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

 

 

Turkish Navy Takes The Helm Of SNMCMG-2

The ships of the SNMCMG-2 in one shot. From far to near: TCG Ayvalık, ESPS Tajo, and the flagship TCG Sokullu Mehmet Paşa. The hand-over ceremony took in the small harbor in Tuzla, İstanbul at the premises of the Naval Academy where the flagship has its home port. 

Turkish Navy took the helm of the NATO Mine Countermeasures Group Two with a ceremony held on 19 February 2021 in Istanbul.

SNMCMG2 will be commanded by Turkey for the fifth time since the inception of the group. Between 20 February-16 April 2021, the group will participate in mine warfare exercises in Greece, Italy, and Romania. MCM vessels from Bulgaria, Greece, Italy, Romania, Spain, and Turkey will take part in SNMCMG2 at different periods.

Captain Yusuf Karagulle, the new Commander of SNMCMG2, said that during his term the task force will operate in the Black Sea and the Mediterranean in order to enhance NATO’s solidarity and readiness in these regions. Besides NATO and non-NATO port visits, will participate in three exercises.

There is one odd thing about the whole thing, I couldn’t quite put my finger on: The duration of the command. Usually, the command of a NATO task force is rotated annually or semi-annually at best. This time Turkey is taking the command for 56 days. Not even two full months. Why was it necessary to take the helm for such a short time and what is the reason behind this unusual short duration of the command.

It was 2016 when the last time when Turkish Navy was in Command of SNMCMG-2.

Foreign Warships On Bosphorus in 2021 (Part 1)

Here are photos of foreign warships, that have passed through Bosphorus, during the last 7 days:

The Russian intelligence-gathering ship Priazove returned from her Mediterranean deployment. Her southbound passage was on 14.8.2020. Photo: Cavit Ege Tulca

 

Russian Ropucha class landing ship Novocherkassk sailed southbound for her first Syrian deployment in 2021. Photo: Cavit Ege Tulca

TCG Istanbul Launched

TCG Istanbul during the launching ceremony. Photo: Turkish MoD.

The first İstif class frigate TCG Istanbul was launched on 23 January 2021 at the Istanbul Naval Shipyard.

The first TCG Istanbul was ex USS Clarence K. After 35 years finally, there will be another TCG Istanbul. TCG Istanbul is the first ship of a class of four. The other ships will be named İzmir, İzmit, and İçel and all will be known as the Istif class. According to Commander of Turkish General Staff, General Yaşar Güler, the remaining three ships are planned to be completed by 2027.  The Istif class ships will replace the four Yavuz MEKO 200 class ships nearing the end of their usefulness.

The frigate has an overall length of 113,2 meters and a width of 14,40 meters. The frigates of Istif class will be multi-role warships. The ship’s main offensive weapons will be 16 Atmaca anti-ship missiles. While the details of the final configuration of the air defence missiles have not been disclosed, these frigates will have a locally designed vertical missiles launcher. TCG Istanbul will be fitted with a 76mm main gun and a 35mm Gökdeniz close-in weapon system.

The calculated range of TCG Istanbul at economical speed is 5700 nautical miles. The ship has one LM2500 gas turbine and two diesel engines as the main machinery propelling the frigate up to 26 knots. The design of the frigate is based on the Ada class corvettes. The superstructure of the frigate is also very similar to the corvette with the exception of the mainmast.

The mast on Istif class is higher and has space for different electronics. The Istif class frigates will carry one 3D search radar, probably Smart-S Mk2, two AKR-D fire control radars, and one LPI navigation radar. For electronic reconnaissance and warfare, the frigates will have ARES 2N ESM and AREAS-2N ECM systems.  Piri IRST system will provide infra-red search and tracking on board.

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