Submarine Search And Rescue Exercise Dynamic Monarch/Kurtaran Has Ended

Italian submarine ITS Todaro, Turkish submarine TCG Çanakkale and rescue and towing ship TCG Akın are among the participants of the submarine rescue exercise Dynamic Monarch/Kurtaran 21.

Dynamic Monarch/Kurtaran 2021, the 11th in a series of NATO sponsored live Submarine Escape and Rescue (SMER) exercises was held 12 to 24 September in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea, off the coast of Aksaz, Turkey.

I think that the scenarios applied in this year’s Dynamic Monarc/Kurtaran exercise are very similar to the scenarios in Kurtaran 2019 exercise held 2 years ago at the same location. You can read my notes on the exercise two years ago here: Kurtaran 2019 Submarine Rescue Exercise

The International Submarine Escape and Rescue Liaison Office (ISMERLO) ran Dynamic Monarch exercise, tied to the annual Turkish Navy exercise Kurtaran and hosted by the Turkish Navy.

Assets and personnel from Italy, Turkey together with personnel from Canada, Greece and Spain, United Kingdom and the United States also took part in the submarine escape and rescue training scenarios. Qatar, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Indonesia were present as the observers.

SNMCMG-2 Entered The Black Sea

Spanish Meteoro class OPV, ESPS Rayo in Istanbul.

Italian Gaeta class mine hunter ITS Viareggio.

Turkish Engin class mine hunter TCG Edincik.

Between 20 and 23rd September the Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group Two (SNMCMG2) made a port visit in Istanbul.

The task force consisting of The flagship ESPS Rayo, Turkish minehunter TCG Edincik and Italian minehunter ITS Viareggio were berthed at the Sarayburnu quay.

After this short break, the task force sailed through Istanbul and entered the Black Sea for the third time in 2021. The Romanian mine sweeper ROS Lt. Lupu Dinescu and Bulgarian mine sweeper BGS Shkval joined the group after they enter the Black Sea.

According to the NATO press release the deployment will include the port visits to Batumi, Georgia, after which there will be an exercise with the Georgian Coast Guard. The deployment will also include a port visit to Samsun, Turkey.

Improved Kilo Class Submarine Stary Oskol Returned Home

Russian submarine Stray Oskol passing through Istanbul. The NATO task force SNMCMG-2 was making a port visit and can be seen in the background.

Russian improved Kilo class (Project 636.3) submarine Stary Oskol made a northbound passage through Istanbul on 23rd September 2021.

This passage was the end of a very long overhaul and operational deployment. She was last seen in Istanbul passing southbound on 25.4.2019. She exited the Black Sea to sail to the Admiralty Shipyard in St. Petersburg for an overhaul. Later since December 2020, she was stationed in the Med.

She is one of the six 636.3 class submarines commissioned for the Black Sea Fleet between 2014 and 2016.

Serial Production Line Qualification Test Of Atmaca Missile

Turkish Navy conducted another live firing of Atmaca anti-ship missile on 18th June 2021.

The test was conducted again at the live-fire exercise area off the coast of the Black Sea town Sinop. The last of the Ada class corvettes, TCG Kınalıada had the honour to do testing. At the receiving end of the missile was this time not a target barge but decommissioned salvage and submarine rescue ship Işın.

The missile used was, assumed to be the first missile from the serial production line. Here are some screen captures from the videos published from the test.


This photo shows Atmaca right before impacting the target ship. The missile is capable of flying very low, making it difficult to differentiate from clutter and engage.

The missile hit the target amidships in the area marked in red. The hole is just above the water level.

The initial videos shared from the test ended when the missile hit the ex Işın, leaving enthusiasts wondering about the size and location of the damage. However, videos showing the damage submerged shortly after.

There is even a video showing the damage the missile has created inside ex Işın. This means that the ship did not sink immediately after the impact. There was enough time for some to go onboard and survey the damage from inside. That is reasonable as ironically it is more difficult to sink an empty ship than one in active service. The striped down hulls have nothing on them. No fuel, no ammunition no warheads or any incendiary material which may create secondary explosions and spread the fire.

When the serial production starts the Atmaca missile will replace the Boenig Harpoon missiles on Turkish warships probably on a one-to-one basis. This will need some changes in combat management systems to incorporate the new missile into existing software. The Ada class corvettes are the most likely candidates as the Genesis CMS is made by Havelsan. Thus this CMS is the easiest one to add the Atmaca. The next ships equipped with Atmaca might be the Barbaros class frigates that will receive the mid-life upgrade program or the Istanbul class frigates whichever comes first. Both classes of ships will again locally developed CMS making it very easy to add the new missile.

Ever since the long-range anti-ship missiles replaced the guns as the main offensive weapons, having total control and command on every aspect of this weapon has become vitally important for the war-fighter. By replacing the foreign missiles with local ones Turkish Navy will be able to trust that its punch will find its mark.

HMS Defender and HNLMS Eversten In Istanbul

The Dutch frigate HNLMS Eversten (left) and HMS Defender at Sarayburnu quay.

Two warships attached to the United Kingdom Carrier Strike Group (UK CSG) has arrived in Istanbul on 8th June for a 5-day port visit. HMS Defender a Type 45 class destroyer and HNLMS Eversten a De Zeven Provinciën class frigate are conducting a visit in Istanbul before proceeding to the Black Sea as advertised by each nation’s Ministries of Defence before the UK CSG set sail.

On 10th June a UK Industry Day was hosted onboard HMS Defender. This event provided an opportunity to discuss trends and possible areas of cooperation on defense and security sectors between the UK and Turkey.

Agusta-Westland AW-159 Wildcat HMA2 on board HMS Defender. Photo: Özgür Ekşi, used with permission.

Foreign Warships On Bosphorus in 2021 (Part 3)

USS Thomas Hudner an Arleigh Burke Flight III class destroyer became the second US Navy warship to enter the Black Sea. This is her first-ever Black Sea deployment.

The first ship from Eisenhower CSG to enter the Black Sea was the Ticonderoga class cruiser USS Monterey. This is her first Black Sea deployment. Photo: Arkeonaval

Bulgarian minehunter BGS Tsibar, which joined the NATO taskforce SNMCMG-2 in the Black Sea sailed southbound with the rest of the group. Photo: Yörük Işık.

ESPS Tajo, the Spanish unit attached to SNMCMG-2 exited the Black Sea after taking part in Romanian exercise Poseidon 21 and visiting Odesa with the taskforce. Photo: Yörük Işık.

When ESPS Méndez Núñez transited northbound through Istanbul, she became the third Spanish ship and second Alvaro de Bazan class frigate deployed to the Black Sea

Russian Buyan-M class corvette Vyshniy Volochek finished her 4-month deployment to the Mediterranean and returned back To the Black Sea.

The Russian tug SB-739 returned alone from her long journey through the Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean where she escorted Russian surface ships.

The outgoing flagship of NATO taskforce SNMG-2, ESPS Cristóbal Colón passed northbound through Istanbul. Photo: Arkeonaval

The Russian large landing ship Saratov started her third Mediterranean deployment in 2021. Photo: Ben Kendim

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

20 Iron Pots

…The small Turkish steamer Nusret succeeded in laying unnoticed a line of 26 mines lying in front of the known minefields of the Straits. This mine line was not laid across the barrier canal, as in minefields, but in length. This line, was constituted, in fact with the last reserve of dormant mines which the Turks had. Their total value probably does not exceed six or seven thousand pounds. In all of Europe in 1915, millions of tin and riveted men to a death fight, large offensives were killed or wounded. The wealth of nations flowed in the abyss. Four or five thousand warships sailed the seas. But these twenty iron pots surreptitiously placed by the steamer Nusrat were intended to give more complete and more decisive results, as to the length of the war and the future of the world than all the other forces combined…

Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, La Revir de Paris, 1930 August.

TCG Çanakkale Arrived In Durrës

TCG Çanakkale arriving in Durrës. Photo: Durrës Port Authority

The Turkish submarine TCG Çanakkale is making a 3 day port visit in Durrës, Albania.

The submarine took part in NATO exercise Dynamic Manta 21 and was returning home.

Turkish warship, especially submarines regularly visit Durrës.

As far as I know, the following Turkish naval units were in Durrës:

Foreign Warships On Bosphorus in 2021 (Part 2)

Here are photos of foreign warships, that have passed through Bosphorus, during the last 14 days:

A frequent visitor of Bosphorus the Russian Alligator class large landing ship Saratov returned from her second Syrian deployment. Photo: Yörük Işık

Natya class minesweeper of the Russian Black Sea Fleet Valentin Pikul made her northbound passage through Istanbul on 25th February, ending her deployment since December 2020. Photo: Nazlı Ece Pehlivan

The Greek minehunter HS Evropi sailed northbound with the rest of the NATO SNMCMG-2, but she is not listed among the participants of the taskforce. Photo:Binaltmışiki

The Spanish contribution to SNMCMG-2 ESPS Tajo entered the Black Sea on 25th February. This is the first Black Sea deployment of her. Photo: Binaltmışiki

The Buyan-M Class corvette of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, armed with Kalibr missiles made her first southbound passage in 2021. She is now deployed in the Mediterranean. Photo: Yörük Işık

The Ropucha class large landing ship of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, Novocherkassk returned from her first Syrian deployment. Photo: Nazlı Ece Pehlivan

The minehunter HS Evropi returned to Greece on 6 March, after taking part in Romanian-led naval exercise Poseidon. Photo:Binaltmışiki

Responding To Forest Fires, From The Sea…

One Turkish LCT, transporting fire fighting trucks of the Regional Forestry Directorate.

The Turkish Navy Conducted an operation to support Muğla Regional Directorate of Forestry.

On 4 March 2021, A forest fire was reported on a small bay near Aksaz Naval Base. The area was not accessible by road. Thus three LCT’s TCG Ç-149, TCG Ç-157 and, TCG Ç-321 was loaded with the fire fighting trucks of the Muğla Regional Directorate of Forestry and immediately dispatched to the region by sea. route

Furthermore, patrol boat TCG Kaş and the tug TCG Özgen took 45 personnel to the area to fight the fire. UAV’s of the Turkish Navy supported the firefighting efforts by providing uninterrupted aerial views. The fire was brought under control by the morning of the next day.

This small operation has shown some important aspects of naval warfare, such as:

  • Force projection
  • Supporting land-based operations
  • Providing command and control surveillance capability

The icing on the cake: A Turkish Navy UAV providing surveillance against the forest fire

 

 

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