Meltem 3 Project Reaches A Milestone

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The saga of the procurement of these planes is longer than the range of the real plane.

The aviation journalist, Mr. Tony Osborne of Aviation Week & Space Technology reported from Farnborough Airshow Turkish ATR-72 maritime patrol program reached a milestone:


At the IDEF defense show in Istanbul in 2013, Alenia Aermacchi and Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) signed a memorandum of understanding to offer the ATR-72 as a maritime patrol aircraft, with the Italian company supplying the basic airframe and carrying out the final integration and test work, while TAI made modifications to the aircraft and installed mission equipment. To be known as Meltam-IIIs, they will be operated by the Turkish Navy and the first of six ordered will shortly be transferred to Turin, Italy, after fitting out by TAI in Turkey. The aircraft are fitted with the ThalesAirborne Maritime Situation & Control System (AMASCOS) mission system and should be delivered back to Turkey in 2017. Two more ATR-72s have already been supplied to Turkey for utility missions.

IF (yes that is a big if) the planes are delivered as scheduled in 2017 that will make 12 years from the signing of the original contact to the delivery.

In July 2005 Italian Prime Minister Mr. Belosconi and his Turkish counterpart Mr. Erdoğan signed a deal on acquisition of 10 maritime patrol planes based on Alenia’s ATR-72 500 turboprop aircraft. According to the $219-million contract the initial deliveries were supposed to be in 2010.

The first ATR-72 500 arrived in Turkish Aerospace Industries in February 2008. TAI worked as Alenia’s local sub-contractor, carrying out all modifications from the base airframe to the ATR-72 MPA configuration.

In May 2013 suddenly there was a big change in the project. The project was downsized from 10 planes to 8: 2 utility models for personnel and cargo, and 6 armed maritime patrol models. The good part of this rearrangement was the model of the planes were upgraded, from ATR-72 500 which, was no longer in production, to ATR-72 600.

In July 2013 the first utility model was delivered to Turkish Navy. My understanding is, this plane was the original ATR-72 500
delivered to TAI in 2008, and was remodeled to ATR-72 600 in due time.

In August 2013 the first base ATR-72 600 was delivered to TAI for the changes to MPA configuration. According to the above quoted article this plane will shortly be transferred back to Alenia for final modification.

These planes will be armed with Mk-46 and Mk-54 lightweight torpedoes and will carry Thales AMASCOS maritime patrol mission system.  AMASCOS integrates an array of sensors that include a surveillance turret, Thales’ Ocean Master search radar, an ESM radar/transmitter locator, a Magnetic Anomaly Detector to find submarines, and transmissions from launched sonobuoys.

Hopefully the plane will be in Turkish Navy service by 2017. In the mean time Turkish Navy is considering procurement of new maritime patrol planes with even longer ranges.

 

For further reading:

12 Years After The Contract Thales Finally Delivers Maritime Patrol Aircraft To Turkish Navy

Finaly: The First ATR-72 Maritime Utility Plane Is Delivered

Turkish Navy To Get 8 ATR-72-600 Planes Instead Of 10 As Originaly Agreed

Finally: The First Maritime Surveillance Plane Officially Inaugurated

First flight of CN235 ASW for Meltem programme

New Maritime Patrol Planes For Turkish Navy?

>First flight of CN235 ASW for Meltem programme

>Ankara, 2 December 2008 – Thales announced on 2 December 2008 that the Turkish Navy’s future CN235 maritime patrol aircraft made its first flight.

Modified by Thales and industrial partners TAI, Havelsan, Aselsan and Milsoft, the aircraft features the AMASCOS system (Airborne MAritime Situation and COntrol System) to provide Turkish naval forces with advanced anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare capabilities.

Meltem is one the most ambitious maritime surveillance and patrol programme and consist of 3 parts.

Meltem (I) is the purchase of three CN235s for Exclusive Economic Zone surveillance missions by the Turkish Coast Guard and six CN235s in AsuW and ASW missions.

Meltem (II) is the integration of AMASOC and its sub components on the above mentioned planes.

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

Turkish Airforce operates 50 CN-235 planes for troop and VIP transport, SIGINT/ELINT and CSAR missions. When this plane was chosen for the Meltem (I) project this decision was criticised.

The critics stated that CN-235 was not able to fulfill the operational demands of Turkish Navy as her performance was not up to this demands. When ATR-72 ASW plane was chosen from Meltem (III) the claims of the opponents seemed to be right.

Turkish Navy needs patrol planes for maritime surveillance, monitoring territorial Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) waters, for detecting all forms of illicit trade and trafficking, accidental pollution and oil dumping, and for search-and-rescue operations.

I hope we start to see these planes to enter into the service soon.

First Photo Of Turkish Navy ATR-72 600 ASW Plane

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The first ATR-72 600 ASW plane of Turkish Navy in test flight. Photo: Lidie Berendsen.

It is a joy to see one ATR-72 60 ASW plane in the air  at last. It has been 11 years since the contract was signed.

 

For further reading:

12 Years After The Contract Thales Finally Delivers Maritime Patrol Aircraft To Turkish Navy

Finaly: The First ATR-72 Maritime Utility Plane Is Delivered

Turkish Navy To Get 8 ATR-72-600 Planes Instead Of 10 As Originaly Agreed

Finally: The First Maritime Surveillance Plane Officially Inaugurated

First flight of CN235 ASW for Meltem programme

New Maritime Patrol Planes For Turkish Navy?

Meltem 3 Project Reaches A Milestone

New Maritime Patrol Planes For Turkish Navy?

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A contract was signed on 2008 to buy 10 ATR 72-500 ASW from Italy. 8 years later we are still waiting patiently for the planes. All we got in the mean time are two unarmed ATR-72-600 planes for utility missions.

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6 of these C-235 ASW planes are the backbone of Turkish airborne ASWand AsuW missions. When the acquisition project of these planes started in 1998, CASA was still an independent company, the C-295 has just made its maiden flight and its ASW version did not exist even in the dreams of the CASA/EADS/Airbus Military engineers.  P-8A Poseidon was not even on the drawing board.

ANKARA, Turkey — The Turkish Navy is considering the purchase of long-range patrol aircraft to add to its fleet of CN-235 and ATR72s, navy and procurement officials said.
“The requirement comes in line with the government’s foreign policy priorities,” explained one procurement official.
Navy officials say the planned aircraft should be able to fly 1,000 to 1,200 nautical miles away from their main base in Turkey and fly 12 to 15 hours.
“Our current fleet may not respond to our future roles,” said one Navy official. “The new patrol aircraft should ideally have anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare roles.”
Naval industry sources say the Turkish description of the requirement would probably point to the Boeing P-8 Poseidon (formerly the Multimission Maritime Aircraft or MMA). The P-8 Poseidon was developed for the US Navy by Boeing Defense, Space & Security, modified from the 737-800ERX.
The P-8 also conducts shipping interdiction, along with an electronic signals intelligence role which involves carrying torpedoes, depth charges, SLAM-ER missiles, Harpoon anti-ship missiles, and other weapons. It is able to drop and monitor sonobuoys. The aircraft is designed to operate in conjunction with the Northrop Grumman MQ-4C Triton Broad Area Maritime Surveillance unmanned aerial vehicle.
Procurement officials say they hope to issue a request for information for the planned acquisition soon.
“We are hoping to see a competitive contest,” one official said.
But industry sources say the description of the acquisition narrows options.
“There will not be too many bidders, judging from the description of the requirement,” said one source.

The technical requirement describes a plane that is able to fly 1,000 to 1,200 nautical miles away from their main base in Turkey and fly 12 to 15 hours. As far as I know there is only two planes exist that can fill this expectations. Boeing’s P-8A Poseidon and Ilyushin’s Il-38.

Given the political climate between Turkey and Russia I think a snowball in hell has better odds than Mr. Putin selling military airplanes to Turkey. This leaves us with one real contender: P-8A

I have no idea who the unnamed procurement official was, but I am glad that I am not in his/her shoes. It will be very hard to create an illusion of  competitive contest with one contestant.

Australia paid for 8 P-8A planes USD2.88 billion and India paid for 8 P-8I Neptune (Indian designation) planes USD2.1 billion. If this procurement project goes ahead it will be most expensive acquisitions for Turkish Naval Aviation. There are better places where we can wisely spend a couple billion US Dollars such as the air defence ship project TF-2000.

I will be most surprised if this announced interest in P-8A Poseidon planes materializes into a contract very soon. The acquisitions projects for maritime patrol and ASW planes are beleaguered with massive delays.

For further reading:

12 Years After The Contract Thales Finally Delivers Maritime Patrol Aircraft To Turkish Navy

Finaly: The First ATR-72 Maritime Utility Plane Is Delivered

Turkish Navy To Get 8 ATR-72-600 Planes Instead Of 10 As Originaly Agreed

Finally: The First Maritime Surveillance Plane Officially Inaugurated

First flight of CN235 ASW for Meltem programme

12 Years After The Contract Thales Finally Delivers Maritime Patrol Aircraft To Turkish Navy

Thales delivers 5 planes and a certificate. Photo: Thales.

Thales delivers 5 planes and a certificate. Photo: Thales.

I am sure that the good people of Thales are in a celebration mood. Here is an excerpt form their press release:

Thales announces the delivery of the final standard for the maritime patrol aircraft to Turkey as part of the MELTEM II programme, for which Thales is the prime contractor. To this day, five of the six aircraft have been delivered to this standard, with the sixth set for delivery before the summer. This follows the three maritime surveillance aircraft which were sent to the Turkish coastguards last year.

Pierre Eric Pommellet, Senior Vice President of Thales in charge of Defence Mission Systems, officially handed over the delivery certificate for the aircraft to the Chief of Staff of the Turkish Navy. On this occasion, he highlighted the “strong relationships that have been established throughout the programme with Turkish industry partners, TAI, Havelsan, Aselsan and Milsoft. These have enabled the success of this aircraft transformation programme and pave the way for future partnerships between Thales and the Turkish industry. We’re focusing on developing this close cooperation and are very proud these maritime patrol aircraft reach a technological and operational standard of excellence. The Turkish Navy can now rely on Thales’s state-of-the-art AMASCOS solution to conduct their maritime patrol missions.”

16 years after the maritime patrol plane  project has started and 12 years after Thales was contracted to deliver the AMASCOS,  the five out of total six aircraft of the Meltem project  were finally handed over to the Turkish Navy on 29 April 2014. I am quite sure that Thales and their Turkish partners have developed strong relationship in the last 12 years when they were working to get the things done. They had all the time in the world for building strong relationships.

When the Meltem project started, this and this aircrafts were not even on drawing boards. Since then they have taken off are operational.

Since the start of the Meltem has been beleaguered with delays. The project has 3 parts:

  • Meltem I:  The purchase of three CN-235′s for Exclusive Economic Zone surveillance missions by the Turkish Coast Guard and six CN-235′s in AsuW and ASW missions for Turkish Navy. This part of the project started in 1998 and ended in 2002.
  • Meltem II:  The integration of AMASCOS  (Airborne MAritime Situation & Control System) and its sub components on the above mentioned planes. The Thales made AMASCOS  was selected as 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. The aircraft started to enter into contemporary commission only in 2012 both in Turkish Navy and Turkish Coast Guard. And in 2013 the planes for the Coast Guard were officially commissioned. Yesterday’s ceremony means that this phase is almost ended.
  • Meltem III: When in 2008 the contract was signed for Meltem (III), Aleina was supposed to to deliver ATR-72 ASW planes and integrate the AMASCOS system and the sensors to them. 6 years later all we got are two ATR-72 TMU maritime utility aircraft and a reduction on total number of planes from 10 to 8 including the TMUA’s. The utility planes are by the way unarmed and have no sensors. So they are no good for hunting submarines.

 

I have told in then, I and I am telling it now, the Meltem acquisition project should be thought in business and project management courses as a case study as an example how not to run a project.

Turkish Navy Naval Parade In Dardanelles

On 18 March,we have celebrated the victory of against the Allied Fleet in 1915.  I am honored and delighted to share some of the excellent photos Mr. Ahmet Güven, a very dear contributor to these blog before shared these beautiful photos.

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A-579 TCG Cezayirli Hasan Paşa passing through Dardanelles.

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F-247 TCG Kemalreis anchored at Dardanelles.

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F-247 TCG Kemalreis anchored at Dardanelles.

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F-247 TCG Kemalreis anchored at Dardanelles.

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F-247 TCG Kemalreis anchored at Dardanelles.

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F-247 TCG Kemalreis anchored at Dardanelles.

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F-247 TCG Kemalreis anchored at Dardanelles. At the background from left to right P-330 TCG Kılıç, P-335 TCG Imbat, P-334 TCG Meltem, P-337 TCG Atak

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F-241 TCG Turgutreis anchored at Dardanelles

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F-241 TCG Turgutreis anchored at Dardanelles

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F-241 TCG Turgutreis anchored at Dardanelles

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F-241 TCG Turgutreis anchored at Dardanelles

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SG-701 TCSG Dost at Dardanelles

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SG-701 TCSG Dost at Dardanelles

Republic Day 2013

F-495 TCG Gediz in Istanbul.

F-495 TCG Gediz in Istanbul. She is one of the most capable Perry class frigates afloat world wide with her Mk41 VLS containing ESSM missiles, Smart-S 3D radar, upgraded combat management software and rebuild CIC.

Tomorrow is the 90th anniversary of the foundation of Turkish Republic. Many different events are planed to celebrate our republic and one of them is to open Turkish warships to public. This year the Gölcük Naval Base, the main base of Turkish Navy will have an open door day and many ships will be accessible for the public. The following Turkish warships will be open to public:

Number Name Type City
S-358 TCG Çanakkale Submarine Gölcük
F-244 TCG Barbaros Frigate Gölcük
P-336 TCG Zıpkın Fast attack boat Gölcük
A-595 TCG Y. K. Güngör Replenishment Ship Gölcük
F-496 TCG Gökova Frigate İzmit
F-245 TCG Oruçreis Frigate İstanbul
F-495 TCG Gediz Frigate İstanbul
P-334 TCG Meltem Fast attack boat Karadeniz Ereğli
P-330 TCG Kılıç Fast attack boat Mersin
F-502 TCG Bandırma Corvette İzmir
P-348 TCG Yıldız Fast attack boat İskenderun
F-493 TCG Gelibolu Frigate Antalya
P-1203 TCG Kumkale Patrol boat Bozcaada
P-1205 TCG Karabiga Patrol boat Gökçeada

 

Finaly: The First ATR-72 Maritime Utility Plane Is Delivered

The first ATR-72-600 plane for Turkish Navy at Alenia-Aermacchi factory in Italy.

The first ATR-72-600 maritime utility aircraft for Turkish Navy at Alenia-Aermacchi factory in Italy.

The Turkish Navy has received the first ATR 72-600 Turkish maritime utility aircraft (TMUA) from Alenia Aermacchi on 25 July 2013.

Maritime Utility Aircraft is a very elegant expression and means that the aircraft has neither weapons nor any sensors.

Alenia Aermacchi was awarded the contract to deliver two ATR 72-600 TMUA and six ATR 72-600 turkish maritime patrol aircraft (TMPA) to the Turkish Navy.
Under the contract, the company will supply the first TMPA to the Turkish Navy in February 2017 while deliveries are scheduled to be completed by 2018.
The two ATR 72-600 TMUA, which are undergoing modification at the company’s facilities in Naples, Capodichino and Torino-Caselle, will be used by the Turkish Navy for utility roles and personnel and cargo transport missions.
Fitted with new radios, the TMUA aircraft features an identification friend-or-foe system (IFF) as well as tactical tables and communications equipment for the crew.
“The TMUA aircraft features an identification friend-or-foe system.”
The Turkish aerospace industry will modify the six green ATR72-600 aircraft to ATR 72-600 TMPAs in Ankara, Turkey, by installing specific equipment to meet the Turkish Navy maritime patrol requirement.
Fitted with Thales airborne maritime situation and control system (AMASCOS) mission system, the six ATR 72-600 TMPA multi-role assets will be equipped with automatic identification system (AIS) and link 16 and will also support the latest generation weapon systems such as the Mk 54 light weight torpedo.
The second ATR72-600 TMUA is expected to be delivered within the first half of August while first Turkish Navy flying instructors have completed the new aircraft training at Alenia Aermacchi’s Training Centre in Caselle.

The above text is form the press release of the Italian company. Well originally they were contracted in 8 years ago (in July 2005) to deliver 10 ATR 72-500 airplanes which should have the necessary sensors and weapons to conduct anti submarine warfare.

After 8 years of delays what we have is an unarmed plane for utility work instead of hunting submarines.

In May 2013 the original contract was amended from 10 ATR 72-500 ASW planes to 2 ATR-72 600 TMUA and 6 ATR-72 600 TMPA planes.

I have told in then, I and I am telling it now,  the Meltem acquisition project should be thought in business and project management courses as a case study as an example how not to run a project.

Sea Breeze 2013 Naval Exercise

P-334 TCG Meltem.

P-334 TCG Meltem.

While the Breeze 2013 naval exercise has started in Bulgaria, Ukraine is hosting the Sea Breeze 2013 naval exercise. The choise of names and the timing makes it very easy to confuse the two exercises. The Sea Breeze 2013 starts today and will end on 20 July 2013.

Germany, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Romania, Turkey, Canada, Italy and Bulgaria will take part in the exercise.

It is not a coincidence that the two exercise are running almost simultaneously as the non Black Sea participants of these exercises such as the Spanish Frigate F-103 Blas De Lezo and the Greek fast attack boat P-263 Aittios may only stay in the Black Sea for a limited amount of days. Therefore it was necessary to organize the two exercises near simultaneously.

For those who like to create conspiracy theories the simultaneous start of two naval exercise in The Black Sea might be seen as the NATO’s response to Russian actions in the Med.

In the first day of activity of the conference around 70 military officers from countries-members worked out issues of planning forces during the training and started planning operation. In particular, it was determined that from Ukrainian side divisions and subdivisions of all groups of the Armed Forces of Ukraine will take part in the exercise. In general, it will be exercised in See Breeze-2013 interaction of over 20 ships and vessels, around 15 planes and helicopters, united brigade of marine corps, subdivisions of special units and search and rescue forces etc.

“The peculiar attention in planning of the following Sea Breeze is paid to cooperation with forces of the State Service for Emergency Situations of Ukraine which in 2013 will exercise for the first time,” told co-director of exercise of the Ukrainian part, Capitan of 1 rank Ihor Teryohin.

It should be noted that Sea Breeze-2013 exercise is targeting holding maritime security operations with the emphasis on evacuation measures. The participants of the maneuvers will exercise a series of joint trainings in liquidation of consequences of natural disaster and man-made accidents and also improve skills of interaction in the course of humanitarian actions directed to keeping security among civil population.

I was able to identify 5 of the 15 warships mentioned above.

Number
Name
Country
Type
F-246
TCG Salihreis
Turkey
Frigate
F-103
Blas De Lezo
 Spain Frigate
P-334 TCG Meltem Turkey Fast Attack Craft
A-572 TCG Yzb. İhsan Tulunay Turkey Tanker
P-24 Sukhumi Georgia Patrol Boat

Any additional information about the participating units is as always welcomed.

Turkish Warships In Istanbul

Two Turkish Kılıç class, missile armed fast attack boats are visiting Istanbul. They were open to public visit today and they will be open tomorrow too.

P-334 TCG Meltem.

P-334 TCG Meltem.

P338

P-338 TCG Bora.

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