Foreign Warship On Bosphorus in 2020 (Part 1)

Here are photos of foreign warships, that have passed through Bosphorus, during the first 3 weeks of January:

Russian replenishment tanker Ivan Bubnov returned from her deployment and passed northbound through Istanbul.Photo: Yörük Işık

Alligator class landing ship Orsk was towed northbound through Turkish Straits by the tug MB-304. Orsk was deployed to Syria. Photo: Yörük Işık

After towing Orsk to the Black Sea, the tug MB-304 returned to the Mediterranean one day later. Photo: Cavit Ege Tulça

Northern Fleet Slava class cruiser Marshal Ustinov ended her Black Sea deployment and transited southbound.

A regular participant of Syrian Express delivery runs, Azov made her northbound passage through Istanbul on 12 January. Photo: Cavit Ege Tulça

Russian intelligence-gathering ship Kildin returned her home base in Sevastopol after completing her 6-month deployment.

Northern Fleet Udaloy class destroyer Vitze Admiral Kulakov too ended her Black Sea deployment and transited southbound.

Russian Navy, rescue tug Professor Nikolay Muru, transited southbound through Istanbul in tandem with the minesweeper Ivan Antonov.

Alexandrit class minesweeper, Ivan Antonov made her first southbound passage through Istanbul on 16 January, going to Tartus.

One day shy of a week Azov was observed passing southbound through Istanbul for another Syrian Express run. Photo: Cavit Ege Tulça

The list of the foreign warships passed through Istanbul Strait is here.

Ivan Antonov Transited Through Istanbul

The small boat covered with a tarpaulin at the aft is not the tender of the ship. It is an Inspector-MK2-type MCM unmanned surface vehicle.

The Russian Black Sea Fleet minesweeper, Ivan Antonov transited through Istanbul on 16th January 2020 for her first Mediterranean deployment. Her first northbound passage through Turkish Straits was in September 2019

The Alexandrit class mine countermeasures vessel was laid down in January 2017 and launched in April 2018 at the Sredne-Nevsky Shipyard in St. Petersburg. She is the second ship of her class. These ships have the largest hull of monolithic fiberglass formed by vacuum infusion according to the shipyard

These class of mine countermeasure vessels is designed to provide mine protection of naval bases, coastal sea areas, detect and destroy mines of all kinds, provide, mine protection for ships in transit, exclusive economic zone and mineral deposits at sea, carry out mine reconnaissance, lay minefields.

The vessel carries one LIVADIA-ME mine-detection sonar on her hull. The mine countermeasures operations are managed by the DIEZ-12700E automated system for the MCM operation control system. Ivan Antonov carries one Inspector-MK2-type MCM unmanned surface vehicle, 10 K-STER C lightweight expendable mine disposal vehicles, 2 K-STER I identification vehicles and two Alister 9 autonomous underwater vehicle. All these mentioned mine countermeasure vehicles are provided by French company ECA.

The Disappearing Red Star of Marshal Ustinov

When Marshal Ustinov arrived in Istanbul on 5th January, she had painted two red stars on her bridge indicating that this ship was awarded for excellence.

А for artillery and ПВО for anti-aircraft. As shown below:

This is a close up to the bridge area. Two stars are clearly visible.

 

This is a screen capture from an HD video uploaded by @benkendim to youtube. Again, two stars are visible.

However, a third star was painted overnight, as it was visible during her aborted berthing maneuver on 6th January 2019.

The third red star is clearly visible one day after the above photo was taken.

 

This is again a screen capture from an HD video uploaded by @benkendim to youtube. And yes there are not two but three stars visible.

Interesting to note that all these photos are from the starboard side of the ship. I was not able to see the port side of the ship until she passed through the Bosphorus to return home.

And when she was returning back to Russia on 8th January, oddly enough she had only two stars painted on her port side.

This is again a screen capture from an HD video uploaded by @benkendim to youtube. And yes there are not two but three stars visible.

If I had to guess why there is not a third star on the port side of the ship I would say the information for the award arrived from the naval headquarters when the ship was already sailing towards Istanbul and the bosun has only enough red paint to paint on the one side of the bridge.

Ivan Khurs Deployed to the Mediterranean

Yesterday, Ivan Khurs a Project 18280 class intelligence-gathering warship of Russian Black Sea Fleet transited through Istanbul.

This is the start of her first Mediterranean deployment. She was launched in 2017 and joined the Russian Black Sea Fleet in 2018. Her inaugural voyage to her base in Sevastopol was in December 2018. She has passed through Istanbul ob 27th December 2018 after sunset. So we are not able to see much of her.

Since her recent deployment happened in broad daylight we are able to observer Ivan Khurs.

Below are 3 photos of the various antennas onboard Ivan Khurs.

The Death Of MT Independenta

40 years ago on this day, in the very early hours, İstanbul was shaken by a large explosion.  A powerful shock wave that broke the windows of many houses, was followed by a big large bright fireball.

The Romanian tanker MT Independenta was waiting for the pilot at the southern entrance of Istanbul Strait when the Greek cargo ship MV Evriali collided with her. The Romanian tanker was carrying 93,800 tons of crude oil from Libya as cargo and 260 tons of heavy fuel. Only 3 of the 43 strong crew survived the accident. The burning hull grounded half a mile away from the Haydarpaşa port and few meters from the breakwater. The tanker burned for one month until all the oil was consumed by the infernal fire. Attempts to fight the fire were unsuccessful.

My grandfather was lucky, to go on board and take some interesting yet grotesque and grim photos.   Some of them are below, to testify the intensity of the heat and days of burning.

My captured picture

My captured picture

My captured picture

My captured picture

My captured picture

My captured picture

My captured picture

My captured picture

My captured picture

My captured picture

My captured picture

My captured picture

My captured picture

Turkish Naval Forces Day Commemorated With A Sail Parade

The 27th September, the anniversary of the Battle of Preveza, is celebrated as the Turkish Naval Forces Day.

On 27th September 1538, a naval battle for the supremacy in the Mediterranean was fought between the Ottoman Navy commandeered by Barbaros Hayrettin Pasa and the fleet of a Christian alliance assembled by Pope Paul III and commandeered by Andrea Doria. With the victory at Preveza and the subsequent victory in the Battle of Djerba in 1560, the Ottoman Empire successfully repulsed the efforts of Venice and Spain, the two principal Mediterranean powers, to stop the Turkish drive to control the Mediterranean.

To commemorate the day Turkish Naval Forces organized a sail parade through Istanbul. 8 warships and two special forces RHIB’s took part in the ceremony. All these ships minus TYCG Sancaktar are open for public on Friday afternoon and on Saturday in Istanbul. In all Turkey, 45 ships will be open for public to visit.

F-247 TCG Kemalreis the flagship of the Turkish Navy.

F-246 TCG Salihreis. She too has extra space and equipment to act as a flagship.

F-241 TCG Turgutreis. First-generation of MEKO 200 type frigates in service.

F-512 TCG Büyükada. The second Ada (Milgem) class corvette. She was launched 8 years ago on this day and commissioned 6 years ago again on this day.

F-511 TCG Heybeliada. The first indigenous warship constructed in Turkey. She was commissioned 8 years ago on this day.

L-403 TCG Sancaktar. The newest landing ship in inventory. She has extensive command and control facilities for land operations. 

P-335 TCG Atak. 

P-337 TCG İmbat. Both TCG Atak and TCG İmbat are the last generation of fast attack craft in the Turkish Naval Forces.

Russian Submarine Krasnodar Transited Southbound Trough Istanbul

Today improved Kilo class (Proj. 636.3) submarine of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, Krasnodar made an unexpected southbound passage through Bosphorus.

The submarine one of the six units built specially for the Black Sea Fleet has been deployed in the region since 7.8.2017. She has 6 533mm torpedo tubes and carries a combination of up to 18 torpedoes, SS-N-27 anti-ship, and Kalibr land attack missiles.

While a southbound passage of a Russian submarine is very rare, it is has happened before. Russian Kilo class (Proj. 877) submarine Alrosa suffered an engine fire in 2009 and had to go to the Baltic for extensive repairs. She did even take part in the NATO exercise Bold Monarch 2011. Yes, it was different times then.

The Montreux Convention regulates the passage of submarines. While the submarines of non-Black Sea nations are forbidden to pass through the Straits, the submarines of the Black Sea riparian States may pass under certain conditions

Article 12.

Black Sea Powers shall have the right to send through the Straits, for the purpose of rejoining their base, submarines constructed or purchased outside the Black Sea, provided that adequate notice of the laying down or purchase of such submarines shall have been given to Turkey. Submarines belonging to the said Powers shall also be entitled to pass through the Straits to be repaired in dockyards outside the Black Sea on condition that detailed information on the matter is given to Turkey. In either case, the said submarines must travel by day and on the surface and must pass through the Straits singly.

The provision in the convention is very clear. If Krasnodar exited the Black Sea for repairs then this passage does not break the rules of the convention. If the submarine, however, joins her 2 sisters all ready stationed in the Med since 2017 and conducts military operations, then this will be a clear breach of the Montreux Convention. We will know better in a few days.

Like A Lamb to The Slaughter

On 8th February 2018, three Turkish Navy tugs towed the hulk of an old tanker ex- TCG Bnb. Sadettin Gürcan to the Black Sea.

The tanker was named after the commander of the submarine TCG Atılay that sunk with all hands in 1942. She hit a mine while submerged and never resurfaced.

The tanker was laid down at Gölcük Naval Shipyard in 1968 and commissioned in 1970. She served till 2016.

As there are no shipbreakers in the Black Sea and the markings on the hull of ex- TCG Bnb. Sadettin Gürcan is consistent with a target, she will be used in a sinking exercise.

Foreign Warship On Bosphorus in 2018 (Part 2)

Here are photos of foreign warships, that have passed through Bosphorus, during last two weeks:

The Alligator class large landing ship Orsk finished her first Syrian Express deployment. Here she is passing northbound through Istanbul.

Russian salvage tug Professor Nikolay Muru making her southbound passage through Istanbul in the early evening. she was escorting the auxiliary merchant ship Kyzyl-60. Photo: Yusuf Genç

Russian auxiliary cargo ship Kyzyl-60 making her southbound passage through Istanbul well after dusk. Photo: Yörük Işık.

Echo class survey vessels, HMS Enterprise, the flagship of the NATO SNMCMG-2 task force passed northbound through Turkish Straits. This is the first Black Sea deployment of the task force in 2018.

The Rophucha class large landing ship Alexander Otrakovsky, too made her first southbound passage in 2018. Photo: Yörük Işık.

The Rophucha class large landing ship Azov made her first southbound passage in 2018. Photo: Yörük Işık.

The list of the foreign warships passed through Istanbul Strait is here.

Foreign Warship On Bosphorus in 2018 (Part 1)

Here are photos of foreign warships, that have passed through Bosphorus, during last two weeks:

Russian Ropucha class large landing ship Alexander Otrakovsky returned from her Syrian deployment just in time to bring the boys back for Christmas. Photo: Yörük Işık.

The Arleigh Burke-class destroyer of USN, USS Carney made her first northbound passage through Turkish Straits. Turkish patrol boat TCG Tuzla escorted her as the US Navy destroyer was passing through Istanbul. Photo: Serhat Güvenç

Russian buoy tender KIL-158 returned from her Syrian deployment. While she was transiting through Çanakkale Strait an ill sailor had to be evacuated. Photo: Yörük Işık.

Russian auxiliary cargo ship Kyzyl-60 made her northbound passage. Photo: Yörük Işık.

The Alligator class large landing ship Orsk made her first passage through Turkish Straits in a long time. In fact, this might be her first passage in 21. century.

USS Carney returned from her Black Sea deployment after 9 days. Photo: Yörük Işık

The list of the foreign warships passed through Istanbul Strait is here.

%d bloggers like this: