NATO Naval Taskforces End Their Deployment To The Black Sea

The flagship of Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group Two FGR Rhein, during her southbound transit through Istyanbul.

Turkish contribution to Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group Two, TCG Anamur making her southbound passage through Istanbul as the taskforce departs from the Black Sea. A new minehunter will replace her for the future deployment of SNMCMG-2.

On early July, flagships of Standing NATO Maritime Group Two (SNMG2) and Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group Two (SNMCMG2) HNLMS De Ruyter and FGS Rhein arrived in Bulgarian port Burgas for the Bulgarian led exercise Breeze 2018. Replenishment ship FS Marne of Marine Nationale and Greek fast attack craft HS Daniolos followed them. BREEZE 2018 from 13 to 20 July.

The exercise was designed to enhance the interoperability of the participating units and strengthen cooperation by practicing different warfare techniques in a multi-dimensional scenario. Multinational participating forces and their crews will be tested in a wide range of warfare tactics focusing on regional security.

Bulgaria as host took part with 16 combat and auxiliary ships and cutters, 2 helicopters and staff of 930 members. Two aircraft of the Bulgarian Air Force and units of the Land Forces were also involved in the exercise with most ships. Turkey was the second largest contributor to the exercise with TCG Fatih for SNMG-2 and minehunter TCG Anamur for SNMCMG-2, submarine TCG Gür, fast attack craft TCG İmbat and one patrol plane.

In total 25 combat and auxiliary ships and cutters, 1 submarine, 4 aircraft, 5 helicopters and 2,340 service members from the navies of Bulgaria, Belgium, Greece, Germany, Italy, Poland, Romania, the USA, Turkey, France, the Netherlands took part in the exercise, which was held from 13th to 20th July.

Following the conclusion of the exercise Sea Breeze Greek fast attack craft HS Daniolos and French replenishment tanker, FS Marne exited the region while the remaining ships of both NATO Standing Maritime Groups made a port visit in Odessa 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.

After the port visit, all NATO warships conducted a passing exercise (PASSEX) with Ukrainian naval forces. The flagship of the Ukrainian Navy Hetman Sagaidachny and warships BerdyanskVyshgorod, Kremenchuk, Lubny, and Pochaiv also took part in this PASSEX.

Upon 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.

On the first day of August 2018, both HNLMS De Ruyter and FGS Rhein departed from the Black Sea ending their deployment in the region.

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TCG Sancaktar Handed Over To Turkish Navy

On 7th April 2018, TCG Sancaktar was handed over to Turkish Navy. She is the second ship of Bayraktar class landing ships, TCG Bayraktar being the first off the class.

The contract for the construction of new LST’s was signed in 2011. The value of the contract was 370 million Euros. The first ship was delivered in February 2017.

The ships can carry 350 persons, 20 MBT and between 24 – 60 vehicles. The closed parking area is 1100 square meters and the open deck parking area is 690 square meters.

It was rumored that TCG Sancaktar might be sold to another country but this sale apparently did not materialize.

Both ships have a good command and control facilities and management software. All lessons learned from operating and commanding amphibious forces from these ships will be used in the development of the software and systems to be used on TCG Anadolu.

I wish TCG Sancaktar fair winds and following seas

 

Turkish Navy Started To Operate UAVs

A TAI built ANKA-B unmanned aerial vehicle used by Turkish Navy. Photo: Undersecretariat for Defence Industries.

In April, Turkish Navy started to use a UAV for reconnaissance and surveillance missions. Turkish procurement agency Undersecretariat for Defence Industries released the first photos of the UAV. The craft is an ANKA, advanced medium altitude long endurance (MALE) class built by Turkish Aerospace Industries. According to the company the UAS, performs day and night, all-weather reconnaissance, target detection/identification and intelligence missions with its EO/IR and SAR payloads, featuring autonomous flight capability including automatic take-off and Landing.

The released photos show the UAV,  an ANKA-B equipped only with a CATS (Common Aperture Targeting System) FLIR. It believed that the UAV is leased until units with advanced sensors as described above, will enter into service. The next version on ANKA-S will be controlled via satellite. This feature enables the UAV to performs further away from its base.

The characteristics of the

    • Wing Span : 17.3m
    • Length : 8m
    • Powerplant : Heavy fuel engine (155 hp)
  • Payload Capacity : 200kg (full endurance)
  • Power 9kW

Turkish Navy wanted to use UAV over the seas for many years. The ultimate aim is to combine the data from UAVs with data coming from other airborne, land and sea-based sensors to create a full maritime picture increase maritime domain awareness. With the inauguration of the first ANKA-B UAV, the vision of creating a fuller maritime picture has come one step closer.

The Father Of Milgem Has Died

Admiral Örnek, on board of frigate TCG Salihreis during Denizkurdu-05 exercise. Photo: Turkish Naval Forces.

Today, in the early morning hours the 20th Commander of Turkish Naval Forces, retired Admiral Özden Örnek has died. He was 75 years old and being treated for an undisclosed illness for the last 15 days at a hospital.

Admiral Örnek was at the helm of Turkish Naval Forces between August 2003 and August 2005. This was a period of time with a lot of fundamental changes in Turkish Navy.

The Milgem project wasn’t started during his tenure but he was tirelessly promoted the idea inside the Turkish armed force and fought for it. He was instrumental in bringing the procurement agency, the shipyard and the design office together and create a working project scope.

In his book Milgem’in Öyksü -The Story of Milgem- published in 2017, he tells the story of his internal and external struggles very outspokenly.

In 2007 a new magazine published a diary allegedly belonging to Admiral Örnek. These counterfeit documents and other digital data was used against him and many prominent Turkish naval officers in Sledgehammer plot. He was sentenced to 20 years in 2012 and spend 41 months behind bars only to be acquitted after the case’s prosecutor argued that digital data in the files submitted as evidence in the case were faked and did not constitute evidence.

Naval officers who had worked with him praise his work and believe that his vision will shape the Turkish Naval Forces in 21. Century.

Admiral Örnek is survived by his wife Sevil, his son Tolga and two grandchildren from his son Burak who died in January 2018.

 

TCG Göksu Deployed To Gulf Of Aden As Turkish Parliament Extends The Presence Of The Navy

TCG Göksu is deployed in the Gulf of Aden for anti-piracy operations.

On 24th February 2018, Frigate TCG Göksu left her home port for deployment in the Gulf of Aden. This is her second deployment in the region. Currently, she is with multinational anti-piracy task force CTF-151.

On 8th February 2018, The Grand National Assembly of Turkey, extended the presence of Turkish Navy in the Gulf of Aden, Arabian Sea, and adjacent seas for one more year.

The first bill allowing Turkish government to deploy Turkish Naval Forces for anti-piracy operations was accepted on 10 February 2009. It was extended in one year periods ever since.

Turkish warships are  tasked with:

  • Performing reconnaissance and patrol duties,
  • Calling on ships suspected of piracy/ armed robbery, on the radio, boarding them if their flag country approves and interfering by the international law if the ship is not showing any flag,
  • Escorting and protecting merchant ships,
  • Helping merchant ships under attack of pirates/sea robbers,
  • Intervening, stopping, neutralizing, and confiscating any vessels used by pirates/sea robbers, and using proper force if necessary,
  • Arresting and detaining pirates/sea robbers and armed persons in these vessels,
  • Accepting the representatives of the countries that will prosecute pirates/ armed robbers on board, for the preparations of judicial proceedings, according to the UN resolution 1851.
  • Arresting and detaining, pirates/armed robbers on board until they are being handed over to the countries that will prosecute them,
  • Turning in, the suspects of pirates/sea robbers except for the case that these are Turkish citizens, to the authorities the nation where the pirates/sea robbers will be prosecuted,
  • Executing all kinds of policing duties including interrogation, collecting evidence.

Apart from the two task force deployments in 2011 and 2014, since 2009 following Turkish frigates took part in anti-piracy operations in the region:

Number Name Start of Deployment End of Deployment
F-496 TCG Gökova 29.10.2008 6.12.2008
F-491 TCG Giresun 17.02.2009 17.06.2009
F-490 TCG Gaziantep 17.06.2009 6.10.2009
F-495 TCG Gediz 21.06.2009 15.10.2009
F-496 TCG Gökova 16.10.2009 8.02.2010
F-492 TCG Gemlik 8.02.2010 24.04.2010
F-493 TCG Gelibolu 27.02.2010 13.08.2010
F-494 TCG Gökçeada 5.08.2010 22.10.2010
F-490 TCG Gaziantep 22.10.2010 25.01.2011
F-491 TCG Giresun 25.01.2011 15.06.2011
F-495 TCG Gediz 18.09.2011 7.12.2011
F-491 TCG Giresun 28.11.2011 19.06.2012
F-492 TCG Gemlik 7.06.2012 10.12.2012
F-496 TCG Gökova 10.12.2012 15.06.2013
F-497 TCG Göksu 6.06.2013 7.12.2013
F-493 TCG Gelibolu 7.12.2013 14.03.2014
F-494 TCG Gökçeada 10.03.2014 17.06.2014
F-492 TCG Gemlik 5.08.2015 29.12.2015
F-493 TCG Gelibolu 21.01.2017 13.03.2017
F-491 TCG Giresun 2.06.2017 19.11.2017
F-496 TCG Gökova 9.07.2017 26.08.2017

Doğu Akdeniz 2017 Naval Exercise Started In Eastern Mediterranean

The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Donald Cook arrives in Aksaz, Turkey. Photo: U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Theron J. Godbold

Doğu Akdeniz 2017 naval exercise kicked off yesterday at Turkish Naval Base in Aksaz, Marmaris

The biannual, invitation exercise will take in areas near Aksaz in the Eastern Mediterranean between 7 and 16 November 2017.

Turkey has invited the NATO Standing Maritime Task Force-2 (SNMG-2), the United States and Romanian Naval Forces. They will join the Naval Forces, Air Forces and Coast Guard elements from Turkey.

25 warships and submarines 27 helicopters and airplanes and 3500 personnel from 5 participating countries will take part in the exercise. The exercise is a multinational maritime exercise designed to improve combined combat capabilities, increase operational capacity and strengthen relationships among NATO allies.

This is the list of the participating ships and submarines as fas as I could comply:

Number Name Type Nationality Fleet
F-245 TCG Oruçreis Frigate Turkey
F-24X TCG XXX Frigate Turkey
F-24X TCG XXX Frigate Turkey
F-24X TCG XXX Frigate Turkey
F-24X TCG XXX Frigate Turkey
F-511 TCG Heybeliada Corvette Turkey
P-344 TCG Rüzgar Fast attack craft Turkey
P-345 TCG Poyraz Fast attack craft Turkey
P-347 TCG Fırtına Fast attack craft Turkey
P-338 TCG Bora Fast attack craft Turkey
P-33X TCG XXX Fast attack craft Turkey
S-35X TCG XXX Submarine Turkey
S-35X TCG XXX Submarine Turkey
S-35X TCG XXX Submarine Turkey
A-580 TCG Akar Tanker Turkey
A-XXX TCG XXX Tanker Turkey
L-402 TCG Bayraktar LST Turkey
A-XXX TCG XXX Tug Turkey
SG-703 TCSG Yaşam OPV Turkey CG
L-12 HMS Ocean LSH UK SNMG-2
F-244 TCG Barbaros Frigate Turkey SNMG-2
41 BGS Drazki Frigate Bulgaria SNMG-2
265 ROS Admiral Horia Macelariu Corvette Romania
75 USS Donald Cook Destroyer USA

Furthermore following military and civilian search and rescue and emergency responce teams will tke part in the exercise:

 

  1. Turkish Land Forces Command Natural Disaster Relief teams and ambulance helicopters,
  2. Turkish Air Force Command, search and rescue helicopter and AKİP (Search and Rescue Specialist Staff) team,
  3. Ministry of Interior (Gendarmerie General Command), JAK (Gendarme Search and Rescue) teams,
  4. Transport, Maritime and Communications Ministry, Coastal Security General Directorate, Nene Hatun emergency response ship,
  5. Ministry of Health mobile hospital, command control instrument and UMKE (National Medical Rescue Team) teams,
  6. The Turkish Red Crescent

An important part of the exercise will be the attempts to provide coastal safety during disasters by means of disaster and emergency operations, search and rescue, humanitarian aid and air sanitary evacuation procedures.  The command, control and communications capabilities of the newest amphibious ship of Turkish Navy, TCG Bayraktar will be tested and evaluated in this scenario extensively.

 

Happy Navy Day!

The 27th September, the anniversary of the Battle of Preveza, is celebrated as the Navy 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. This only changed with the Battle of Lepanto in 1571.

According to marvelous book Empires of The Sea by the historian Roger Crowley, the importance of the Battle of Preveza lays in its psychological effects as the battle shattered the morale of the Christian Alliance that fought against the Ottoman Empire for the control of the Mediterranean.

I could not think about a better day today to update the order of battle for Turkish Navy:

Active Building Planned
Submarines (Note-1) 12 1 5
Frigates (Note-2) 16 1 7
Corvettes 8 2
Fast Attack Craft – Missile (Note-3) 19 4
Patrol Craft 16
Mine hunters/Mine sweepers (Note-4) 15 6
LPD (Note-5)  1 1
LST 4 1
LCT/LCU/LCM/LCAC (Note-6) 21 8
Fleet Support Tankers 2 1
Tankers / Replenishment Ships (Note-7) 5  2
Training Ships 10
Salvage Ships 19 1
Helicopters (Note-8) 33 6
Planes 8 6

Here is a detailed version of the above list:

Active Building Planned
209 Type 1400 submarines 8
209 Type 1200 submarines 4
214 Type 1800 submarines 1 5
MEKO 200 class frigates 8
Gabya (Perry) class frigates 8
TF-2000 class frigates 4
İstanbul class frigates 1 3
Milgem class corvettes 2 2
Burak (Type A 69) class corvettes 6
Kılıç class fast attack craft 9
Yıldız class fast attack craft 2
Doğan class fast attack craft 8
Turkish type fast attack craft 4
Tuzla class patrol craft 16
Aydın class minehunters 6
Edincik (Circé) class minehunters 5
Mine hunters/sweepers 4 6
LPD  1 1
LST 5 1
LCT/LCU/LCM/LCAC 21 8
Support tankers 5 2 1
Training ships 10
Salvage ships and tugs 19 1
AB-212 ASW helicopters 11
S-70B ASW helicopters 24
ATR-72 ASW planes 2 6
CN-235 ASW planes 6

Note 1: The construction of the first Type 214 class submarine TCG Pirireis has started on 10th October 2015.
Note 2: The second batch of 4 Ada class corvettes has been enlarged to the new İstif class frigates.
Note 3: Procurement of 4 (plus 6 optional) fast attack of local design armed with missiles is planned.
Note 4: The procurement of 6 new minesweepers is planned.
Note 5: The construction of the first LPD TCG Anadolu will start in Autumn 2016.
Note 6: 6 LCM and 2 LCAC may be procured with the LPD but the acquisition of these smaller vessels is not definite yet.
Note 7: Two oil tankers are constructed by a private shipyard. Additionally, procurement of one fleet replenishment ship is planned.
Note 8: The AB-212 helicopters are mostly used for utility duties. 6 additional Seahawk have been ordered.

Victory Day 2017

F-241 TCG Turgutreis left and F-246 TCG Salihreis right in Istanbul to commemorate Victory Day.

We are grateful to those who paid the ultimate price for our independence and for our country.

This year we celebrate the 95th anniversary of the victory in the Battle of Dumlupınar, the final battle in the Turkish War of Independence in 1922.

The Battle of Dumlupınar was fought from 26 August to 30 August 1922, at the end of the battle the invading Greek Army was definitely and distinctively beaten and the almost all the invading foreign forces were repelled.

This victory opened the way of the independent Turkish Republic, which is more valuable to us than anything else.

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.

Greek Coast Guard Fired Upon Turkish Flag Merchant Ship

Bullet holes on the funnel of M/V Act. Photo: denizhaber.com

A bizarre incident happened today off the coast of Rhodes. Greek Coast Guard fired 2 dozen rounds to the Turkish flagged merchant ship M/V Act to stop her.

According to Greek Coast Guard, the Port Authority on the island received an anonymous call that the ship was carrying drugs. Thus the Greek authorities intercepted M/V Act. The merchant ship however refused to sail to Rhodes as ordered and changed her course to Turkey. Since the warning shot to the bow of the ship did not deter them to go to Turkish waters shots were fired to the funnel of M/V Act.

According to Turkish General Staff, two Turkish Coast Guard vessels and one Turkish Navy fast attack craft was sent to the area.

It is not clear at the moment there the merchant ship is exactly heading and whether Turkish Coast Guard will board the ship and search for the alleged narcotics.

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