>VATOS Mk-II Torpedo fire control system

>A bit of history about Turkish fire control system. In 1990’ies Turkish Navy still operated two Tang class submarines. These were ex USS-Tang, TCG Pirireis and ex USS Gudgeon, TCG Hızırreis; both were transferred from US navy in early 1980’ies.

In Turkish service they were used without any major structural modifications. Their original fire control systems designed and built in 1950′ies were obviously not up-to-date. Turkish Navy was able to compare the electro-mechanical fire control system of the Tang class to the moderns systems it used on Type 209 class. It was decided to develop a digital fire control system for these old boats. The development started by the Research, Project Development, Department of Turkish Navy. The aim was to create an indigenous fire control system using of the shelf commercial systems. Furthermore this system had to be integrated into the submarines existing systems.

The new fire control system called VATOS (Stingray in English) was installed in 1999. I was able to take photos of the various components when visited ex TCG Hızırreis. She was taken out of active service in 2004 and turned to a museum. On the components it reads VATOS Mk-II. I have no idea about VATOS Mk-I. But suspect it could be a prototype system built as a proof of the concept and as a test bed.

Torpedo control system unit, located in the forward torpedo room. Used to preset bearing, depth and minimum distance before the torpedo starts to search. The converter that relays these data to the torpedoes is on the right side.

Target motion analysis console. Displays the data collected by the sonars. The display was off so I cannot tell whether it was a color display or not. This console is located in the command center.

Torpedo control console located next to the TMA console. These consoles look very spartan but must a great improvement over the legacy system.

I am not quite sure about this display. Could be a back up system for the torpedo control system unit.

The components of the VATOS Mk-II FCS look very basic. The keyboards are standard PC keyboard, the displays are commercial products used mainly in automatisation systems for factories. But beneath the spartan design there is a working fire control system that was designed, developed and produced by Turkish Navy and within limited resources. With the inauguration of VATOS FCS Turkish Navy proved firstly to itself that local production of modern fire control systems was possible.

This broke some mental barriers. Turkish Naval Research Center Command (TNRCC) was established in GölcükKocaeli as a sub-unit of Turkish Naval Research, Project Development, and Scientific Decision Support Department. Later TNRCC developed a command and control system and the associated consoled to be used in the CIC of Knox class frigates in Turkish service. Then the GENESIS project was initialised for the Perry class frigates. Today the command and control system of the indigenous MILGEM corvettes are being manufactured in Turkey. The command, control and fire control systems of the future submarines will also produced locally. All these achievements started with a small step called VATOS Mk-II

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