TCG Sancaktar Launched

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TCG Sancaktar being launched. Photo: Denizhaber

Amid the turmoil created by the failed coup attempt, the second New Type LST, TCG Sancaktar was launched on 16th July 2016. I wish her calm seas and friendly winds.

The first ship of the new landing ship class TCG Bayraktar was launched on 3rd October 2015.

The contract for the construction of a new LST’s was signed between Ministry of Defence and ADIK-Furtrans shipyard on 11 May 2011. The value of the contract is 370 million Euros. It took almost two years for the shipyard to find the 370 million Euro credit to cover the project as required by the contract.

The new landing ships will have a crew of 129 and will carry 350 soldiers. The ships will have a citadel to protect the crew from effects of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons. The closed parking area is 1100 square meters and the open deck parking area is 690 square meters sufficient for approximately 20 main battle tanks and between 24 – 60 vehicles.

The armament consists of 2 single barreled 40mm Oto Melara guns, 2 Mk15 Phalanx CIWS, 2 machine guns on a stabilized remote-controlled chassis.

The ships will have a Smart Mk2 3D air/surface search radar (which not common for an amphibious ship) 2 AselFLIR 300D EO director, torpedo counter measures systems, laser warning receiver and Link 16/22 system. All these sensors and weapons will be controlled by a 5 consoles of GENESIS CMS.

Here is a video of the launching:

The “Missing Turkish Warships” Farce

Turkey is in a very turbulent situation since the failed coup attempt last Saturday.

There is a lot of information, misinformation and disinformation about the things happened during the last weekend. One of the is the story about 14 missing warship of Turkish Navy.

As far as I know the story was originated in British newspapers and spread like a wild-fire.

Several Turkish navy ships are still unaccounted for, their commanders suspected to be among the plotters who sought to overthrow President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Admiral Veysel Kosele, the commander of the Turkish navy, has not been heard from since the failed coup on Friday, a source told The Times.

It is currently unknown whether he was part of the coup or was tricked on to the boat after coup plotters told him there was a terrorist attack and then taken hostage, local media reports suggested.

The 14 missing ships were reportedly on active duty in either the Aegean or the Black Sea and have not tried to make contact with naval headquarters or report back to the port.

It is suspected they may be heading to Greek ports. On Saturday, eight Turkish military officers took a helicopter to Greece to seek asylum.

Despite several days the sources that originated this story failed to show evidence such as the names of the missing ships or more details about them to further support their story.

There are also some gross factual errors in the story. Admiral Kösele is the Commander of Turkish Fleet. Admiral Bülent Bostanoğlu is the Commander of Turkish Naval Forces. And the Command of Turkish Fleet is one of the subcommands of the Naval Forces. And the whereabouts of Admiral Kösele is well know. He was interned on board of TCG Yavuz for a couple of hours and he was released later.

The Black Sea and the Aegean are too small for 14 ships to hide. Furthermore there Greek and Russian Armed Forces are tracking the movement of Turkish warships. They would announce to the world, with a lot of Schadenfreude, if there where any Turkish ships in their ports.

I know that there are at least 4 ships (one mine hunter, one command ship, one frigate and one submarine) in Black Sea taking part in Romanian naval exercise. They have not returned yet. Thus an uniformed land based source may think that they are still unaccounted for.
I sincerely hope that this 14 missing Turkish Warships farce will end very soon and we can focus on things that are real and matter.

Meltem 3 Project Reaches A Milestone

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The saga of the procurement of these planes is longer than the range of the real plane.

The aviation journalist, Mr. Tony Osborne of Aviation Week & Space Technology reported from Farnborough Airshow Turkish ATR-72 maritime patrol program reached a milestone:


At the IDEF defense show in Istanbul in 2013, Alenia Aermacchi and Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) signed a memorandum of understanding to offer the ATR-72 as a maritime patrol aircraft, with the Italian company supplying the basic airframe and carrying out the final integration and test work, while TAI made modifications to the aircraft and installed mission equipment. To be known as Meltam-IIIs, they will be operated by the Turkish Navy and the first of six ordered will shortly be transferred to Turin, Italy, after fitting out by TAI in Turkey. The aircraft are fitted with the ThalesAirborne Maritime Situation & Control System (AMASCOS) mission system and should be delivered back to Turkey in 2017. Two more ATR-72s have already been supplied to Turkey for utility missions.

IF (yes that is a big if) the planes are delivered as scheduled in 2017 that will make 12 years from the signing of the original contact to the delivery.

In July 2005 Italian Prime Minister Mr. Belosconi and his Turkish counterpart Mr. Erdoğan signed a deal on acquisition of 10 maritime patrol planes based on Alenia’s ATR-72 500 turboprop aircraft. According to the $219-million contract the initial deliveries were supposed to be in 2010.

The first ATR-72 500 arrived in Turkish Aerospace Industries in February 2008. TAI worked as Alenia’s local sub-contractor, carrying out all modifications from the base airframe to the ATR-72 MPA configuration.

In May 2013 suddenly there was a big change in the project. The project was downsized from 10 planes to 8: 2 utility models for personnel and cargo, and 6 armed maritime patrol models. The good part of this rearrangement was the model of the planes were upgraded, from ATR-72 500 which, was no longer in production, to ATR-72 600.

In July 2013 the first utility model was delivered to Turkish Navy. My understanding is, this plane was the original ATR-72 500
delivered to TAI in 2008, and was remodeled to ATR-72 600 in due time.

In August 2013 the first base ATR-72 600 was delivered to TAI for the changes to MPA configuration. According to the above quoted article this plane will shortly be transferred back to Alenia for final modification.

These planes will be armed with Mk-46 and Mk-54 lightweight torpedoes and will carry Thales AMASCOS maritime patrol mission system.  AMASCOS integrates an array of sensors that include a surveillance turret, Thales’ Ocean Master search radar, an ESM radar/transmitter locator, a Magnetic Anomaly Detector to find submarines, and transmissions from launched sonobuoys.

Hopefully the plane will be in Turkish Navy service by 2017. In the mean time Turkish Navy is considering procurement of new maritime patrol planes with even longer ranges.

 

For further reading:

12 Years After The Contract Thales Finally Delivers Maritime Patrol Aircraft To Turkish Navy

Finaly: The First ATR-72 Maritime Utility Plane Is Delivered

Turkish Navy To Get 8 ATR-72-600 Planes Instead Of 10 As Originaly Agreed

Finally: The First Maritime Surveillance Plane Officially Inaugurated

First flight of CN235 ASW for Meltem programme

New Maritime Patrol Planes For Turkish Navy?

Breeze 2016 Naval Exercise

Bulgaria is hosting the Breeze 2016 naval exercise from 8. July till 17. July 2016.

As many as 25 naval vessels from Bulgaria, Romania, Greece, Spain and Turkey, two aircraft and two helicopters, and 1700 troops will take part in the exercise.

Turkish led NATO mine task force SNMCMG-2 is also in Bulgaria for this occasion.

This is the list of the participating warship That I could find:

Number Name Nation Type
A-579 TCG Cezayirli Gazi Hasanpaşa Turkey Tender
M-260 TCG Edincik Turkey Mine hunter
M-34 SPS Turia Spain Mine hunter
62 ROM Sub Lieutenant Alexandru Axente Romania Mine sweeper
 S-356 TCG Anafartalar Turkey Submarine
P-1207 TCG Tekirdağ Turkey Patrol boat
P-337 TCG Atak Turkey Fast attack craft
F-222 ROM  Regina Maria Romania Frigate
190 ROM Lastunul Romania Corvette
P-70 HS Y. Grigorpoulos Greece Fast attack craft

Foreign Warship On Bosphorus in 2016 (Part 23)

Here are photos of foreign warships, that have passed through Bosphorus, in last two weeks:

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Russian Ropucha class landing ship Yamal heading to the Mediterranean. Photo: Alper Böler.

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Ropucha class landing ship Minsk heading to the Mediterranean. Photo: Yörük Işık.

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Romanian mine sweeper Sub Lieutenant Alexandru Axente passed Bosphorus northbound as part of NATO SNMCMG-2. Photo: Yörük Işık.

HS Ypoploiarchos Grigoropoulos

Greek fast attack craft HS Ypoploiarchos Grigoropoulos passed Istanbul to take part in Breeze 2016 naval exercise in Bulgaria. Photo: Yörük Işık.

SPS Turia

Spanish mine hunter SPS Turia passed Bosphorus northbound as part of NATO SNMCMG-2. Photo: Yörük Işık.

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Loaded, Russian landing ship Azov heads back to the Mediterranean Sea. Photo: Alper Böler

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Frigate Pytlivy headed back to her home base. Photo: Yörük Işık.

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The buoy tender KIL-158 returned from her Mediterranean deployment Photo: Yörük Işık.

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Romanian mine sweeper Sub Lieutenant Alexandru Axente made a southbound passage through Istanbul one week before returning back to the Black Sea. as part of NATO SNMCMG-2.

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The third Russian improved Kilo class submarine Stary Oskol made her inaugural passage to the Black Sea.

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Landing ship Saratov made a Syrian deployment with a presumably military truck on her deck.

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Azov returned from her Syrian deployment in late June. Photo: Yörük Işık.

The list of the foreign warships passed through Istanbul Strait is here.

Russian Submarine Stary Oskol Passed Through Bosphorus

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Russian submarine Stary Oskol passing through Istanbul.

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Russian submarine was escorted by Turkish Coast Guard vessel TCSG-88 and trailed by Turkish ASW boat P-1207 TCG Tekirdağ during the submarines passage through Istanbul. Frigate TCG Yıldırım was waiting for the submarine at the northern entrance of the Strait.

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Stary Oskol is the third improved Kilo class submarine assigned to the Black Sea Fleet.

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On 29 June 2016, the improved Kilo submarine of the Black Sea Fleet, Stary Oskol made her inaugural passage through Istanbul Strait.
She is the third of a four Varshavyanka submarines being build for the Russian Black Sea Fleet. The first pair of these submarines, Novorossiysk and Rostov-na-Donu are already been commissioned.

With the arrival of this boat, the number of submarines in Russian Black Sea Fleet has increased to four: the Kilo class Alrosa and the impreoved Kilo (Varshavyanka) class Novorossiysk, Rostav-na-Donu and Stary Oskol.

During her passage through Istanbul Strait, the submarine was escorted by Turkish Coast Guard vessel TCSG-88 and trailed by anti submarine warfare patrol boat TCG Tekirdağ. Turkish frigate TCG Yıldırım was waiting for her at the northern enterance of the Istanbul Strait.

From The Archive (21)

S196

S-196 U-17 in Marmaris on 28 April 2005. She visited the city during Marmaris Maritime Fair. Note the size difference between U-17 in foreground and Tang class TCG Pirireis in the background. U-17 was decommissioned on 14 December 2010.

From The Archive (20)

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Italian helicopter cruiser, C-550 ITS Vittorio Veneto in Istanbul. She visited Istanbul a few times before being decommissioned in 2003. I have no date for this photo but it looks like late 1990’s.

Foreign Warship On Bosphorus in 2016 (Part 22)

Here are photos of foreign warships, that have passed through Bosphorus, in last two weeks:

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Russian auxiliary cargo ship Vologda-50 making a southbound passage. Her crudely painted over older names are visible. Photo: Yörük Işık.

Georgy Pobdonesets returned from her Syrian deployment 10 day after passing southbound. Photo: Alper Böler

Yamal made a very quick return trip to Syria. She was seen southbound just after 5 days from her northbound passage. Photo: Alper Böler.

KIL158

Buoy tender KIL-158 made a southbound passage. Photo: Yörük Işık.

ddg78

US Navy destroyer USS Porter left Black Sea 12 after spending 12 in the region. Photo: Alper Böler.

Dvinitsa50

Russian Navy auxiliary cargo ship Dvinitsa-50 returned from her Syrian deployment. Photo: Yörük Işık.

A873

Berting tug of Royal Netherlands Navy A-873 Zuiderzee passed through Turkish Straits on her way to Netrherlands. She was built in Damen Shipyard in Galati, Romania.

Landing ship Yamal returns from her Syrian deployment. Photo: Alper Böler

Russian landing ship Georgiy Pobdonesets on her way to Syria.  Photo: Yörük Işık.

The list of the foreign warships passed through Istanbul Strait is here.

Mid-Life Modernisation For Preveze Class Submarines

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One of the four Preveze class submarines which will receive a mid-life-modernisation.

The Undersecretariat for Defence Industries (UDI) has issued a request for proposal for the mid-life modernisation work on Preveze class submarines.

UDI has issued the RfP in Turkish as it is local development project.

UDI previously managed the upgrade of two Type 209/1200 class submarines TCG Doğanay and TCG Dolunay. The contract was awarded to STM and the project included renewal of electronic support, attack and search periscopes and inertial navigation systems.

although the scope of mid-life modernisation work on Preveze class submarines has not been published yet, it is safe to assume it will involve the upgrade of the electronic systems maybe even the combat management system. If so then the CMS developed for Preveze class submarines may work as a prototype for the future CMS of the Reis (Type 212) class submarines.

Turkish Navy operates 12 Type 209 submarines. The oldest 5 of them are Ay class submarines. The reminder are Type 209/1400 class submarines. The first batch of four is known as Preveze class and the last four as Gür class. The main difference between these are the later have a new fire control system integrated with the sonar, new data links and improved target acquisition and tracking capabilities.

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