18 Aug 2016 1 Comment
Here are photos of foreign warships, that have passed through Bosphorus, in last 11 days:
The list of the foreign warships passed through Istanbul Strait is here.
18 Aug 2016 1 Comment
It is a joy to see one ATR-72 60 ASW plane in the air at last. It has been 11 years since the contract was signed.
For further reading:
18 Aug 2016 5 Comments
Yesterday morning, during the morning rush hour, the Turkish Coast Guard vessel TCSG-25 collided with the Cook Island flag and Turkish owned bulk carrier M/V Tolunay on Bosphorus. The accident happened near the southern entrance of Bosphorus. The coast guard boat capsized after the collision. Both civilian and military rescue ships and other vessels were rushed to the scene. Unfortunately 3 members of crew Rıza Yücel, Yavuz Gökhan Şahin and Sinan Göktaş died while the remaining 3 were rescued.
The boat was tasked to escort the Russian Natya class mine hunter Valentin Pikul which was returning from her Syrian deployment.
If you wonder -like me- how a slow and large bulk carrier could collide with a very fast and agile boat the video below gives us some clue. For a reason, not clear, to me the coast guard boats stays motionless in front of the bulker. At this point it was not possible for the merchant ship to see the boat or to stop.
After the collision the merchant ship sailed till the northern entrance of Bosphorus to Büyükdere Bay. That Bay is the first place along the Bosphorus where a safe anchorage without disturbing the transit traffic is possible. Conveniently the headquarters of Istanbul Coast Guard Command is also located there.
30 Jul 2016 5 Comments
15 days ago, Turkey lived its longest night. There were many stories, rumors and allegations in the air before the dust settled down and we could gain a better inside to the things that happened.
One of the rumors was that 14 warships of Turkish Navy were missing after the failed coup attempt and they may be seeking refuge in other countries. This story was initiated in British Press (here, here and here) and spread like a wild-fire. I have expressed my thoughts before. Now I am trying to find a closure to that story.
In the last 15 days there has been no follow-up stories. No additional information such as the names and types of the ships has surfaced either.
While it is most difficult to prove something has not happened. When you have eliminate all which is impossible, then whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth as Sherlock Holmes says. Thus I am trying to eliminate all which is impossible:
Turkish General Staff published the numbers of discharged soldiers and number of the vehicles used during the coup attempt. According to this official declaration only 3 ships were used.
The involvement of the commander and the executive commander of TCG Yavuz was known since 15th July, as they have detained the Commander of The Fleet, Admiral Kösele on board during that night.
It is not clear, from Turkish General Staff’s publication, whether they consider TCSG-96 among the above mentioned 3 ships. If not, then there were 3 Turkish Navy warships and one Coast Guard went rogue on that night
If so -which would be wrong, since a coast guard boat is not a warship- then there is one unidentified ship left that took part in the coup attempt.
29 Jul 2016 Leave a comment
Turkish defence acquisition agency Undersecreteriat For Defence industries (UDI) has issued a request for proposal for 4 more Milgem class corvettes.
To be honest, I did not expect that UDI would prepare a tender for more Milgem class warships, adding a new twist to the long and winding project. The reasoning behind this move can be
The RfP documents has not much valuable information. The competition is open to Turkish shipyards. And the contenders must have a floating dock or a slipway at least 115 meter or longer. The dealine for delivering the proposals is 30th November 2016.
This second batch of four ships will probably have the same design and armament of the existing ships.
28 Jul 2016 Leave a comment
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:
20 Jul 2016 8 Comments
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.
14 Jul 2016 1 Comment
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: