Turkish Submarine Conducts ASW Training With US Navy

A Turkish Type 209/1200 class submarine very similar to TCG 18 Mart. She could even be TCG 18 Mart. There is no way of telling.

According to the official web site of Turkish general Staff Turkish Type 209 class submarine TCG 18 Mart conducted and ASW exercise with an US Navy ASW plane on 15th April 2012 in Mediterranean Sea.

The original text of the announcement is just one sentence. But This one sentence holds a lot of interesting information.

The submarine TCG 18 Mart did this exercise while participating NATO’s anti terror operation in Med, Active Endeavor. Under Operation Active Endeavour, NATO ships are patrolling the Mediterranean and monitoring shipping to help detect, deter and protect against terrorist activity. NATO ships to hail merchants ships and sometimes they send boarding teams to inspect them. But a submarine cannot do any of it. This means that NATO is also using submarines to stalk suspicious merchant ships.

The type of the US ASW plane was not disclosed in the text but it is safe to assume that it was a P-3C Orion ASW plane. Given the plane’s usual bases and its range I guess the exercise was held off the coast of Libya rather than Eastern Med where a Turkish submarine is more likely expected to be present.

US Navy is always very keen to practice ASW training with conventional diesel-electric submarines in order to keep its submarine hunters in shape ans US Navy expects to encounter hostile diesel-electric submarines in Indian and Pacific Oceans.

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