TCG Alemdar Is Commissioned Into Service

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TCG Alemdar during acceptance trials. Photo: Milliyet

Today the new submarine rescue ship A-582 TCG Alemdar was finally commissioned into service. The ceremony was planned for an earlier date, but had to be postponed.

TCG Alemdar is the most capable submarine rescue vessel in Eastern Mediterranean and Black Sea region.

TCG Alemdar was designed from the keel as a submarine rescue ship for Turkish Navy. She will be able to provide life support to the stranded crew of a distressed submarine up to 600 meters depth. She will carry ROV’s, atmospheric diving suits and other necessary equipment. She is certified both for NATO NSRS and US SRDRS
systems. The built-in A-frame of TCG Alemdar will be able to support US Navy DSRVs.

She is a most welcomed addition to Turkish Navy. Auxiliary ships like TCG Alemdar may not have the appeal of a front line warships such as corvettes or frigates but these inglorious auxiliaries enable the other ships to function and save them when they are in a dire situation.

I wish TCG Alemdar calm seas and following winds.

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TCG Alemdar Ready For The Service

The model of Moship

The model TCG Alemdar.

The commissioning of the submarine rescue mother ship A-582 TCG Alemdar was scheduled for today. The ceremony was cancelled because some high-ranking politicians are unable to attend. Never the less it is good to know that this project has come to an end.

The first steel for TCG Alemdar was cut in April 2012 and the keel was laid in December 2012. The ship was launched on 29th April 2014.

The project may seem to have taken too long but it is the first time that a private shipyard has constructed a ship with complex and specialized sub systems. According to the contract signed between the Istanbul shipyard and UDI, the shipyard acted as a main contractor for the project that included the submarine rescue systems like ROV’s, hyperbaric chamber etc. As far as I know such expertise was not available to the shipyards at that time.

Last week TCG Alemdar was nearly involved in an accident. As part of the acceptance tests, the ship was in Marmara Sea and conducting a 4 point anchoring operation. During the test fast ferry M/V Hızır Reis passed over one of the anchoring cables. The tender boat of TCG Alemdar capsized during the incident and 5 persons on board had fallen to the sea. The survivors were rescued shortly but suffered some hypothermia.

TCG Alemdar Launched

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A-601 TCG Alemdar after the launching. Photo: Istanbul Shipyard

This breaking story is almost one month old and show that the Turkish Shipyard have a lot to learn in public relation and in explaining to the public what they are accomplishing.

On 29 April 2014, the submarine rescue mother ship also known as MOSHIP, A-601 TCG Alemdar was launched by Istanbul Shipyard.

Istanbul Shipyard a private company, was selected to build one submarine rescue ship and two salvage and rescue ships by SSM in June 2010.

The main task of this ship will be rescue submarines that are unable to resurface themselves. She will be able to provide life support to the stranded crew of a distressed submarine up to 600 meters depth. She will carry ROV’s, atmospheric diving suits and other necessary equipment.

With fourteen modern diesel-electric submarines in service, the Turkish Navy is the biggest operator of conventionally powered submarines among both European and NATO countries. However, the existing submarine rescue and salvage ships in the Turkish Navy were built in the 1950s and they are now reaching the end of their life-spans.

It is important for the Turkish Navy to maintain an appropriate degree of salvage and recovery capability to support its large submarine force, so it is a joy to see that a very complex ship with many complex equipment on board was launched.

This is the video of the launching:

TCG Akın Decommissioned

Here is a photo from 2015 showing TCG Akın sailing through Bosphorus.

Today the long career of TCG Akın in naval service has finished. The ship can have a well-earned rest after 75 years.

TCG Akın began her life as USS Greenlet, a Chanticleer-class submarine rescue ship in the United States Navy. She was launched in 1942 and served in US Navy during World War 2, Korean War and Vietnam War. She was even in Tokyo Bay when Japan surrendered in 1945.

On 12 June 1970, she was decommissioned from US Navy service and immediately commissioned in Turkish Navy at Pearl Harbor Naval Submarine Base. Her transfer to Turkey took 40 days.

She was the sole dedicated submarine rescue ship untill the commissioning of TCG Alemdar in 2017.

I wish this old and elegant lady to be restored as a museum but most like she will either sunk during an exercise or scrapped.

Anyway, thank you for the service.

TCG Akın Launched

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A-584 TCG Akın prior her launching. Photo: aksam.com

I know this headline is confusing as there is already one ship named as TCG Akın in Turkish Navy inventory. But apparently her days are limited.

The ship today launched is the second of the two RATSHIP (Rescue and Towing Ship) Istanbul Shipyard is constructing for Turkish Navy. Istanbul Shipyard a private company, was selected to build one submarine rescue ship and two salvage and rescue ships by SSM in June 2010. The submarine rescue ship A-601 TCG Alemdar was launched on 29 April 2014. And the first RATSHIP, A-583 TCG Işın was launched on 25 June 2014.

According to the press release of Undersecretariat for Defence Industries, the rescue and Towing ship will be capable of towing the broken down, wrecked and ran ashore ships as well as fire-fighting. Moreover, she, which will be equipped by the modern rescue systems and equipment such as remotely operated vehicle (ROV), atmospheric diving suit, submarine ventilation system, pressure rooms etc., can also perform the underwater repair works and wreck removal.

The complete design, construction, outfitting and integration of the Rescue and Towing Ship are being performed by Istanbul Shipyard. In this scope, the total industry participation and offset percentage of 65% enables the utilization of Turkish industry capabilities through the acquisition of the construction material and services as well as most of the systems integrated on the vessel.

TCG Işın Launched

A-583 TCG Işın before the launching. Photo: stargundem.com

A-583 TCG Işın before the launching. Photo: stargundem.com

I know this headline is confusing as there is already one ship named as TCG Işın in Turkish Navy inventory. But apparently her days are limited.

The ship today launched is the first of the two RATSHIP (Rescue and Towing Ship) Istanbul Shipyard is constructing for Turkish Navy. Istanbul Shipyard a private company, was selected to build one submarine rescue ship and two salvage and rescue ships by SSM in June 2010. The submarine rescue ship A-601 TCG Alemdar was launched on 29 April 2014.

According to the press release of Undersecretariat for Defence Industries, the rescue and Towing ship will be capable of towing the broken down, wrecked and ran ashore ships as well as fire-fighting. Moreover, she, which will be equipped by the modern rescue systems and equipment such as remotely operated vehicle (ROV), atmospheric diving suit, submarine ventilation system, pressure rooms etc., can also perform the underwater repair works and wreck removal.

The complete design, construction, outfitting and integration of the Rescue and Towing Ship are being performed by Istanbul Shipyard. In this scope, the total industry participation and offset percentage of 65% enables the utilization of Turkish industry capabilities through the acquisition of the construction material and services as well as most of the systems integrated on the vessel.

The new A-583 TCG Işın will be handed over to Turkish Navy in January 2015.  That means the days of the old and veteran A-589 TCG Işın are limited.

This is the video of the launch:

ALEMDAR CLASS

NUMBER NAME LAUNCHED COMMISSIONED
A-582 ALEMDAR 29 April 2014  28 January 2017

Characteristics:
Displacement: 4447 tons full load
Dimensions: 91 x 18.5 x 7,8 meters
Speed, Range: 18 knots, 4500 miles at 14 knots.
Crew: 131

Sensors:

Radars: Navigation

Comments:

TCG Alemdar is a dedicated submarine rescue mother ship designed to perform subsea and surface search and rescue missions in various sea conditions. The main task is to rescue submarines that are unable to resurface themselves. She can provide life support to the stranded crew of a distressed submarine up to 600 meters depth. She is carrying ROV’s, atmospheric diving suits and other necessary equipment.She is interoperable with NATO Submarine Rescue System. There are two pressure chambers on board.

Her pennant number was A-601 when she was launched. It was changed before her commissioning.

Kurtaran 2019 Submarine Rescue Exercise

TCG Alemdar. The main submarine rescue ship of the Turkish Navy.

Turkish Navy organized the third initiation of Kurtaran series submarine rescue exercises between 27 and 31 May 2019.

This year the submarines TCG Gür, TCG 1. İnönü and TCG Dolunay, submarine rescue ship TCG Alemdar, rescue and salvage ships TCG Işın and TCG Akın, frigate TCG Gelibolu, minehunter TCG Akçay, patrol boat TCG Köyceğiz, one P-235 maritime patrol aircraft, one SH-70 ASW helicopter from Turkish Navy took part in the exercise as well as one AS-535 Cougar helicopter from Turkish Army, one C-130 Hercules cargo plane from the Turkish Air Force. One P-8 Poseidon ASW plane from US Navy also participated in the exercise.

Turkish Navy operates one dedicated submarine rescue mother ship TCG Alemdar and two rescue and salvage ships TCG Işın and TCG Akın. All of them have taken part in the exercise. TCG Alemdar can act as mother ship both for NATO Submarine Rescue System and US Navy Submarine Rescue System if needed.

Kurtaran 2019 started on 27th May with the pre-deployment briefing. On 28th May the surface units and aircraft honed their skill in finding the 3 submerged disabled submarines (DISSUB) sitting at the bottom of the sea.

On 29th May, the first training was to render assistance to submariners who were forced to leave the DISSUB by rush escape. Turkish Navy Parachute Search and Rescue Team similar in function to the Royal Navy’s Submarine Parachute Assistance Group made jumps from a C-130 cargo plane to help these submariners. The team of 12 jumped in 3 parts as the plane made 3 passes over the submariners waiting to be rescued. The Parachute Search and Rescue Team quickly inflated several life rafts and biding them creating a support base. They have used the RHIBs to collect the submariners from the water and rendering the first aid at the support base. Later they were brought to TCG Alemdar.

There is a wide range of medical facilities on board of TCG Alemdar including one full functional operation room, one x-ray room, a five-bed medical ward, and two hyperbaric chambers. Each chamber can hold 22 persons. The SMERAT team performed a quick triage and treated the patients according to their injuries and sufferings. Those who needed to be transferred to a more advanced medical facility were evacuated by the Land Forces’ Cougar helicopter.

TCG Alemdar search with her onboard sensors for the DISSUB played by TCG 1. İnönü. After locating the submarine TCG Alemdar positioned herself over the submerged disabled submarine. Using her active position controlling systems the rescue ship was able to stay on the exact spot for the remainder of the exercise.

First, the remotely operated underwater vehicle TCB Istakoz 1 was lowered to the submarine. The ROV was constructed by a Turkish company and can operate up to 1000 meters depth. Following the contact with the DISSUB, a diver immersed to the submarine inside the atmospheric diving system. The diver in ADS brought an emergency life support store containing urgently needed supplies by the submarine. The diver placed the emergency life support store inside the submarines escape trunk located inside the sail. The diver in ADS also connected the down-haul cable to a special pad-eye on the submarine hatch. The cable was later used by the submarine escape chamber to align itself with the submarine and mate.

The McCann bell type submarine escape chamber was lowered to the submarine. This type of submarine escape chamber is old but proven technology and can be used for evacuating personnel from the submarine if the pressure inside the submarine is not above one atmosphere and the submarine is not deeper than 207 meters. The chamber descended to the submarine and mated successfully. Two submariners entered the chamber and it resurfaced.

This was the final training for the day. TCG 1. İnönü reemerged from the depths and both vessels returned to the base. While TCG Alemdar was training with TCG 1.İnönü, the other two ships TCG Işın and TCG Akın were also conducting similar activates with the other submarines.

On 30th May, the submarine TCG 1. İnönü bottomed at 30 meters depth. During this exercise, sailors left the submarine via the escape trunk, donned Mk 10 Submarine Escape Immersion Ensemble and surfaced freely. The units waiting on the surface rescued them.

The exercise ended on 31st May with the post-exercise briefing.

TCG 1. İnönü. She dived to 75 meters and waited at the bottom of the sea.

Turkish Navy Parachute Search and Rescue Team jumped from a C-130 Hercules cargo plane of Turkish Air Force

The injured submarines rescued by the Turkish Navy Parachute Search and Rescue Team rushed to the medical area on board TCG Alemdar.

The command consoles of the two hyperbaric chambers on board of TCG Alemdar.

An AS-532 Cougar helicopter of the Turkish Land Forces is waiting to pick up the evacuee to bring him to the land.

TCB Istakoz 1 is the name of this ROV. Istakoz means lobster in Turkish. I can only admire the humor of the godfather of this device. It has two arms with 7 functions. Two pilots are required to use this ROV. One operates the ROV, the other arms.

An image from an ROV as it is attaching ventilation cables to the submarine TCG Doğanay.

the pilot inside the atmospheric diving suits concentrates on his tasks before starting his long and lonely dive into the dark sea.

This is an emergency life support store. It can fit inside the escape trunk of NATO submarines and used to deliver urgently needed supplies to the DISSUB

The crew enters the submarine rescue chamber.

Turkish Coast Guard boat TCSG-27 intercepts a sailing boat that mistakenly entered the training area.

TCG 1. İnönü resurfaces after playing DISSUB for 10 long hours.

IŞIN CLASS

NUMBER NAME LAUNCHED COMMISSIONED
A-583 IŞIN 25 June 2014
A-584 AKIN 3 September 2014


Characteristics:
Displacement: 2400 tons full load
Dimensions: 68,2 x 14,2 x 6,5 meters
Speed, Range: 18 knots, 4000 miles at 14 knots.
Crew: 100

Sensors:

Radars: Navigation

Comments:

These ships are dedicated submarine rescue intervention ship to perform subsea and surface rescue operations and firefighting in various sea conditions.  These ships together with TCG Alemdar has replaced the older salvage ships of Turkish Navy.

There was, only one procurement process and a contract covering both classes and all 3 ships.

Dynamic Monarch 2017 Paticipant List

Submarine rescue exercise Dynamic Monarch is continuing in Eastern Mediterranean, near Turkish Naval Base Aksaz.

The exercise is hosted by Turkey and sponsored by NATO. The participants are demonstrating multinational submarine rescue cooperation and interoperability. The exercise enables worldwide partners to share submarine escape and rescue related knowledge.

The above photo posted by NATO Submarine Command shows the participants to the exercise.

The names of the ships and submarines are below:

Number Pennant Number Name Type Country
1 P-1202 TCG  Köyceğiz Patrol Boat Turkey
2 A-5309 ITS Anteo Submarine Rescue Ship Italy
3 S-359 TCG Burakreis Submarine Turkey
4 M-270 TCG Akçay Mine Hunter Turkey
5 F-492 TCG Gemlik Frigate Turkey
6 SD Northern River Submarine Rescue Ship UK
7 S-74 ESPS Tramontana Submarine Spain
8 A-582 TCG Alemdar Submarine Rescue Ship Turkey
9 M-265 TCG Alanya Mine Hunter Turkey
10 S-353 TCG Preveze Submarine Turkey
11 A-590 TCG İnebolu Tug Turkey
12 P-1208 TCG Kaş Patrol Boat Turkey
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