15 Jan 2017 2 Comments
Here are photos of foreign warships, that have passed through Bosphorus, during the last week:
The list of the foreign warships passed through Istanbul Strait is here.
14 Jan 2017 2 Comments
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.
14 Jan 2017 1 Comment
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.
7 Jan 2017 Leave a comment
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.
31 Dec 2016 1 Comment
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.
29 Dec 2016 5 Comments
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 MKEK. The 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.