Foreign Warship On Bosphorus in 2020 (Part 1)

Here are photos of foreign warships, that have passed through Bosphorus, during the first 3 weeks of January:

Russian replenishment tanker Ivan Bubnov returned from her deployment and passed northbound through Istanbul.Photo: Yörük Işık

Alligator class landing ship Orsk was towed northbound through Turkish Straits by the tug MB-304. Orsk was deployed to Syria. Photo: Yörük Işık

After towing Orsk to the Black Sea, the tug MB-304 returned to the Mediterranean one day later. Photo: Cavit Ege Tulça

Northern Fleet Slava class cruiser Marshal Ustinov ended her Black Sea deployment and transited southbound.

A regular participant of Syrian Express delivery runs, Azov made her northbound passage through Istanbul on 12 January. Photo: Cavit Ege Tulça

Russian intelligence-gathering ship Kildin returned her home base in Sevastopol after completing her 6-month deployment.

Northern Fleet Udaloy class destroyer Vitze Admiral Kulakov too ended her Black Sea deployment and transited southbound.

Russian Navy, rescue tug Professor Nikolay Muru, transited southbound through Istanbul in tandem with the minesweeper Ivan Antonov.

Alexandrit class minesweeper, Ivan Antonov made her first southbound passage through Istanbul on 16 January, going to Tartus.

One day shy of a week Azov was observed passing southbound through Istanbul for another Syrian Express run. Photo: Cavit Ege Tulça

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

Ivan Antonov Transited Through Istanbul

The small boat covered with a tarpaulin at the aft is not the tender of the ship. It is an Inspector-MK2-type MCM unmanned surface vehicle.

The Russian Black Sea Fleet minesweeper, Ivan Antonov transited through Istanbul on 16th January 2020 for her first Mediterranean deployment. Her first northbound passage through Turkish Straits was in September 2019

The Alexandrit class mine countermeasures vessel was laid down in January 2017 and launched in April 2018 at the Sredne-Nevsky Shipyard in St. Petersburg. She is the second ship of her class. These ships have the largest hull of monolithic fiberglass formed by vacuum infusion according to the shipyard

These class of mine countermeasure vessels is designed to provide mine protection of naval bases, coastal sea areas, detect and destroy mines of all kinds, provide, mine protection for ships in transit, exclusive economic zone and mineral deposits at sea, carry out mine reconnaissance, lay minefields.

The vessel carries one LIVADIA-ME mine-detection sonar on her hull. The mine countermeasures operations are managed by the DIEZ-12700E automated system for the MCM operation control system. Ivan Antonov carries one Inspector-MK2-type MCM unmanned surface vehicle, 10 K-STER C lightweight expendable mine disposal vehicles, 2 K-STER I identification vehicles and two Alister 9 autonomous underwater vehicle. All these mentioned mine countermeasure vehicles are provided by French company ECA.

The Disappearing Red Star of Marshal Ustinov

When Marshal Ustinov arrived in Istanbul on 5th January, she had painted two red stars on her bridge indicating that this ship was awarded for excellence.

А for artillery and ПВО for anti-aircraft. As shown below:

This is a close up to the bridge area. Two stars are clearly visible.

 

This is a screen capture from an HD video uploaded by @benkendim to youtube. Again, two stars are visible.

However, a third star was painted overnight, as it was visible during her aborted berthing maneuver on 6th January 2019.

The third red star is clearly visible one day after the above photo was taken.

 

This is again a screen capture from an HD video uploaded by @benkendim to youtube. And yes there are not two but three stars visible.

Interesting to note that all these photos are from the starboard side of the ship. I was not able to see the port side of the ship until she passed through the Bosphorus to return home.

And when she was returning back to Russia on 8th January, oddly enough she had only two stars painted on her port side.

This is again a screen capture from an HD video uploaded by @benkendim to youtube. And yes there are not two but three stars visible.

If I had to guess why there is not a third star on the port side of the ship I would say the information for the award arrived from the naval headquarters when the ship was already sailing towards Istanbul and the bosun has only enough red paint to paint on the one side of the bridge.

Happy New Year

Bosphorus Naval News Wishes A Happy New Year 2020

Ivan Khurs Deployed to the Mediterranean

Yesterday, Ivan Khurs a Project 18280 class intelligence-gathering warship of Russian Black Sea Fleet transited through Istanbul.

This is the start of her first Mediterranean deployment. She was launched in 2017 and joined the Russian Black Sea Fleet in 2018. Her inaugural voyage to her base in Sevastopol was in December 2018. She has passed through Istanbul ob 27th December 2018 after sunset. So we are not able to see much of her.

Since her recent deployment happened in broad daylight we are able to observer Ivan Khurs.

Below are 3 photos of the various antennas onboard Ivan Khurs.

The Death Of MT Independenta

40 years ago on this day, in the very early hours, İstanbul was shaken by a large explosion.  A powerful shock wave that broke the windows of many houses, was followed by a big large bright fireball.

The Romanian tanker MT Independenta was waiting for the pilot at the southern entrance of Istanbul Strait when the Greek cargo ship MV Evriali collided with her. The Romanian tanker was carrying 93,800 tons of crude oil from Libya as cargo and 260 tons of heavy fuel. Only 3 of the 43 strong crew survived the accident. The burning hull grounded half a mile away from the Haydarpaşa port and few meters from the breakwater. The tanker burned for one month until all the oil was consumed by the infernal fire. Attempts to fight the fire were unsuccessful.

My grandfather was lucky, to go on board and take some interesting yet grotesque and grim photos.   Some of them are below, to testify the intensity of the heat and days of burning.

My captured picture

My captured picture

My captured picture

My captured picture

My captured picture

My captured picture

My captured picture

My captured picture

My captured picture

My captured picture

My captured picture

My captured picture

My captured picture

Doğu Akdeniz Naval Exercise 2019

Doğu Akdeniz 2019 -Eastern Mediterranean- naval exercise has started in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea.

The biannual exercise is organized by the Turkish Navy will be held between 9 and 20 November 2019. This year 16 nations are taking part in this exercise by various means. Some are sending observers (Azerbaijan, Brazil, Georgia, Italy, Qatar, Kuwait, Lebanon, Mexico) some are sending ships, airplanes, and units (Bulgaria, Spain, Italy, Canada, Pakistan, Romania, Jordan, USA, and Greece)

According to the press releases, 4700 personnel, 44 ships and submarines participating in this exercise.

Furthermore, the following institutions are taking part in the exercise:

  1. Turkish Land Forces Command with attack and transport helicopters.
  2. Turkish Air Force Command with fighter planes, airborne warning and control planes, and CBRN defense team.
  3. Gendarmerie General Command with search and rescue teams.
  4. Coast Guard Command with one OPV and various small vessels.
  5. Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Health, Transport, Maritime and Communications Ministry, Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency, and Turkish Red Crescent

An important part of the exercise will be the attempts to provide coastal safety during disasters by means of disaster and emergency operations, search and rescue, humanitarian aid and air sanitary evacuation procedures.

The most noteworthy aspect of the exercise is the fact that countries such as Greece and Italy are taking part in this exercise, although they are in a power struggle regarding the natural resources below the Eastern Mediterranean.

Here is the list of the participating units as far as I could find it. The list of foreign participants is complete but the names of 13 Turkish naval assets are missing.

Number Name Type Nation Fleet
42 BGS Verni Frigate Bulgaria
S-532 ITS Prini Submarine Italy
260 PNS Alamgir Frigate Pakistan
F-221 ROS Regele Ferdinand Frigate Romania
A-5329 ITS Vesuvio Auxilliary Italy SNMCMG-2
M-268 TCG Amasra Mine hunter Turkey SNMCMG-2
M-32 ESPS Sella Mine hunter Spain SNMCMG-2
M-5557 ITS Numana Mine hunter Italy SNMCMG-2
330 HMCS Halifax Frigate Canada SNMG-2
A-14 ESPS Patino Auxilliary Spain SNMG-2
F-103 ESPS Blas de Lezo Frigate Spain SNMG-2
F-459 HS Adrias Frigate Greece SNMG-2
F-491 TCG Giresun Frigate Turkey SNMG-2
A-543 TCG Işın Auxilliary Turkey
A-580 TCG Akar Auxilliary Turkey
F-244 TCG Barbaros Frigate Turkey
F-490 TCG Gaziantep Frigate Turkey
F-491 TCG Giresun Frigate Turkey
F-494 TCG Gökçeada Frigate Turkey
F-495 TCG Gediz Frigate Turkey
F-497 TCG Göksu Frigate Turkey
F-500 TCG Bozcaada Corvette Turkey
F-501 TCG Bodrum Corvette Turkey
F-511 TCG Heybeliada Corvette Turkey
F-512 TCG Büyükada Corvette Turkey
L-402 TCG Bayraktar Amphibious Turkey
L-403 TCG Sancaktar Amphibious Turkey
M-265 TCG Alanya Minehunter Turkey
M-270 TCG Akçay Minehunter Turkey
P-334 TCG Rüzgar Fast attack Turkey
S-353 TCG Preveze Submarine Turkey

Nusret 2019 Mine Warfare Exercise

From left to right: TCG Akçakoca, TCG Akçay, TCG Ayvalık participated in Nusret 2019 mine countermeasures exercise.

Nusret 2019 mine countermeasures exercise will end tomorrow.

Nusret is an annual invitation exercise focusing mine warfare. The exercise is named after the famous minelayer Nusret. In even years the exercise is held in İzmir Bay and in odd years it is held in Çanakkale and Saros Bay.

The aim of the exercise is to enhance cooperation and interoperability between Turkey and allied and friendly nations navies.

This year 64 Observers and 5 staff officers from Azerbaijan, Georgia, Bulgaria, Kuwait, Malesia, Pakistan Qatar; Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and Romania attended the event. The presence of an officer from the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is a first. It is a counter jest to the invitation of the Greek Cypriot Administration to a NATO Event, even though the Greek Cypriot Administration is not a member of the organization

NATO Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group Two (SNMCMG2), Romanian hydrographic research vessel Cătuneanu, 3 EOD teams from Belgium, Romania and USA took part in the exercise along with one command and control ship, one corvette, one patrol boat, 6 mine hunters, one helicopter, one EOD team, one UAV team and one photography team from Turkish Navy, two boats from Turkish Coast Guard, two sorties of F-16 fighter jets, one C-130 airplane from Turkish Air Forces.

The exercise was divided into four phases. The first phase included force integration and harbor training. During the second phase, a command post-exercise was held and mine-laying operations from airborne and seaborne platforms were conducted. In the third phase, the laid training mines were detected by the participating units. Later the mines were identified and neutralized by mine clearance divers or remotely operated vehicles. Autonomous underwater vehicles were deployed for detection and identification. While conducting mine countermeasures operations the minehunters had to defend themselves against the threat of the asymmetrical surface vessels and air attacks. The last phase was a port visit in Çanakkale with some social and cultural activities

The below is the list of the participating warships:

Number Name Type Nationality Fleet
A-5329 ITS Vesuvio Tanker Italy SNMCMG-2
M-266 TCG Amasra Minehunter Turkey SNMCMG-2
5557 ITS Numana Minehunter Italy SNMCMG-2
M-32 ESPS Sella Minehunter Spain SNMCMG-2
M-62 HS Kallisto Minehunter Greece SNMCMG-2
ROS Cătuneanu Hydrographic Research Romania
M-260 TCG Edincik Minehunter Turkey
M-262 TCG Enez Minehunter Turkey
M-264 TCG Erdemli Minehunter Turkey
M-267 TCG Ayvalık Minehunter Turkey
M-268 TCG Akçakoca Minehunter Turkey
M-270 TCG Akçay Minehunter Turkey
L-402 TCG Bayraktar Landing ship Turkey
F-513 TCG Burgazada Corvette Turkey
P-1210 TCG Türkeli Patrol boat Turkey

For Further Reading:
Nusret 2018
Nusret 2017
Nusret 2016
Nusret 2015
Nusret 2014
Nusret 2013
Nusret 2012
Nusret 2011
Nusret 2010
Nusret 2009

Lest We Forget: DM-357 TCG Muavenet

DM-357 TCG Muavenet in her better days. This photo from 1989 is special to me. This was my very first photo to be published in Jane’s Fighting Ships, in its 1991 edition.

27 years ago, during the NATO Display Determination ’92 naval exercise, two Sea Sparrow surface to air missiles fired accidentally from the aircraft carrier CV-60 USS Saratoga, hit the bridge of the Turkish destroyer DM-357 TCG Muavenet. 5 sailors including the commander of the ship were killed instantly and 15 badly hurt. A fire broke out on board. At the time of the incident, two ships were 3 miles apart and were streaming north in the Aegean.

Ships radar antenna, forward gun turrets, hedgehog launcher suffered from the shrapnel damage. The pieces of the second missile penetrated the forward gun turret, cabins of the supply officer and XO.

A fire started at the ammunition chamber of the Hedgehog system. The explosion of the Hedgehog rounds would have caused the loss of the ships.


These two photos -new scans- show the extensive damage caused by the missiles. Though the missiles were designed for shooting down enemy airplanes, they also succeeded in crippling an allied warship.

It was quite a skill to bring the fire under control before reached to the gun turret in the B position. If the fire has spread further to the turrets and ammunition chambers of the guns, she would not have survived.

All the fire fighting and damage control efforts were done in the absence of the commander of the ship. This fact speaks for the professionalism of the officers and the bravery of the whole crew. They simply did not give up the ship.

Commander Kudret Güngör
Ensign Alertunga Akan
Petty Officer 3th Class Serkan Aktepe
Sergant Mustafa Kılınç
Private Recep Akan,

Replenishment tanker TCG Yarbay Kudret Güngör passing through Istanbul after sunset on a December day back in 2017. His name and legacy lives.

paid the ultimate price for the defense of their country.

For further reading:
US Navy Court of Inquiry

Turkish Navy Court of Inquiry

Wikipedia

An interesting but technical legal article about why the USA did not pay indemnities to the Turkish sailors

My previous wrtings about the incident.

And one video documentary about the incident:

http://vimeo.com/58526103

TCG Kınalıada Joins Turkish Navy

TCG Kınalıada in Istanbul Naval Shipyard. This photo was taken on May 2019 by Gökhan Karakaş.

The fourth and the final Ada class Corvette TCG Kınalıada was commissioned to the Turkish Navy on 29th September 2019.

TCG Kınalıada has entered into service 8 years after the first ship of the class was commissioned. Her entry also means the completion of Milgem class corvette production for the Turkish Navy.

On the outside, TCG Kınalıada may very much look like the first ship TCG Heybeliada, but she incorporates significant improvements reflecting the advance of the Turkish defense industry during the last decade:

  1. TCG Kınalıada is the first ship ever to be fitted with the indigenous Atmaca anti-ship missile. The corvette is expected to conduct a live firing of the missile in November. When officially commissioned Atmaca will be fitted back to the existing warships in the inventory.
  2. TCG Kınalıada and TCG Burgazada are fitted with Aselsan Seaeye-Ahtapot electro-optic sensor on the aft mast while the previous ships use Aselflir 300. Aselflir 300 was originally designed for airborne platforms and was installed without much modification for a service on a warship. Thus the meantime between regular maintenance is quite short for a maritime system and the whole sensor must be taken down for the maintenance. These shortcomings are rectified in Seaeye-Ahtapot. It has a better tracking range and resolution.
  3. TCG Kınalıada and TCG Burgazada have Aselsan made Hızır countermeasure system for torpedo attacks.  The system consists of two decoy launchers on both sides of the funnel and one towed array and decoy. Though the system is very similar to a torpedo countermeasure system SeaSentor manufactured by Ultra, used the other ships. The logistics of a locally constructed system is preferred by the end-user.
  4. Another important change inside TCG Kınalıada is the new Genesis Advent combat management system with network-enabled capability. This new CMS has native data link capability and can manage Link 11,16 and 22 at the same time. It increases situational awareness. When ships are installed with Genesis Advent they will be able not only to see and share the same tactical picture but also to control and train each other’s sensors and weapon systems.

When I was watching the commissioning ceremony, I couldn’t stop thinking about, what would have happened, if the tender for the construction of 6 Milgem class, won by RMK Marine Shipyard had not been canceled back in 2013. Since the cancelation of the project happened before the completion of the contract negotiation thus we will never know the planned delivery dates. But surely we would have 2 to 3 more Milgem type corvettes in inventory as we do have now.

Even the best ship cannot be in two places at the same time.  And we need more warships now both to rejuvenate our aging fleet and to protect our interest in the blue homeland.

%d bloggers like this: