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The Sinking Of Ex-USS Duncan

A Mk-24 Mod. 2 Tigerfish hits ex-USS Duncan. Photo: Turkish Naval Forces.

Ex-US Navy frigate Duncan has found her watery grave after all.

She was bought from US Navy as a spare part source for the 8 existing Gabya class frigates in service, a procedure also known as cannibalization.

The hull of Duncan was observed being towed through Istanbul towards the Black Sea on 22nd March 2017.

At that time, it was speculated that she would be sunk as a target during the coming naval exercise Deniz Yıldızı as the markings on the hull left nothing to the imagination. She somehow survived the exercise that was held between 29th March and 9th April.

According to Turkish Navy, ex-USS Duncan was sunk in the Black Sea on 4th October 2017, by a Mk-24 Mod. 2 Tigerfish torpedo, fired from TCG Sakarya, a Preveze class submarine.

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Lest We Forget: DM-357 TCG Muavenet


On 2nd October 1992, 11 minutes past midnight, during the NATO’s Display Determination ’92 naval exercise, two Sea Sparrow surface to air missiles fired accidentally from the aircraft carrier CV-60 USS Saratoga, hit the bridge of the Turkish destroyer DM-357 TCG Muavenet. 5 sailors including the commander of the ship were killed instantly and 15 badly hurt. A fire broke out on board. At the time of the incident two ships were 3 miles apart and were streaming north in the Aegean.

One of the missiles hit the ship approximately after a flight of ten seconds. The first missile hit the front of the ships bridge and destroyed it. The second missile exploded in the air probably because the blast of the first missile and peppered the ship with shrapnel. Ships radar antenna, forward gun turrets, hedgehog launcher suffered from the shrapnel damage. The pieces of the second missile penetrated the forward gun turret, cabins of the supply officer and XO.

A fire started at the ammunition chamber of the Hedgehog system. The explosion of the Hedgehog rounds would have caused the loss of the ships. After the hits general quarters were sounded and the fire fighting teams started to tackle the fire. On the other hand the damage control teams were throwing the ready ammunition in the forward gun turrets and other explosives near the fire over the board as a safety measure.

The fire was under control in 10 minutes but the water caused damage in the decks that were not harmed in the initial blast.

The extend of the damage resulting both from missile impact and fire is obvious. It was quite a skill to bring the fire under control before reached to the gun turret in B position. If the fire has spread further to the turrets and ammunition chambers of the guns, the she would not have survived.

All the fire fighting and damage control efforts were done in the absence of the commander of the ship. This fact speaks for the professionalism of the officers and the bravery of the whole crew.

They simply did not give up the ship.

Commander Kudret Güngör
Ensign Alertunga Akan
Petty Officer 3th Class Serkan Aktepe
Sergant Mustafa Kılınç
Private Recep Akan

Paid the ultimate price for the defence of their country.

 

For further reading:
US Navy Court of Inquiry

Turkish Navy Court of Inquiry

Wikipedia

An interesting but technical legal article about why USA did not paid indemnities to the Turkish sailors

 

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.

Mid-Life Modernisation For Barbaros Class Frigates

TCG Oruçreis with her new Smart-S Mk2 radar and VLS for ESSM missiles. She will undergo a mid-life modernisation to bring her combat management systems up to the same level with her new sensors and weapons. Click here for a pre modernisation photo.

Turkish Navy signed a contract with Aselsan-Havelsan Joint Venture for mid-life upgrade on Barbaros class frigates.

The scope of the contract is to replace the legacy combat management system on board of the 4 MEKO 200 Track IIA/B class frigates, commissioned between 1997 and 2000 to Turkish Navy. These frigates have TACTICOS combat management system built by Dutch company Signaal. (Now Thales). The new Barbaros Combat Management System (BI-SYS), will be a derivate of the existing GENESIS CMS made locally and used on Ada (Milgem) class corvettes and Gabya (Perry) class frigates.

The joint venture is formed between the defence electronic company Aselsan and defense software company Havelsan The Joint Venture, will carry out development of all the hardware and software needed to integrate weapons and sensors on board with the BI-SYS. This phase will be followed by land and sea test before final integration on board of the ships.

Furthermore, a fire control system to control the Mk45 127mm gun will be manufactured with the knowledge gained from a similar FC system developed locally for the 76mm guns.

The delivery of the first ship is planned in November 2020.

TCG Kınalıada Is Launched And TCG Istanbul Is Placed On Slipway

TCG Kınalıada, finally in her element and a few good men who build her. Photo: denizhaber.com

The fourth and last ship of Ada class corvettes, F-514 TCG Kınalıada was launched today, after 8 years and 9 months since first indigenous warship TCG Heybeliada left the slipway.

Today also marked the start of a new era of Turkish warship construction. The first module of  the frigate TCG Istanbul was laid on the slipway.

The first steel of the frigate was cut on 19. January 2017. The first model of the ship was constructed during the last 6 months. As Tuzla Naval Shipyard has only one slipway to accommodate new buildings, the launching of TCG Kınalıada created space for the frigate.

TCG İstanbul will be the prototype of the second generation of the Milgem class warships. There will be four of them: TCG İstanbul, TCG İzmir, TCG İzmit and TCG İçel. They are a modified version of Ada class corvettes. They will be about 14 meters longer but will have the same width as Ada class. The frigates will be 600 tons heavier.

Construction of TCG İstanbul is expected to be completed within the next 46 months with the intended commissioning date is 2021.

I wish TCG Kınalıada fair winds and following seas.

National Submarine Workshop

A digitally created rendering of Milden shown during the workshop. The end product may have a much different shape. Interesting to note that it has X type rudders a shrouded propeller. The thin line prodding form the aft of the submarine is like to house a towed array sonar or a towed counter measure. There is a provision for flank array sonar. The sail is streamlined and houses the forward diving planes.

Turkish Naval Forces organised a national Submarine Workshop on 15. and 16. June at Tuzla Naval Shipyard.

This invitation only workshop was attended by marine engineers both military and civilian, representatives of defense companies and scholars.

The aim was to create a viable road map for the National Submarine, to identify competencies and competences of the national companies and potential short comings, risks in design and production phases.

Turkish Navy wants to commission its first indigenous submarine in 2030. Commander of Turkish Naval Forces Admrail Bostanoğlu stated in his opening speech that Turkish Navy was overhauling its submarines in Gölcük Naval Yard for the last 53 years. He also mentioned that Turkey constructed 11 submarines in 35 years and the building of Type 214 submarines was proceeding.

For me the most interesting part of the speech when Admiral Bostanoğlu mentioned that Turkish Navy developed its own engineering solution to 5 major design faults of Type 214 submarines.

These solutions were verified by TKMS and incorporated into the design of Turkish Type 214’s. Therefore the Turkish submarines will have slightly different dimensions compared to the one’s already serving in Greek, Portuguese and South Korean navies.

Admiral Bostanoğlu indicated the following objectives where local work and innovations is needed:

  • Integrated sonar and fire control system
  • High resolution optronics systems
  • Periscope
  • LPI navigation radar
  • ECM system capable of detecting LPI radars
  • Enhanced COMING and SIGINT capabilities
  • Accurate inertial navigation system
  • EHF and SHF satellite communication system
  • Link 16/22 ability
  • AIP
  • High powered batteries
  • Long range land attack capable cruise missiles
  • Locally developed torpedoes and mines
  • Torpedo and mine countermeasures.

Milden is the Turkish abbreviation of MİLli DENizaltı meaning National Submarine in English. It will be quite a buzz word for the next decade like Milgem.

It is not a secret that Turkey aims to develop and built its own submarines and reduce its dependency to foreign suppliers in critical areas. This workshop indicates that the local know-how and production abilities reached a critical mark where a local development is considered feasible.

What Do We Know About Temren Missile?

Turkish Seahawk helicopter firing a Temren missile during Deniz Kurdu 2017 exercise in May 2017. Photo: Turkish Naval Forces

Temren means arrowhead in Turkish. The missile is designed primarily to be used by naval helicopters against small surface targets. It is possible to adapt the missile to be used from small combatants in the future.

The missile is a derivate of the long range anti-tank missile UMTAS developed by Roketsan.

My understanding is that the request for Temren came for Turkish Navy and the project was initiated by them. The absence of publicly available information and the unusual lack of marketing documents and news releases from Roketsan’s side indicate that the project is managed also by Turkish Navy rather than Undersecreteriat For Defence industries (UDI).

Since there is not much publicly available information the rest of the text is my based of on sparse information available on internet, on some gossips and on my opinion.

According to Roketsan:

UMTAS, with its Imaging Infrared Seeker and Laser Seeker options, is an anti-tank missile, having a range of 8 km and lock on before/after launch and “fire and forget/fire and update” properties, used against armored targets, from air to ground as well as ground to ground. UMTAS, with its maximum range of 8 km and minimum range of 500 m is capable of operating all weather conditions and day/night.
UMTAS has a RF Data Link that enables missile to receive target updates after firing.

As stated, Temren is a UMTAS modified for maritime operations. Thus, it should have an IIR seeker to improve its aim.

8 kilometers is a good range for an airborne anti-tank missile and makes UMTAS on par with Hellfire. Traditionally, naval vessels have a better defence against aircraft compared to tanks. For naval engagements, a 8-kilometer-range, is not enough as it will put the firing helicopter well inside the effective reach of MANPADS and light anti-aircraft missiles like RAM.

Temren should have longer range than the stated range of UMTAS, to give Temren a true stand-off radius. A longer range for Temren can be achieved either by making missile larger to place the extra propellant or making the missile lighter by making the warhead simpler or smaller. A tandem warhead designed against armored vehicles may be an overkill for naval targets. Thus, Temren might have just a HE warhead that weighs less than the original.

The first test firing was performed in January 2015. So the developent of the missile must have been started somewhere in 2013 -2014. A Temren was also fired during the recent Deniz Kurdu 2017 naval exercise last month.

The missile has the potential to be fitted on smaller surface vessels. It is safe to assume that work is also being performed to integrate the Temren with stabilised weapon systems on naval vessels, giving them a stronger punch.

It is not clear whether the serial production of the Temren missile has started or the missile has been inaugurated into Turkish Navy

 

 

 

 

End In Sight For Meltem Project ?

These beautiful photos of ATR-72-600 TMPA were taken by Lidie Berendsen in Turin Airport and modified by me.

A new batch of photos from Turkish Navy ATR-72-600 TMPA plane has emerged. The photos from last year showed an unpainted airplane where as this year the plane seems to be fully painted.

The first plane should have been delivered back in February 2017. But like the Meltem-I and Meltem_II projects, this  Meltem-III has been too plagued by notorious delays.

In July 2005, Italian Prime Minister Mr. Berlusconi 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 transportation, and 6 armed maritime patrol models. The good part of this rearrangement was the upgrade 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. In August 2013 the first base ATR-72 600 was delivered to TAI for the changes to MPA configuration. I think, the plane, seen in the above photo is this first plane.

I was able to identify the following items on board:

  1.  Magnetic anomaly detector antenna
  2. ESM antenna
  3. Radar warning and laser warning antennas
  4. Aft looking countermeasure dispenser or unknown antenna
  5. Countermeasure dispenser
  6. Radar
  7. Torpedoes
  8. FLIR

These planes are armed with two Mk-46 and Mk-54 lightweight torpedoes and will carry Thales AMASCOS maritime patrol mission system that integrates an array of sensors.
According to the original timeline the first plane should have been already in service and the remaining ones join the service in 2018. I have no idea about the new schedule.

And if you have time to read the saga of the Turkish Navy’s maritime patrol plane aquisation project you can click here.

The Evaluation of TCG Istanbul’s Design

During the IDEF 2015 12th International Defense Industry Fair, Turkish Navy shared the first conceptual drawing of the second generation of Milgem class. There was a poster about TCG Istanbul on the Turkish Naval Forces booth during IDEF 2017 too.

I though it would be interesting to compare the photos and see how the design of TCG Istanbul has evolved.

Not surprisingly there are a few changes in design on the outside. Any changes made inside the ship remains elusive. The changes are focused between the bow and midships. It seems as the design of the ship from midships to aft has been found satisfactory.

The most important change is in the shape of the bridge and the mast.Lets look at them:
1. If the darker patches along the hull indicate openable hatches, there is a new hatch at location 1. On Ada class corvettes this area is used for replenishment. Since the design of TCG İstanbul is based on Ada class it is safe to assume that this area will be used for replenishment too. Thus there was a need to implement a hatch there to ease the operations there.

2. The location of the SATCOM antennas has changed. In 2015 there were located towards to the end of the mast. In 2017 there were moved a few meters to the front.

3. There are new antennas there. Their place and shape suggests antennas for an on board electronic warfare system. Probable a local development. The antennas of SATCOM and ECM are pretty close. I hope they won’t create any interference.

4. The photos are not quite detailed but the electro-optical tracking and detection system has changed. In 2015 it was round and ball-shaped like ASELFLIR 300D. In 2017 it has a distinct rectangular shape of Denizgözü-Ahtapot. So the old system used on Ada class corvettes and Tuzla class patrol boats was replaced with a new generation sensor.

5. The shape of the bridge, and the forward part of the mast has changed. In 2015 the forward surfaces had a more slanted slope. In 2017 the slopes are more steep. The roof of the bridge is also less clustered and has more clean lines.

6. The all closed bow guards rails has been modified. The newer version has a bow bulwark and open guard rails. This must have changed the stealthiness of the ship. But the trade-off between becoming a little less stealth and having a flexible forward maneuvering area must be important for the handlers.

The sensors with the exception of the EO system and addition of ECM system and the weapons seem to be unchanged.

On Board The TCG Bayraktar

Mr. Hakan Kılıç, military aviation and ballistics missiles and BMD researcher, visited the newest warship of  Turkish Navy: TCG Bayraktar. He took photos during his visit and kindly allowed me to used them.

The photos you are about to see are his, but comments are mine.

The stern of TCG Bayraktar. The stern door leads directly to the vehicle bay that covers the whole length of the ship in a true Ro-Ro style.

The vehicle bay. The photo was taken from aft looking to the bow door. The deck is uncluttered and many hatches give an easy access to the deck.

The galley. Since an army marches on its stomach this is one of the most important part of the ship.

The helm at the bridge.

Looking from bridge to the starboard crane and LCVP’s. The port side LCPV are part visible. There is ample place on the deck to park vehicles or store additional material.

A close up view of the top starboard LCVP. TCG Bayraktar carries 4 of them. The black surface on the deck must be the ramp to the lower decks.

The flight deck of TCG Bayraktar. It can support landing of a 15 ton helicopter

A close up to the counter measures on board. The Ultra Sea Sentor launcher is in foreground. The Sea Sentor suit has a passive array to detect submarines, a command and control module and this counter measure launcher. A locally made chaff and flare launcher -similar to Mk36 – can be seen on the background.

The black thing in the middle of the image is, one of laser warning receivers. On the right the main mast of the ship can be seen with the ARES 2N ECM antennas and a SMART-S MK2 3D radar on top. The shape of the mast and antenna arrangement is the same of Ada class corvettes.

A commercial of the shelf navigation and helicopter approach radar looking to the aft of the ship. The pipes and sprinklers of the wash down system are visible. They help to clean away the contamination in case of a NBC warfare and to cool the ship so she is less visible to heat seeking sensors.

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