TCG Giresun Helps Hanjin Tianjin

Turkey’s current contribution to NATO’s SNMG-2, F-491 TCG Giresun was the first ship to help the Korean merchantship Hanjin Tianjin, yesterday.
According to news reports, the Korean ship was apparently attacked by Somali pirates early Thursday. The crew of the merchant ship was able to hide inside the citadel before the pirates could take them as hostages.

TCG Giresun was,  just 80 miles away from the container ship at the time of the attack, first arrived at the scene to help South Korea’s rescue operation. TCG Giresun  provided necessary information to the Korean destroyer Choi Young  until the she arrived at the scene at 4:40 p.m.

Officials add that the international combined fleet’s Turkish warship that reached the Panama-registered freighter some three hours after the alarm went off, had already informed that there were no signs of the attackers.

Later when Korean naval commandos boarded Hanjin Tianjin they found the crew well inside the citadel. There was no sign of the pirates apart from a few rounds of ammunition and some foot prints.

TCG Giresun, comprehended two pirate skiffs at the beginning of this month and arrested the pirates.

Hat tip: Eaglespeak

Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope in Ankara

Adm Stanhope and Adm Yiğit. Official Turkish Navy Photo.

Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope, the First Sea Lord and Chief of the Naval Staff of the United Kingdom visited his counter part Admiral Yiğit Uğur and the Chief of Turkish General Staff General Işık Koşaner today.

Neither the Turkish Navy nor the Turkish General Staff released any public statements about the visits and topics discussed.

Besides the usual relations between the two countries the has been a marked discussions on naval cooperation.

UK – Turkey: Naval Industry Inward Mission (Part 1)

UK – Turkey: Naval Industry Inward Mission (Part 2)

New Photos Of F-511 TCG Heybeliada and P-1200 TCG Tuzla

F-511 TCG Heybeliada

P-1200 TCG Tuzla

Over the weekend I was able to take photos of the two warships that have been pride of the Turkish naval shipbuilding industry. P-1200 TCG Tuzla made her first port visit in Istanbul. F-511 TCG Heybeliada is continuing her sea trials.

Ay Class Submarines Modernization Contract Signed

In March 2010, a modernization project for the Ay class has emerged. Ay (Type 209/1200) class submarines are the oldest boats now in service. The oldest one was commissioned 34 and the newest one 20 years ago.

According to the plan the newest two boats, S-351 TCG Doğanay and S-352 TCG Dolunay were to receive an extensive modernization. The periscope, ESM / ECM and communication system of the existing boats would be upgraded. In order to keep costs down a modern purpose-built Underwater Command and Control System integration was not planned. These old boats are going to get some might punch though. It is planned to modify four of the torpedo tubes so that they can use Mk48 ADCAP Mod6 AT heavy weight torpedoes.

In December 2010, the Defense Industry Executive Committee (SSIK) decided to start contract negotiations with STM for the upgrade of Type 209 Atılay class submarines.

On 31 March 2011, the contact about the modernization of Ay class submarines was signed between STM and Undersecretariat for Defence Industries. The contract covers the replacement of existing Kollmorgen the periscopes with Zeiss periscopes either SERO 400 or OMS 100. Furthermore  a new inertial navigation system from Raytheon and an ESM system from Aselsan, ARES-2N will replace the existing ones. The representatives of the subcontractors were also at the contract signing ceremony.

The most noticeable omission in the contract is the modification of torpedo tubes to receive the Mk48 ADCAP  torpedoes. I am not sure why this was not included in the contract. It could be a cost saving measure or maybe using the newest torpedoes from the oldest submarines was considered unnecessary.

The modernization of S-351 TCG Doğanay and S-352 TCG Dolunay will be conducted in Gölcük Naval Shipyard and will last 48 months.

Operational Tempo Of Turkish Navy

Apparently Turkish Navy will be very busy for the first half of April as 10 of the 16 frigates of  Turkish Navy will be on deployment.

4 frigates are taking part in exercise Deniz Yıldızı 2011. 4 frigates are in Operation Unified Protector, 1 frigate in Operation Ocean Shield, 1 frigate in BlackSeafor. This makes %62,5 of all frigates.

According to Turkish defence magazine Savunma Ve Havacılık, one Perry class frigate is currently in overhaul, receiving Mk-41 VLS system.  In that case, 10 out of 15 available frigates will be on deployment. This makes %66,7 of all frigates.

I honestly do not know how long this working tempo can be sustained. But as it is, it is impressive.

Turkish Navy Started Exercise Deniz Yıldızı 2011

The annual exercise of Turkish Navy, Deniz Yıldızı (Sea Star) 2011 had started two days ago. 

4 frigates, 1 submarine, 9 fast attack craft, 5 auxiliaries, 6 helicopters, 1 maritime patrol plane, 4 Coast Guard boats, 2 Coast Guard helicopters, naval special forces teams and air force units will take part in this exercise.

The exercise consists of two stages. In first stage, asymmetric warfare training, mine warfare training, actual guided missile firings, training for  activities in crisis and combat will be conducted.

Furthermore air force units will exercise with live ammunition.

After the ending of the first stage the warships will make port visits in  Constance Romania and Varna, Bulgaria.

In the second stage the warships taking part in the exercise will train together with the BlackSeafor maritime task force.

The exercise will end on 12 April 2011.

During Deniz Yıldızı 2010, an old minesweeper, ex-TCG Seddülbahir (M-513) was sunk as target.

TCG Giresun Finds Two Pirate Skiffs And Arrests Pirates


Somali pirates surrender to Turkish Navy

Somali pirates surrender to Turkish Navy

On 4. April 2011, TCG Giresun cought two skiffs, apparently used for piracy, Turkish General Staff reported.

A japanse naval patrol plane spotted two skiffs, approximately  70 nautical miles north of Somalia on 4 April 2011, at 09:15 local time.

The current Turkish contribution to NATO’s SNMG-2, TCG Giresun was tasked with the interception of these skiffs. The frigate arrived at the vicinity of the skiffs at around 14:14 local time. The on board helicopter stopped the skiffs and the Turkish Naval special forces teams boarded the skiffs, arresting the pirates and confiscating piracy paraphernalia.

A very interesting and obvious piece of information omitted in the announcement of Turkish General Staff is the number of the pirates arrested. The text is written in such manner as if the frigate found the skiffs and confiscated them. If there were no photos with the text it would be impossible to realize that some (my personal guess is at least 7 – 8) pirates have been arrested.

More(?) Somali pirates surrender to Turkish Navy

RPG rounds found on the skiff

RPG rounds found on the skiff

How M/F Ankara Was Protected During Her Stay In Libya

 

Official Turkish General Staff Graphic

Turkish General Staff  made a detailed announcement about protection provided by Turkish Armed Forces to the Ferry M/F Ankara during her humanitarian trip to Libya.

 

On sea MEKO 200 class frigate F-243 TCG Yıldırım escorted the ferry M/F Ankara. TCG Yıldırım is one of the four frigates Turkey has assigned to NATO’s Operation Unified Protector.

For the period that  M/F Ankara was docked in Misurata, air cover was provided by 12 F-16 fighter planes from bases Bandırma and Dalaman. These planes flew a distance of 1330 km (730 NM) in round-trip. 4 KC-135R tanker planes supported the operation by providing fuel for the fighter planes.

There was no immediate air cover when M/F Akara was evacuating wounded  Libyans in Benghazi as there is no on going fighting around this city. But 2 F-16 fighter planes were on 15 min. alert in Dalaman .

For more photos and for the full text of the announcement click here.

TCG Gaziantep Helps Egyptian Fishermen

El Halevi drifting. Official Turkish General Staff Photo.

F-490 TCG Gaziantep helped a drifting Egyptian fishing boat off the coast of Libya according to an announcement of Turkish General Staff.

TCG Gaziantep is one of the 4 frigates Turkish Navy has assigned to NATO’s Operation Unified Protector, enforcing the arms embargo against Libya.

The fishing boat El-Halevi was drifting in a storm after an engine failure.

On 1. April 2011, the distress call of this boat was heard by the Turkish frigate, which quickly sailed to the stricken boat. Upon establishing contact with the fishing boat, it turned out that boat with 15 people on board was drifting for the last 12 days.

On 2. April the defective batteries of M/V El-Halevi were taken to TCG Gaziantep for a repair. On the next day as the weather improved the technical assistance teams of TCG Gaziantep boarded the Egyptian vessel repairing the engines and replacing the batteries.

After receiving fresh water and food from the Turkish frigate, the fishing boat returned to Egypt.

For more photos click here.

M/F Ankara In Misurata

M/F Ankara

The Turkish civilian ferry M/F Ankara finally docked at Misurata port tonight according to Turkish Foreign Ministry tweets.

The ferry sailed from Çeşme, İzmir on 27 March 2010. For the last five days she was waiting off the Libyan city Misurata. The fighting in and around the city prevented M/F Ankara to dock at the harbor.

M/F Ankara is loaded with 2 tons of medical supplies and 3 ambulances. On board are 15 healthcare professionals and a security detail of 10. In Misurata she will disembark her cargo and will pick up 100 – 200 wounded Libyans for further treatment in Turkey.

F-243 TCG Yıldırım

The ferry will proceed to Benghazi after picking up the wounded Libyans in Misurata. The Meko 200 class frigate  F-243 TCG Yıldırım is escorting and protecting the ferry.

In Çeşme a small field hospital is erected by Ministry of Health. Numerous ambulances are waiting to carry the severely wounded patients to the hospitals when the ship arrives in Turkey.

Here is a video of M/F Ankara in Misurata:

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