites the first two ship of the task force to enter the Black Sea USS Vicksburg and TCG Turgutreis were greeted by Russian Su-24 and Su-30 warplanes.

TCG Barbaros Receives New Weapons and Sensors

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TCG Barbaros passing through Bosphorus in 2014. Photo: Yörük Işık. Used with permission.

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TCG Barbaros passing through Bosphorus in 2015. Photo: Yörük Işık. Used with permission.

Above are two photos of MEKO 200 Track IIA class frigate F-244 TCG Barbaros. The first photo was taken in April 2014, the second in February 2015. Though the resolution is not optimal two fundamental change made on the ship in less than 10 months is clearly visible.

Gone are the old AWS-9 search radar and Mk-29 SeaSparrow launcher. They are replaced by a (probably a 16 cell) Mk41 VLS and a SMART-S Mk2 3D radar. This means TCG Barbaros can now fire Sea Sparrow and Evolved Sea Sparrow missiles on board. And the life of the radar maintenance technicians got a lot more easier.

TCG Turgutreis Celebrated Her 1000th Sailing From Port

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TCG Turgutreis sailing through Dardanelles.

Turkish contribution to NATO Maritime Group Two, F-241 TCG Turgutreis celebrated her 1000th departure from port on 16 February 2015.

According to NATO MARCOM press release this happened when the task force left Trieste, Italy.

The Commander of SNMG-2, Rear Adm. Brad Williamson (USA N) took the opportunity to join TURGUTREIS on this special occasion and addressed the crew over the ship’s PA system, “I know how much hard work and dedication goes into every sailing from port,” Williamson said to the crew. “I hope as you took in the lines this morning you also paused for a moment to reflect on this special day.”

Sailors aboard TURGUTREIS marked the occasion by taking a photo of the entire ship’s crew on the flight deck and hosting a banner declaring the 1,000th sailing, which the ship will display until the next port. TURGUTREIS is also flying signal flags on the mast which spell out “Sail, 1,000.”

“We are very happy to celebrate our 1,000th sail and are glad to have the honor of Rear Admiral Brad Williamson aboard for the event, and celebrate our ship and the commitment of our crew to serve with dedication and honor,” said TURGUTREIS Commanding Officer, Cmdr. Hüseyin Temizel.

“It was very special to be aboard TURGUTREIS today,” said Williamson. “It is an honour I will carry with me always.”

Will TKMS Pay Penalty For the Delays In Reis Class Construction Project?

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This presentation by TKMS shows the local Turkish content in the upcoming Type214TN submarines. which is substantial compared to the previous submarine construction projects.

The German newspaper Handelsblatt run a story about the penalty to be paid by German submarine constructor Thyssen Krupp Marine Systems (TKMS) to Turkey. The reason for this payment is the delay in, construction of 6 Type 214 TN submarines Turkey as agreed to buy From TKMS in 2009.

On 2 July 2009, a contract was signed between Turkey and Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft GmbH (HDW), Kiel, a company of TKMS, and MarineForce International LLP (MFI), London, for the delivery of six material packages for the construction of Class 214 submarines which are now called as the Reis class.

The value of the contract is estimated as 2,5 billion €. There is %80 offset agreement. The submarines will be built in Gölcük Naval Shipyard where 11 submarines of Type 209, were previously built. According to the original contract terms the construction was to start in 2011, and the first sub delivered in 2015.

The reasons for the delay of the construction is both technical and commercial.

The technical delay is related to the much reported to the stability problems the Type 214 submarines experienced. The stability problem was one of the main reasons why Greek Navy refused to accept its first Type 214 HS Papanikolis years ago in the first place. The solution to the stability problem by TKMS was to add weights to certain places in the submarine in order to create a stability. But Turkish Navy was not satisfied with this come up with its own solution where the center of gravity of the submarine was relocated,by adding extending the length of the submarine. The solution has to be validated by TKMS and this is one of the delay in the project. This also means that Turkish Navy is working seriously in submarine design and problems associated with it.  In the end Turkish Type 214 submarines will be a few meters longer than the other nations Type 214 submarines.

The Type 214 construction project is the last project where Turkish Navy will construct a submarine to a foreign design and subsystems. It is not a secret that the next submarines constructed by Turkish Navy will be local design with most of the critical components ans sub systems produced with local input. It is not surprising to see the large Turkish industrial participation in the Type 214 project as this project is regarded as preparation phase for the Milli Denizaltı  (Milden). Milli Denizaltı means National Submarine in Turkish. So it is understandable for the Germans to drag their feet in the Type 214 project especially when they know that this is the last of its kind.

A New Missile For Turkish Naval Helicopters (Part 2)

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Above: TCG Ödev tows the target. Below: the point of impact and the damage to the target.

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The firing of the missile.

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The test bed: Turkish S-70 B2 helicopter with the tail number TCB-66.

 

Last week I had reported about the this photo of a Turkish S-70 B2 Sea Hawk helicopter firing a missile.

Thanks to the comment of my reader Frankie I have now more information strait from the in house magazine of Roketsan.

According to the magazine the test was conducted on 16 September 2014, from the helicopter TCB-66 which was modified for this test. The modifications included a firing control panel inside the cockpit, the special designed power and data cabling for the communication between the missile and the helicopter and finally a missile launcher that fits to the helicopter.

The missile it self is a laser guided UMTAS. It is a beam rider that means the missile follows a the reflection of a laser beam pointed to the target. The source of this beam can the the launching aircraft, a ground based forward observer or another aircraft. The missile has be locked-on before the launch or lock-on after the launch modes.

During the test the launching platform (TCB-66) was the laser designator. The height of the helicopter was 200 meters over the sea level and the target was 4000 meters away, towed the Turkish Navy tug TCG Ödev.

Roketsan states the maximum range of the L-UMTAS as 8000 meters. Turkish Navy is the only operator of the Hellfire missile family in Turkey. As is the missile is very similar in performance to the Hellfire missiles used by Turkish Navy thus L-UMTAS offers a local replacement for the Hellfire missiles.

A New Missile For Turkish Naval Helicopters

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This is a photo of a Turkish S-72B Sea Hawk helicopter firing a missile. There are many things, one can say about this photo.

The special 100th Anniversary Logo of the Turkish Naval Aviation is painted on the side of the fuselage dates the photo to 2014.

The usual missile armament of Turkish Navy helicopter are Penguin Mk2 and AGM-114K Hellfire II missiles. The bright red color of the missile indicates that it is not a serial production unit. Thus this must be a photo of a test firing of a missile in development for Turkish Navy helicopters.

There are some speculative information on Turkish websites that this missile might the a naval version of the Mızrak long-range anti tank missile developed by Roketsan.

If this photo turns out indeed to be a test firing of a navalized version of Mızrak, then the missile may have an Imaging Infra-Red (IIR) seeker  and a range longer than 15 km. These features will enable to helicopter to stay out of the range of SAM missiles her target may be carrying.

 

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