Foreign Warship On Bosphorus in 2017 (Part 2)

Here are photos of foreign warships, that have passed through Bosphorus, during the last week:


Tsezar Kunikov, returned from her Syrian deployment. Photo: Yörük Işık.


Korolev, went south for her first deployment in 2017. Photo: Alper Böler.


Kyzyl-60, was loaded and had even three 40 feet containers on her deck. Photo: Yörük Işık.

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

The Flagship Of SNMG-2 Is In Izmir


FGS Sachsen in Izmir. Photo: Oktay Cömert. Used with permission.

The flagship of Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 (SNMG-2) FGS Sachsen is in Izmir for a liberty call.

The German Navy took over the lead of SNMG-2 in 22. December 2016 and frigate FGS Sachsen has replaced Dutch warship HNLMS De Ruyter as the flagship of the task force.


FGS Sachsen in Izmir. Photo: Oktay Cömert. Used with permission.


FGS Sachsen in Izmir. Photo: Oktay Cömert. Used with permission.


TCG Alemdar Ready For The Service

The model of Moship

The model TCG Alemdar.

The commissioning of the submarine rescue mother ship A-582 TCG Alemdar was scheduled for today. The ceremony was cancelled because some high-ranking politicians are unable to attend. Never the less it is good to know that this project has come to an end.

The first steel for TCG Alemdar was cut in April 2012 and the keel was laid in December 2012. The ship was launched on 29th April 2014.

The project may seem to have taken too long but it is the first time that a private shipyard has constructed a ship with complex and specialized sub systems. According to the contract signed between the Istanbul shipyard and UDI, the shipyard acted as a main contractor for the project that included the submarine rescue systems like ROV’s, hyperbaric chamber etc. As far as I know such expertise was not available to the shipyards at that time.

Last week TCG Alemdar was nearly involved in an accident. As part of the acceptance tests, the ship was in Marmara Sea and conducting a 4 point anchoring operation. During the test fast ferry M/V Hızır Reis passed over one of the anchoring cables. The tender boat of TCG Alemdar capsized during the incident and 5 persons on board had fallen to the sea. The survivors were rescued shortly but suffered some hypothermia.

Foreign Warship On Bosphorus in 2017 (Part 1)

Here are photos of foreign warships, that have passed through Bosphorus, during the first week of 2017:


Nikolai Filchenkov returned from her Syrian deployment and passed through Turkish Straits in one day. Probably they were in a hurry to be at home before the Christmas. Photo: Yörük Işık.


Auxiliary cargo ship Dvinitsa-50 made her southbound passage with at least six 40 feet containers on board.


Auxiliary cargo ship Kazan-60 returned from her Syrian Express deployment along with the tug SB-5. Photo: Alper Böler.


Tug SB-5 escorted Kazan-60. Photo: Alper Böler.


Alexander Shabalin was the first Ropucha to pass through the Turkish Straits.


The first foreign warship to pass through Turkish Straits in 2017 was the small Romanian Border Guard vessel MAI-1102. She went south to take part in EU naval operations. Photo: Alper Böler.

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

TCG Atılay Decommissioned


An Ay class submarine passing through Istanbul.

This is not a story you may find in Turkish naval circles online. According to Greek Defense and Foreign Policy website E-Amyna, Turkish Navy bid farewell to her oldest submarine TCG Atılay on 30 November 2016.

TCG Atılay was the first submarine build for Turkish Navy since the end of the Second World War. She was constructed build in Kiel by HDW shipyard and commissioned in Turkish Navy in March 1976. TCG Atılay was based on German Type 209 design one of the most successful submarine designs in post war  years.

Though there is no information about TCG Atılay‘s fate after being retired, Turkish Navy does not send its decommissioned submarines directly to breakers. Thus it is highly possible that she will remain as a floating charging platform for other submarines.

She may be even serve, as a test platform for the systems developed for the Milden (National Submarine) project as mentioned by E-Amyna.  Why not taking their word, when they can report on Turkish Navy better and faster than Turkish Navy itself.

Happy New Year


An Epilogue To An Incident


As I wrote this post on 31st December 2016 at 16.00 local time, the Turkish flagged vessel M/V Alcatras was still grounded in Lambi beach, Kos island.

But as you can see from the videos below some of her cargo was transferred to another Turkish flagged vessel and is gone back to Turkey.

Foreign Warship On Bosphorus in 2016 (Part 38)

This the last edition of 2016. Here are photos of foreign warships, that have passed through Bosphorus, in last 15 days:


Tsezar Kunikov made her southbound passage just after the sunset on a rainy cold winter day. This the last deployment for her in 2016. Photo: Yörük Işık.


Russian mine hunter Kovrovets passed through Istanbul for her Syrian deployment. Photo: Alper Böler.


Sorum class tug MB-304 made her southbound passage through Turkish Straits in the last week of 2016. Photo: Yörük Işık.


Alexander Shabalin made her northbound passage through Istanbul late in the evening. Photo: Alper Böler.


After mere 7 days, Nikolay Filchenkov was heading again to Syria. Photo: Yörük Işık.


Korolev returned from her Syrian Express deployment just in time to celebrate the new year at home.


Nikolay Filchenkov returned from her Syrian deployment on a cold, misty gray morning. Photo: Yörük Işık.

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

A Prototype Of A Turkish Air Defence Gun System Is Aground On A Greek Island


The above photo shows Aselsan’s naval version of Korkut air defence gun system. The below photo shows the grounded vessel Alcatras and her cargo. A is the 3D search radar. The shape of the radar and the neck of the mast is very distinct. B is the fire control radar on the turret. Though the turret is covered on the boat, the shape and the height is consistent with the uncovered turret. The arrow shows the direction of the barrels. The photo above is from Twitter user @TyrannosurusRex. The photo below is from The Toc.

I don’t know what to say. Should I call it a Greek tragedy or a Turkish comedy? A brand-new prototype of locally developed naval air defence system ended up, grounded on a Greek Island.

The whole episode started like many others. The Turkish flagged M/V Alcatras experienced a rudder failure as she was sailing from Tuzla, Istanbul to Antalya, according to the captain’s statement. Being unable to steer she run aground on Kos island at approximately 100 m from the beach of Lambi. Such incidents do happen in the Aegean Sea quite often.

M/V Alcatras is a 28 meters long vessels. She bears all the characteristics of a large Turkish fishing vessel designed to work on the seas around Turkey. But she is has no fishing gear installed. She is registered as a diving tender. The old photos of the vessel in Marine Traffic shows a typical working boat, with the superstructure in front and a large working area at aft.

When M/V Alcatras was grounded in Kos however she was loaded with what appears as two white containers for accommodation or for working and one green container. Furthermore she has one medium hight mast with a covered top and another structure also totally covered. This is the valuable cargo. The mast and the covered cargo have the distinct shape of the naval air defence gun system developed by Aselsan.

Aselsan has developed for Turkish Army a self propelled air defense gun system called Korkut. One Korkut unit consists one command and control vehicle with a 3D search radar (marked A on the photo above) and 3 gun vehicles, each fitted with a twin 35mm air defence gun and a fire control radar. The twin guns are Oerlikon GDF-002 units produced under licence by MKEKThe development of Korkut has recently reached the field testing phase and some vehicles were delivered to Turkish Army for this purpose.

The naval Korkut was loaded on M/V Alcatras in Istanbul and she was heading to Antalya. There are no naval construction facilities in Antalya. M/V Alcatras was not merely transporting the system from Tuzla to Antalya. It is safe to assume once in Antalya, the vessel was to conduct tests on the open sea. Hence there are containers on board too. The location of the turret proivdes a wide arc of fire from the side.

There were rumors that a navalised air defence gun system based on Korkut was also on development but there was no concrete evidence. First the photo of the prototype was published on Twitter. Later the news about the grounding of a Turkish vessel with a mysterious cargo was published. Now, we and our neighbours know that we have developed a prototype of such a system.

The Greek website OnAlert reported that the cargo of M/V Alcatras was transferred to another vessel to lighten up the around ship.

Since there is no official statements about the incident, there is a (though small) possibility that my story may turn out to be wrong. And I would like to thank Alper Böler for his carefull observation.

Foreign Warship On Bosphorus in 2016 (Part 37)

Here are photos of foreign warships, that have passed through Bosphorus, in last 15 days:


Black Sea Fleet’s sole Admiral Grigorovichclass frigate Admiral Grigorovich returned from her 44 day long deployment with the Kuznetsov Taskforce.


Alexander Shabalin passed through Istanbul for another Syrian deployment, just minutes before Admiral Grigorovich passed northbound


Large landing ship Georgiy Pobedonosets, from Russian Northern Fleet returned from her syrian deployment on a cold, windy morning.


Russian large landing ship, Tsezar Kunikov was passing southbound through Istanbul just 8 days after her northbound passage. Photo: Yörük Işık.


Auxiliary cargo ship Kyzyl-60 returned from her Mediterranean deployment. Photo: Yörük Işık.


After completing her port visit in Russia, Pakistan warship PNS Alamgir made her southbound passage through Turkish Straits. The ship is on her way back to Pakistan. Photo: Alper Böler.


Small auxiliary cargo ship Kazan-60 made her southbound passage through Turkish Straits. Photo: Yörük Işık.


Russian Ropucha class landing ship from the Baltic Flet, Korolev made her first deployment for Syrian Express in 2016. Photo: Alper Böler.


Alexander Shabalin returned from her 9th Syrian deployment in 2016, well after sunset. Photo: Yörük Işık.


Russian Alligator class landing ship Nikolai Filchenkov, passing through Istanbul. Photo: Yörük Işık.


Russian Ropucha class landing ship Tsezar Kunikov made her northbound passage in the middle of the night. Photo: Alper Böler.


Romanian mine sweeper Sub Lieutenant Alexandru Axente, returned back to home after taking part in Nusret 2016 mine warfare exercise. Photo: Alper Böler.


Bulgarian mine sweeper Priboy returned to her home port, after the Nusret 2016 mine exercise was finished.


Romanian corvette Contraamiral Horia Macellariu, also returned to her home port, following the completion of the anti submarine warfare exercise Mavi Balina 2016.


Bulgarian frigate Verni, seen during her northbound passage through Istanbul, at the end of her 39 day long deployment to the Mediterranean. Photo: Yörük Işık.

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

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