The Modernization of NL-125 TCG Osmangazi

NL-125 TCG Osmangazi, on 30th August 2011 in İzmir

NL-125 TCG Osmangazi is the biggest amphibious ships of Turkish Navy. And until the two LST ships under construction at ADIK Shipyard join the Navy, she is also the newest. She was launched in 1990 and commissioned in 1994. She is the third generation of indigenous designed large amphibious ships and has all the design characteristics of Turkish large landing ships. She can carry 900 troops and 15 main battle tanks.

She has a large bow door. This means the ship can beach to unload its cargo. This limits her draught and affects the shape of her hull.

The two small doors at her stern are for mine lying. All large amphibious ships of Turkish navy have a secondary mine laying capability. Hence the “L” in her pennant. The large anchor between the hatches is used to drag the ship away from the beach after she has unloaded her cargo . As she has no dock in her stern the four LCVP’s she has are carried on davits on the both sides of her super structure.

In 2011, she underwent an extensive modernization in Alaybey Naval Shipyard in Izmir. This modernization done by Turkish Navy changed the ship considerably. Therefore it deserves a closer look.

Prior her modernization she had two 40mm twin barreled Bofors AA guns in A position and one twin barreled 35mm Oerlikon AA gun in X position. The manually loaded and controlled Bofors guns were not adequate to protect the ship against today’s airborne treats.

Therefore they have been replaced by two Oerlikon 35mm AA guns. Probably the existing Oerlikon turret was taken from the aft of the ship and replaced. The second guns must come from the storage. This type of AA guns were installed by Turkish Navy to the now deleted Gearing class destroyers to enhance their AA defenses. They were not used since. These guns can be very handy for suppression of ground defenses around the beachhead, as they have high fire rate.

A Mk-15 Phalanx CIWS was installed where the 35mm Oerlikon used to be. Thus TCG Osmangazi becomes the first amphibious ships to have a modern close in weapon systems. Surely the Phalanx system will shorten the reaction time against air threats. This mount must be taken from a decommissioned frigate.

The most interesting addition is the SLQ-32(V)2 EW antenna group above the pilothouse. This antennas and the inside components must be taken from and old Knox or Perry class frigate. As all Perry class frigates still have their SLQ-32 installed the unit may be taken from the two Perry’s given for cannibalization or from a recently decommissioned Knox class ship. This EW system is the first one installed on an amphibious ship.

I have no information about the changes happened inside the ship. The large ventilators on the pilothouse suggests that the habitability of the ships was also improved.  If  there was a CIC prior the modernization it must been upgraded. If there was no CIC prior the modernization there is one now. This is a preparation for the future LST’s as they are going to have a combat management system installed.

The Turkish Navy performed a simple but very efficient overhaul on this ship and improved her fighting ability considerably. The fact that almost all the newly installed weapons and sensors were taken from decommissioned ships indicates that the budget was tight and there will be no similar upgrades to the other amphibious ships.

When enter into service, the two LST’s being constructed at ADIK Shipyard will have a more capable sensor and C3I ability than all the existing LST’s. The modernization done to TCG Osmangazi should be seen as a step to upgrade the current amphibious ships and create a working platform similar to the future ships. This will increase the compatibility between the ships and prepare the sailors to the next generation of ships.

6 Responses to The Modernization of NL-125 TCG Osmangazi

  1. Mehmet Kale says:

    Is this the ship that has the balance problem. I once read a post about a Turkish ship having balance problems which was overcome by laying concrete at the imbalanced compartment.

  2. Dave Shirlaw says:

    Notice the armored covers for the bridge windows in the raised position.

  3. @ Mehmet: I remember reading an article about a Turkish ship having balance problems too. But I cannot remember the name of the ship. Any way if TCG Osmangazi have had any problems with her balance, she would not be upgraded.

    @Dave: Good eye. Yes there are armored covers for the bridge windows. I guess it is for the protection of any incoming small arms fire and splinter when the ship is beached.

  4. Mehmet Kale says:

    Are there any modernization projects for the Sarucabey Class LSTs, NL123 and NL124?

  5. Pingback: Ship Movements In Eastern Mediterranean «

  6. I would like to say that your website is a great source of information and photos (even better than the official one of your country’s navy). I used much of the information from here about a new naval analysis related to Osman Gazi, your comments and suggestions especially about the Turkish warships are always welcome! Many thanks and continue the great work!

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