SNMG-2 Gets A New Flagship

F-245 TCG Oruçreis, in Istanbul, in June 2011.

Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 (SNMG2) gets a new flagship in December.

According to Turkish Navy, the current Flagship F-245 TCG Oruçreis will be relieved by the frigate F-491 TCG Giresun. Since June 2011 Turkish Navy is in command of SNMG-2 and MEKO 200 Track II class, TCG Oruçreis is the flagship.

The reason behind this change is the SNMG-2’s up comming Operation Ocean Shield rotation. NATO maintained one of its two Standing NATO Maritime Group in the Gulf Of Aden after the North Atlantic Council (NAC) approved the counter-piracy mission in 2009. Currently NATO’s other maritime group SNMG-1 is in the region. SNMG-2 will replace them for next 6 months.

Although Turkey operates 8 Perry (locally known as Gabya) and 8 MEKO 200 frigates, Turkish Navy always deploys a Perry class frigate for the anti piracy missions in the Gulf Of Aden. There has never been an official announcement why this particular type of frigate is favored by my educated guess is that the Gabya class frigates have a longer range and are more fuel efficient compared to the MEKO 200 class frigates.

This will be the second Somalia mission for TCG Giresun in 2011 and the third one overall. The frigate was off Somalia between 26 January and 15 June 2011.

A Submarine Spotted

Type 209

On 28 November 2011, one Turkish Type 209 / 1400 class submarine sailed through Bosphorus to Black Sea. Since Turkish Navy stooped painting the pennant number of the submarines on their hulls, it is impossible to identify each individual submarine anymore. While this new painting scheme helps the submarines to blend and prevents IR/FLIR/LLTV using trackers or electro-optic directors any high contrast target, it makes ship spotting difficult.

With 6 Type 209/1200 and 8 Type 209/1400 class submarines in service, Turkey has the largest conventional submarine fleet in the NATO.

Turkey Develops A High Frequency Surface Wave Radar

The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK) announced that it was developing a High Frequency Surface Wave Radar (HFSWR).  A prototype device, being tested at TÜBİTAK’s Center of Research For Advanced Technologies Of Informatics And Security (BILGEM), started to receive return echo from the surface of the sea for the first time.

The over the horizon radar with a range more than 200 km, is developed by TÜBİTAK for the Turkish State Meteorological Service and will provide low-cost, 24-hour, real-time information about the sea state, wave height, and sea currents. Additionally as the HFSW radar is capable of producing a map like picture of a large areas of sea, it will be a key instrument for policing the EEZ, coordinate search and rescue operations, and to combat smuggling, drug trafficking, illegal dumping of pollutants, and other undesirable activities.

A full scale prototype will be built in Eastern Black Sea coast and a  34-month trial phase will begin in the first quarter of next year. If the test results are satisfactory, similar HFSW radars will be installed along the other coast of Turkey.

When these radars are activated they will be crucial in creating the picture of the seas around Turkey and will help to increase our awareness about the maritime domain.


Bosphorus Naval News Is On DefencePoint (UPDATED)

The DefencePOint, one of the few Greek military blogs that is worth of reading has published my story about the ESSM test of Turkish Navy.

They have also used the photo showing the firing of the missile from this blog.

Unfortunately the bloggers at this blog (initially) forgot to mention my blog as the source of the photo and their story. But the photo is visible and you can compare the photo and wording that story to mine.

Well I am not surprised anymore to see my stories or photos being used by other web sites or blogs that conveniently forget to mention this blog as the source.

But I am surprised by the remarks such as “As illustrated by the remarkable site” or “this portal is distinguished by seriousness and professionalism”.


The DefencePoint made yesterday an announcement that have made the above mentioned omission without any bad intention.

I accept this announcement and thank them for their kind words about me and my work.

I am only happy to  reciprocate their good natured wishes in a same manner and courtesy.

Turkish Navy Tested An ESSM Missile

I don’t know where, or when but apparently Turkish Navy fired an ESSM missile from a MK-41 VLS launcher on a Gabya (Perry) class frigate.

The photos above are taken from the footage of The Turkish Radio and Television Corporation. The national public broadcaster of Turkey made a TV program about the Turkish digital combat management system named GENESIS (Gemi Entegre Savaş İdare Sistemi). Click here to watch the show.

Although the name of the frigate that fires the ESSM was never mentioned during the show, I assume it must be F-495 TCG Gediz, the first Gabya (Perry) class frigate to receive the Mk-41 VLS.

USS Ramage Arrived In Marmaris Today.

USS Ramage In Marmaris. Photo: DHA

The Arleigh Burke class US Navy destroyer DDG-61 USS Ramage arrived today in Marmaris, Muğla for a three day port visit.

The local police and administrative authoritaties took extra security measure so the US sailors on shore are not harassed like during the last port visit, when USS Ramage was in Bodrum, Muğla.

During the previous port visit a small group of protesters belonging to Turkish Communist Party, and Youth Union of Turkey protested the crew of USS Ramage upon their arrival in Bodrum. One of the protesters managed to put a sack on an US sailor during the protest as a retaliation in kind to the events occurred in 2003, when US forces in Northern Iraq captured and questioned Turkish soldiers after putting sacks on their heads.

But there are many who welcome the US sailors. I am sure that the owners of local gift shops and bars are happy to see the new clients especially during the mid of the low season.


Turkish ASW plane Spotted In Malta

Turkish CN-235 ASW plane under French registration in Mlata on 9th November 2011. Photo: Neil Psaila

If I do not see photos of the CN-235 ASW planes every now and then I would think that the project is dead and everyone have forgotten it.

The ASW plane acquisition project (also known as Meltem project) of Turkish Navy is a very long saga and consist of 3 parts:

Meltem (I): Constructione of three CN-235’s for Exclusive Economic Zone surveillance missions by the Turkish Coast Guard and six CN-235’s for AsuW and ASW missions. This has been the only part of the whole MELTEM project, completed so far. All the nine planes were manufactured and delivered between 1998-2003.

Meltem (II): integration of AMASOC and its sub components on the above mentioned planes. Thales made AMASCOS(Airborne MAritime Situation and COntrol System) was selected and the main C3I system for the above mentioned CN-235 planes back in 2002. Thales acts as the main contractor and Turkish companies TAI, Havelsan, Aselsan and Milsoft are acting as sub contractors. According to the contract the planes were to be in service in 2007. But the first modified plane made its maiden flight one year after the contractual delivery date.

Because of the delays in this project Thales accepted to pay fines to Turkey.

Following the discussions initiated in early 2010 on the Meltem maritime patrol aircraft program, Thales and the Turkish Ministry of Defence signed an agreement on 3 March 2011. As expected at the end of 2010, this agreement rescopes all engineering and schedule aspects of the contract. It also provides for financial compensation to be paid by Thales (penalties and extra work to be undertaken free of charge). Consequently, the financial assumptions taken into account in the 2010 financial statements were maintained at 30 June 2011.

Meltem (III): purchase of ten ATR-72 ASW planes and integration of AMASCOS on to them. For Meltem (III) Aleina is the prime contractor.

Under Meltem III Program, the first ATR72-500 aircraft arrived at  Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI), on 14th February 2008. The contract of the Meltem III program, covering the procurement of a total of 10 ATR72-500 aircraft and their change into Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) configuration for the Turkish Navy was signed between Alenia Aeronautica S.p.A and TAI on December 21, 2005. Alenia has started to manufacture the planes. But the stage of the integration of ASW suite is not clear.

In my humble opinion the project is as disastrous as the Pananikolis project of the neighbor.

Photos from 238th Anniversary Celebrations Of Turkish Naval Academy

Turkish Naval Academy was founded in 18 November 1773. To celebrate the 238th anniversary of this occasion a small armada of Turkish warships visited Heybeliada were today the Turkish Naval High School still educates the futures cadres of Turkish Navy. Among the visitors were the first of Milgem class, TCG Heybeliada, the first of New Type Patrol Boat class, TCG Tuzla, the second ship of Aydın Class mine hunters, TCG Amasra, one unidentified Type 209 submarine and various Coast Guard vessels. Enjoy the photos

F-511 TCG Heybeliada

F-511 TCG Heybeliada

P-1200 TCG Tuzla

M-266 TCG Amasra

Type 209 / 1400 class submarine




Nusret 2011 Mine Warfare Exericse

Between 20th and 30th November 2011 The Turkish Navy will host the Nusret 2011 Exercise. This is an annual exercise to hone mine hunting skills of the participants.

This years exercise area is Bay of Saros just west of the Gelibolu peninsula which is a very appropriate place for a mine warfare exercise.

The list of the participating ships is below. In addition to these forces a naval explosive ordnance disposal team, one air force C-130 Hercules aircraft and a helicopter will take in the exercise too.

A-579 TCG Cezayirli Gazi Hasan Paşa Turkey Flagship
M-270 TCG Akçay Turkey Mine hunter
M-35 SPS Duero Spain Mine hunter
5557 ITS Numano Italy Mine hunter
M-1063 Bad Beversen Germany Mine hunter
NL-125 Osmangazi (Note-1) Turkey Mine layer
M- 9 mine warfare ships Turkey Mine hunter /sweeper
P- Fast attack craft Turkey Fast attack craft
P- Patrol vessel Turkey Patrol vessel
P- Fast attack craft Turkey Fast attack craft
P- Patrol vessel Turkey Patrol vessel
A-589 Işın (Note-1) Turkey Salvage
SG- Coast Guard Vessel Turkey Patrol Vessel
Note-1: Participation these ships are not confirmed but assumed. Bosphorus Naval News

Click here and here to read about the last year’s exercise.

French Frigate Commandant Birot In Istanbul

The French frigate F-796 Commandant Birot arrived in Istanbul on 16th November 21011, for a port visit. The ship was part of the Surge Operation for the Operation Active Endeavour

Beginning 12 November NATO will concentrate assets in the Eastern Mediterranean for more than a week’s intense patrolling: “The backbone of this Surge is the Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 and maritime air reconnaissance. To this we are adding ships made available specifically for this operation,” said Captain Olivier Bodhuin Chief of Operations at Headquarters Maritime Command, Naples. “France and Romania are putting valuable contributions into this Surge demonstrating the importance nations still give to OAE after more than 10 years of operations. Commandante Birot recently came out of Operation Unified Protector and as a Frenchman I have a great personal satisfaction in seeing Birot join the Surge in direct support to operations,” stated Bodhuin.

Unpredictable and intense periods of maritime operations aimed at disrupting any attempt by terrorists to maneuver in the Mediterranean Sea are one of the tools employed by NATO to help deter, defend, disrupt and protect against terrorism. Known as Deterrent Surges, these operations involve NATO assets converging on defined areas for a pre-planned period of time so as to deter terrorists but also to build and extend the Alliance’s Maritime Situational Awareness of the area.

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