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:

Commander Of Turkish Navy In Russia

Admiral Murat Birgel, the Commander of Turkish Navy is in Russia for bilateral meetings.

On the first leg of this visit the Turkish delegation was Moscow. There Admiral Birgel has met Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Navy, Admiral Vladimir Vysotsky.  during the meeting Russian and Turkish commanders pointed out that the BlackSeaFor created a very suitable platform for military exercises and that BlackSeaFor served as an excellent tool to prevent future threads in Black Sea region.

Additionally the commanders agreed that Turkish and Russian navies should increase their efforts and cooperate more in fight against piracy.

The Russian website rusnavy.com reports that Turkish military delegation headed by Admiral Bilgel visited Northern Fleet (NF) main base Severomorsk on Tuesday (29 March 2011) and discussed cooperation between the two navies.

Acting NF Commander Rear Admiral Andrei Volozhinsky met with Bilgel Emin Murat in Northern Fleet HQ. They discussed issues of naval cooperation and interchanged memorable gifts. Both admirals agreed that Russian and Turkish navies had great perspectives and common tasks

After the meeting Turkish admiral had an opportunity to visit nuclear-powered missile cruiser Petr Veliky where he was greeted by honor guard.

Turkish delegation visited St. Petersburg on Wednesday; Turkish Navy Commander delivered a speech to officers of the Kuznetsov Naval Academy. Besides, the guests attended the Central Navy Museum and legendary cruiser Avrora.

Same Submarine, Different Headaches

A Type 214 class submarine

I have not much information about the reactions of Koreans on the Type 214 submarines. But it is clear that these submarines are creating headaches among the politicians, bureaucrats and soldiers on the both sides of the Aegean Sea.

On the other side of the Aegean, The Financial and Economic Crime Unit (S.D.O.E) of the Greek Ministry of Finance has found evidence that some 100 million euros was paid under the table to Greek politicians and officials in the purchase of four German submarines according to a new report on the Greek daily Ekathimerini. It is believed that the bribes were paid before the contract was signed.

Ten years after the signing of the contract only one of the four submarines is commissioned in the Greek Navy.

It is needless to ay that this allegation will have political effects in the parliament.

On this side of the Aegean the contract for the procurement of 6 Type 214 submarines was criticized by the Finance Ministry because of high interest rates on payments and unpredictable amounts to be paid due to inflation and other associated costs. According to Turkish daily Bugün, the Finance Ministry was persuaded to lift its initial blocking due to high interest rates.

In the meantime, Ferrostaal, a company of the German Submarine Consortium, that is to produce the submarines for Turkey, is alleged to have bribed Argentinean, Portuguese, Colombian and Greek authorities for the sale of U209 and U214 submarines, according to German magazine Manager.

A contract between Turkey and TKMS was signed on 2 July 2009 for 2,5 billion euros. The construction of the submarines did not started yet.

The Type 214 blues will continue, as it seems, on both sides of the Aegean.

>Turkish Contribution To NATO Operations Off Libya Takes Shape


F-243 TCG Yıldırım. Here in Çanakkale on 18 March 2011, soon
off the coast of Libya.

Turkish contribution to NATO enforced maritime embargo to Libya takes shape.

Yesterday, on 23 March it was announced that Turkey would send 4 frigates, one replenishment tanker and one submarine to the NATO task force off the coast of Libya. According to news reports this intention was officially declared to NATO in writing.

Today Turkish Parliament will discus about sending warships to Libya and will vote on the subject. I expect that the motion will be accepted by majority.

The following ships are selected for the NATO Task Force:

A-580 TCG Akar Tanker In Transit to Libya
F-243 TCG Yıldırım Frigate In Transit to Libya
F-… TCG …x Frigate In Transit to Libya
F-491 TCG Giresun Frigate Off Libya
F-492 TCG Gemlik Frigate Off Libya
S-350 TCG Yıldıray submarine Not Avaliable
Bosphorus Naval News

It turns out that creating a Turkish Naval Task Force and sending it on a cruise in Mediterranean during last summer, was a very good  exercise. I am sure the lessons learned from that cruise will be used for the planing of the current operations.

Hat Tipp: A very good friend of mine: Arda Mevlutoğlu.


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