The SNMG-2 Is Back In Istanbul

The flagship of the SNMG-2 HMNLS Eversten in Istanbul.

Turkish contribution to SNMG-2, TCG Yıldırım in Istanbul after sailing the Black Sea for 21 days.

On 29 March four ships of NATO Standing Maritime Force 2 transited northbound through Turkish Straits and entered the Black Sea.

This was the start of the task force’s first Black Sea deployment in 2019.

The French National Marine contribution to the SNMG-2 FS Var also arrived in Istanbul but she did not proceed to the Black Sea with the rest of the group. She remained in the city for a 4-day port visit and later returned to France as her deployment with the task force was over.

Once in the Black Sea Bulgarian frigate, Drazki and Romanian frigate Regele Ferdinand joined the task force before SNMG-2 split in two.

The Canadian frigate HMCS Toronto and the Spanish frigate ESPS Santa Maria sailed to Odessa, Ukraine. According to NATO press release, while in Odesa, the ship captains meet with local military and elected officials, worked with Ukrainian Navy personnel and welcomed local Ukrainian civilians aboard during scheduled open ship periods.

The Canadian and Spanish frigates conducted PASSEX with Ukrainian Matka class (Project 206 MP) corvette Priluki. This exercise was dutifully observed by the Russian intelligence-gathering ship Ivan Khurs.

Turkish town Trabzon was the first stop for the remaining four ships of the task force namely HMNLS Eversten the flagship, TCG Yıldırım, BGS Drazki, and ROS Regele Ferdinand. Following a short 3-day visit, they have sailed to Poti Georgia. Like in Ukraine, following the visit to Poti, SNMG-2 ships conducted a Passing Exercise with the Georgian Coast Guard vessels.

The task force joined in Romanian port Constanta prior to the start of the largest multinational naval exercise in Romania’s territorial waters and in the international waters of the Black Sea: Sea Shield 2019. The Spanish frigate left the taskforce and exited the Black Sea before the task force’s arrival in Romania.

In addition to the ships of SNMG-2, the Greek fast attack craft HS Ritsos, Bulgarian corvette BGS Bodri, and Romanian frigate ROS Marasesti, corvettes ROS Contraamiral Macellariu, ROS Contraamiral Horia Macellariu, missile-carrying fast attack craft ROS Pescarusul, ROS Zborul, minesweepers ROS Lieutenant Lupu Dinescu, ROS Lieutenant Dimitrie Nicolescu also took part, along with Romanian detachment of EOD divers, two mobile anti-ship missile launchers and other support units.

According to the Romanian Defence Ministry approximately 2,200 troops, took part in the exercise who practiced against underwater, surface and air threats, adapted to the typology of security threats in the Black Sea region. The scenario of the exercise was fictional and aimed planning and execution of crisis response operations under the mandate of Security Council resolutions of the United Nations (UNSC), in the context of a security environment characterized by symmetrical and asymmetrical threats.

SNMG-2 exited the Black Sea on 17th April and arrived in Istanbul for a well-deserved port visit. HMNLS Eversten and TCG Yıldırım berthed while HMCS Toronto sailed to the Mediterranean without stopping in the city.

French replenishment tanker FS Var. She arrived in Istanbul with the rest of the task force but did not enter the Black Sea.

Canadian frigate HMCS Toronto. This photo was taken when she was passing through Istanbul. She spent 21 days in the Black Sea and left it sailing directly to the Mediterranean.

This is Spanish frigate ESPS Santa Maria passing northbound through Istanbul. She stayed only 7 days in the Black Sea before exiting it while the rest took part in the Sea Shield naval exercise.

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SNMG-2 Ships Arrived In Samsun

SNMG-2 ships are making a port visit in Samsun. Photo:Erik Weststrate

Earlier this week, both NATO Standing Maritime Groups made a port visit in Odessa, Ukraine between 23rd and 25th July. During this port visit, the warships were warships were open to the public. According to the Turkish Navy, TCG Fatih and TCG Anamur have hosted 2413 visitors for 6 hours when they were open to the public.

Following the port visit, all NATO warships conducted a passing exercise (PASSEX) with Ukrainian naval forces. The flagship of the Ukrainian Navy Hetman Sagaidachny and other Ukrainian warships.

After leaving Odessa, NATO naval task forces separated. While SNMCMG-2 sailed towards Constanta Romania to conduct mine warfare exercise with Romanian Navy, SNMG-2 sailed to Samsun Turkey.

The flagship of the SNMG-2 HNLMS De Ruyter, TCG Fatih and Romanian frigate ROS Regele Ferdinand have arrived in Samsun on 28th July 2018. ON 28 July they were open to public. The ships will leave Samsun on 30th July and will sail to Istanbul to exit The Black Sea.

NATO SNMCMG-2 In Batumi And In Piraeus

Bulgarian minesweeper Shakval is one of the ship visiting Batumi. This photo was taken in February 2016 during her visit with SNMCMG-2 in Istanbul.

A part of the UK led NATO mine warfare task force Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 2 arrived in Batumi Georgia on 3rd November for a port visit.

The NATO delegation led by Vice Admiral Bléjean, the Deputy Commander of the Allied Maritime Command (MARCOM) held meeting with Minister of Internal Affairs of Georgia, Mr. Giorgi Mgebrishvili. According to official statements, the sides discussed issues of bilateral relations between NATO and Georgia in the maritime field and cooperation enhancement matters. Special emphasis was made on the participation of the Georgian Joint Maritime Operations Center (JMOC) in NATO-led operation – “Sea Guardian” which is aimed at ensuring safety in the Mediterranean Sea and nearby maritime space.

Since Georgia does not operate warships with enough range and endurance to actually deploy to Operation Sea Guardian, the participation of the Georgian JMOC is the only possible way for this country.

The SNMCMG-2 is spilled in two parts. One part, consisting of frigate ROS Regele Ferdinand, mine hunter ROS Lupu Dinescu from Romania, minesweeper BGS Shakval from Bulgaria and mine hunter TCG Edremit from Turkey is visiting Batumi. The second part, consisting of HMS Enterprise, HMS Pembroke, and ITS Crotone is in Piraeus Greece.

 

 

TCG Gökova Arrived In Qatar

F-496 TCG Gökova arrives at Hamid Port in Qatar. Photo: AA

On 1. August 2017, Turkish Gabya class frigate TCG Gökova arrived in Qatar. The ship is docked in Hamad Port, southeast of the capital Doha.

The ship will take part in Qatari – Turkish military exercise that will held between 1 and 8 August 2017. Turkish land forces stationed in Qatar and TCG Gökova will take part in this exercise.

According to news report, the naval exercises are taking place in Hamad Port, Doha Naval Base and Qatari territorial waters. The exercises are conducted as part of military cooperation agreements between Turkey and Qatar in the fight against extremism and terrorism.

In July, the Qatari Emiri Naval Forces conducted a joint naval exercise with Royal Navy, in Qatar’s territorial waters.

TCG Gökova left Turkey last month. On 9. July 2017, bulk carrier M/V Blue Fury, left Turkey with 11 thousand tons of food and aid on board. The ship’s destination was Yemen.
The cargo on board of M/V Blue Fury was organised by Turkish Red Crescent, and Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD). She was escorted along her voyage by TCG Gökova.

Chinese Warships Visited Istanbul

Type 054A frigate 532 Jingzhou (left) and Type 052C destroyer 150 Changchun docked to Istanbul Sarayburnu quay.

Type 093 replenishment tanker 890 Chaohu

Between 18 and 21 July 2017 a task force of 3 Chinese warship made a visit to Istanbul

Task Group 150 consisting of Type 052C destroyer 150 Changchun, Type 054A frigate 532 Jingzhou and Type 093 replenishment tanker 890 Chaohu have left China on 23 April 2017, on the 68th anniversary of the founding of the PLAN, for a goodwill voyage to some 20 countries in Asia, Europe, Africa and Oceania.

The task force headed by Admiral Miao Hua were welcomed by Chinese Military Attaché to Ankara Zheng Qinli, Consul General to Istanbul Qian Bo and a group of Chinese citizens.

This year’s visit was very similar to the previous PLAN visit to Istanbul in 2012 and 2015. In both cases the PLAN fleet was made of one destroyer, one frigate and one replenishment ship.

In 2012 and in 2015 however the destroyer and the frigate have passed through the Bosphorus and entered the Black Sea. This year the ships stayed in Istanbul and have not transit through the Strait northbound. The PLAN task force spend 4 days in Istanbul and left for the Mediterranean.

Here are some close up photos of the destroyer Changhun:

And here are some close up photos of the frigate Jingzhou:

TCG Gelibolu Visited Oman

Turkish frigate TCG Gelibolu in Marmara Sea. 14 September 2008

Turkish frigate TCG Gelibolu in Marmara Sea. 14 September 2008

Last week TCG Gelibolu made a courtesy visit to Oman. The ship is deployed to Gulf of Aden. Before arriving in Oman the ship was in Pakistan and took part in the naval exercise AMAN 2017. After the port visit TCG Gelibolu joined CTF-151 to support it in anti piracy operations.

A reception was held on board the vessel with the participation of officials from the Royal Army of Oman, Royal Navy of Oman and embassies.

Speaking at the event, H E Atilay Ersan, Ambassador of Turkey to Oman said, “I am deeply honoured and privileged to welcome you onboard the Turkish frigate TCG Gelibolu on the occasion of its port visit to Muscat. Gelibolu is one of the towns of Çanakkale, a city where I come from.

“Turkey and Oman are enjoying friendly relations of more than five centuries in every field.

“And I must confess that we are improving our cooperation satisfactorily in the area of defence as well. In this regard, I would like to express my sincere thanks to His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said and his government for the goodwill and support shown in every field.”

Well the good relations between Turkey and Oman, have not prevented HM Sultan Qaboos to donate a warship to Greek Cypriots in February, just before the visit of TCG Gelibolu. The donated warship is neither new nor sufficiently armed but as a gesture that speaks in volumes.

In my humble opinion Turkey should have canceled the visit of TCG Gelibolu to clearly demonstrate its displeasure with Sultan Nightmare. Since Turkish frigate visited Oman this either means Turkey doesn’t care about the warship that Greek Cypriots got or we don’t care what Sultan Nightmare does. Or worse, we stuck our head under the earth like an ostrich and hope for the best.

SNMG-2 Ships Arrived In Samsun

NATO SAVAŞ GEMİLERİ SAMSUN’DA NATO'YA AİT İKİ SAVAŞ GEMİSİ SAMSUN LİMANI'NA DEMİR ATTI

HMCS St. John’s in Samsun harbour. Photo: samsunkenthaber.com

Today, Spanish frigate ESPS Almirante Juan De Borbon and Canadian frigate HMCS St. John’s constituting, Standing NATO Martime Group 2, Task Unit 2 arrived in Samsun, Turkey.

The ships  will stay in Samsun for 3 days. They have left Varna, Bulgaria on last Monday with the Bulgarian warship Reshitelni and spend the rest of the week cruising the Black Sea.

The ships have sailed to the Black Sea on 31st January and can stay only 21 days in the region. This means that the ships must make their southbound passage through Bosphorus in the next four days.

 

 

Ukrainian Warships Paid a Short Visit To Istanbul

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Hetman Sahaidachny (left), TCG Salihreis (middle) Balta (right) in Istanbul.

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TCG Salihreis (left) and Hetman Sahaidachny (right) in Istanbul. Photo: Deniz Yaman.

Ukrainian warships Hetman Sahaidachny and Balta made a short port visit to Istanbul today.

Both ships passed through Istanbul Strait on 7th March 2016 and sailed to main Turkish Navy base in Gölcük, Kocaeli. There the ships have conducted joint exercises with Turkish warships.

The frigate Hetman Sahaidachny and the degaussing ship Balta arrived on the morning of 10th March 2016 accompanied by Turkish frigate TCG Salihreis to Istanbul. Balta left for Ukraine in a few hours later whereas the frigate stayed longer. The Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko who is in Turkey for an official visit, visited the frigate.

President Petro Poroshenko visited flagship of the Ukrainian Naval Forces Hetman Sahaidachny frigate that takes part in the common training with the Naval Forces of Turkey in the Sea of Marmara.
Commander of the sea campaign Dmytro Hlukhov and commander of the frigate Denys Ivanin demonstrated the equipment and mobile military hospital provided by the Turkish side.
Ukraine will receive 5 such hospitals. They will be relocated to the sectors of responsibility in the ATO area after the return of Hetman Sahaidachny frigate to Ukraine.
The President emphasized that such mobile hospitals were essentially important in the ATO area. He called them the evidence of partnership relations between the two states. “Earlier, we received them from the United States, Canada and Australia. It emphasizes strategic character of our relations,” the Head of State noted.

Later in the afternoon, Hetman Sahaidachny departed with two containers on her flight deck to Ukraine.

Mexican Navy Sail Ship ARM Cuauhtémoc

The Mexican Navy sail ship ARM Cuauhtémoc was in Istanbul in August for a port visit.

Now there is a nice video made during her by the musician Mr. Serdar Ateşer. I hope you enjoy the video as much as I do.

INS Trikand In Istanbul

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INSTrikand in Istanbul.

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INS Trikand being pushed to the dock by the tugs.

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The business end of INS Trikand. From left to right: 100mm gun A 190E, SA-N-/ Gadfly launcher for surface to air missiles, VLS launcher for Brahmos anti ship missiles; 12 barreled anti submarine mortar.

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Top of the pilothouse. From left to right: Ratep 5P-10E Puma fire control radar for 100mm gun and Plank Shave (Garpun-B) fire control radar for anti ship missiles. One commercial navigation radar.

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For self-protection the INS Trikand has two AK 630 multi barreled guns.

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The main mast of INS Trikand. From top to down: Top Plate 3D air seach radar (Fregat-M2EM); KEvin Hugnes navigation radar; Nyada MR212/201 (Palm Frond) navigation radar; antennas for ASOR (TK-25E-5) electronic counter measures system.

In the morning hours on 4 October 2015 Istanbul welcomed a very rare visitor: the Indian Navy vessel INS Trikand.

Despite being a large navy, Indian warships very seldom visit Istanbul.

The Talwar (Project 1135.6) class frigate INS Trikand arrived in Istanbul for a 3 day port visit. The youngest ship of this class, INS Trikand will engage extensively with the Turkish Navy according to the twitter account of the Indian DOD spokesman. Apart from professional interactions, a number of sports and social engagements are also planned.
The interaction between two navies has increased in the last few years especially since Turkish Navy started to deploy warships for anti piracy operations in Indian Ocean.In April 2015 frigate TCG Gediz visited Mumbai.
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