Submarine Search And Rescue Exercise Dynamic Monarch/Kurtaran Has Ended

Italian submarine ITS Todaro, Turkish submarine TCG Çanakkale and rescue and towing ship TCG Akın are among the participants of the submarine rescue exercise Dynamic Monarch/Kurtaran 21.

Dynamic Monarch/Kurtaran 2021, the 11th in a series of NATO sponsored live Submarine Escape and Rescue (SMER) exercises was held 12 to 24 September in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea, off the coast of Aksaz, Turkey.

I think that the scenarios applied in this year’s Dynamic Monarc/Kurtaran exercise are very similar to the scenarios in Kurtaran 2019 exercise held 2 years ago at the same location. You can read my notes on the exercise two years ago here: Kurtaran 2019 Submarine Rescue Exercise

The International Submarine Escape and Rescue Liaison Office (ISMERLO) ran Dynamic Monarch exercise, tied to the annual Turkish Navy exercise Kurtaran and hosted by the Turkish Navy.

Assets and personnel from Italy, Turkey together with personnel from Canada, Greece and Spain, United Kingdom and the United States also took part in the submarine escape and rescue training scenarios. Qatar, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Indonesia were present as the observers.

Serial Production Line Qualification Test Of Atmaca Missile

Turkish Navy conducted another live firing of Atmaca anti-ship missile on 18th June 2021.

The test was conducted again at the live-fire exercise area off the coast of the Black Sea town Sinop. The last of the Ada class corvettes, TCG Kınalıada had the honour to do testing. At the receiving end of the missile was this time not a target barge but decommissioned salvage and submarine rescue ship Işın.

The missile used was, assumed to be the first missile from the serial production line. Here are some screen captures from the videos published from the test.


This photo shows Atmaca right before impacting the target ship. The missile is capable of flying very low, making it difficult to differentiate from clutter and engage.

The missile hit the target amidships in the area marked in red. The hole is just above the water level.

The initial videos shared from the test ended when the missile hit the ex Işın, leaving enthusiasts wondering about the size and location of the damage. However, videos showing the damage submerged shortly after.

There is even a video showing the damage the missile has created inside ex Işın. This means that the ship did not sink immediately after the impact. There was enough time for some to go onboard and survey the damage from inside. That is reasonable as ironically it is more difficult to sink an empty ship than one in active service. The striped down hulls have nothing on them. No fuel, no ammunition no warheads or any incendiary material which may create secondary explosions and spread the fire.

When the serial production starts the Atmaca missile will replace the Boenig Harpoon missiles on Turkish warships probably on a one-to-one basis. This will need some changes in combat management systems to incorporate the new missile into existing software. The Ada class corvettes are the most likely candidates as the Genesis CMS is made by Havelsan. Thus this CMS is the easiest one to add the Atmaca. The next ships equipped with Atmaca might be the Barbaros class frigates that will receive the mid-life upgrade program or the Istanbul class frigates whichever comes first. Both classes of ships will again locally developed CMS making it very easy to add the new missile.

Ever since the long-range anti-ship missiles replaced the guns as the main offensive weapons, having total control and command on every aspect of this weapon has become vitally important for the war-fighter. By replacing the foreign missiles with local ones Turkish Navy will be able to trust that its punch will find its mark.

TCG Çanakkale Arrived In Durrës

TCG Çanakkale arriving in Durrës. Photo: Durrës Port Authority

The Turkish submarine TCG Çanakkale is making a 3 day port visit in Durrës, Albania.

The submarine took part in NATO exercise Dynamic Manta 21 and was returning home.

Turkish warship, especially submarines regularly visit Durrës.

As far as I know, the following Turkish naval units were in Durrës:

Responding To Forest Fires, From The Sea…

One Turkish LCT, transporting fire fighting trucks of the Regional Forestry Directorate.

The Turkish Navy Conducted an operation to support Muğla Regional Directorate of Forestry.

On 4 March 2021, A forest fire was reported on a small bay near Aksaz Naval Base. The area was not accessible by road. Thus three LCT’s TCG Ç-149, TCG Ç-157 and, TCG Ç-321 was loaded with the fire fighting trucks of the Muğla Regional Directorate of Forestry and immediately dispatched to the region by sea. route

Furthermore, patrol boat TCG Kaş and the tug TCG Özgen took 45 personnel to the area to fight the fire. UAV’s of the Turkish Navy supported the firefighting efforts by providing uninterrupted aerial views. The fire was brought under control by the morning of the next day.

This small operation has shown some important aspects of naval warfare, such as:

  • Force projection
  • Supporting land-based operations
  • Providing command and control surveillance capability

The icing on the cake: A Turkish Navy UAV providing surveillance against the forest fire

 

 

TCG Istanbul Launched

TCG Istanbul during the launching ceremony. Photo: Turkish MoD.

The first İstif class frigate TCG Istanbul was launched on 23 January 2021 at the Istanbul Naval Shipyard.

The first TCG Istanbul was ex USS Clarence K. After 35 years finally, there will be another TCG Istanbul. TCG Istanbul is the first ship of a class of four. The other ships will be named İzmir, İzmit, and İçel and all will be known as the Istif class. According to Commander of Turkish General Staff, General Yaşar Güler, the remaining three ships are planned to be completed by 2027.  The Istif class ships will replace the four Yavuz MEKO 200 class ships nearing the end of their usefulness.

The frigate has an overall length of 113,2 meters and a width of 14,40 meters. The frigates of Istif class will be multi-role warships. The ship’s main offensive weapons will be 16 Atmaca anti-ship missiles. While the details of the final configuration of the air defence missiles have not been disclosed, these frigates will have a locally designed vertical missiles launcher. TCG Istanbul will be fitted with a 76mm main gun and a 35mm Gökdeniz close-in weapon system.

The calculated range of TCG Istanbul at economical speed is 5700 nautical miles. The ship has one LM2500 gas turbine and two diesel engines as the main machinery propelling the frigate up to 26 knots. The design of the frigate is based on the Ada class corvettes. The superstructure of the frigate is also very similar to the corvette with the exception of the mainmast.

The mast on Istif class is higher and has space for different electronics. The Istif class frigates will carry one 3D search radar, probably Smart-S Mk2, two AKR-D fire control radars, and one LPI navigation radar. For electronic reconnaissance and warfare, the frigates will have ARES 2N ESM and AREAS-2N ECM systems.  Piri IRST system will provide infra-red search and tracking on board.

Nusret 2020 Mine Warfare Exercise

While searching for the training mine Spanish mine hunter ESPS Duero found this old English mine from World War 1.

Nusret 2020 mine countermeasures exercise will end tomorrow.

Nusret is an annual invitation exercise focusing on mine warfare. The exercise is named after the famous minelayer Nusret. In even years the exercise is held in İzmir Bay and in odd years it is held in Çanakkale and Saros Bay.

The aim of the exercise is to enhance cooperation and interoperability between Turkey and allied and friendly nations navies.

This year NATO Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group Two (SNMCMG2), Romanian mine hunter hydrographic research vessel Cătuneanu, 2 EOD teams from Romania and the USA took part in the exercise along with one command and control ship, one corvette, one patrol boat, 6 mine hunters, one helicopter, one EOD team, one UAV team and one photography team from Turkish Navy, two boats from Turkish Coast Guard, two sorties of F-16 fighter jets, one C-130 airplane from Turkish Air Forces.

The first phase included force integration and harbor training. During the second phase, a command post-exercise was held and mine-laying operations from airborne and seaborne platforms were conducted. In the third phase, the laid training mines were detected by the participating units. Later the mines were identified and neutralized by mine clearance divers or remotely operated vehicles. Autonomous underwater vehicles were deployed for detection and identification. While conducting mine countermeasures operations the minehunters had to defend themselves against the threat of the asymmetrical surface vessels and air attacks. 

The below is the list of the participating warships:

Number Name Type Nationality Fleet
M-645 FS Orion Minehunter France SNMCMG-2
5556 ITS Alghero Minehunter Italy SNMCMG-2
M-35 ESPS Duero Minehunter Spain SNMCMG-2
M-261 TCG Edremit Minehunter Turkey SNMCMG-2
32 BNS Tsibar Minehunter Bulgaria  
274 ROS Vice Admiral Constantin Balescu Minesweeper Romania  
M-260 TCG Edincik Minehunter Turkey  
M-26 TCG Erdek Minehunter Turkey  
M-264 TCG Erdemli Minehunter Turkey  
M-267 TCG Ayvalık Minehunter Turkey  
M-268 TCG Akçakoca Minehunter Turkey  
M-270 TCG Akçay Minehunter Turkey  
L-403 TCG Sancaktar Landing ship Turkey  
F-242 TCG Turgutreis Frigate Turkey  
P-1200 TCG Tuzla Patrol boat Turkey  

For Further Reading:

Nusret 2019
Nusret 2018
Nusret 2017
Nusret 2016
Nusret 2015
Nusret 2014
Nusret 2013
Nusret 2012
Nusret 2011
Nusret 2010
Nusret 2009

What Is The Blue Homeland?

Below is written by retired Admiral Cem Gürdeniz. The original text appeared at uwidata.com and is used here with permission. You can read the whole text here.

The Blue Homeland is a concept, a symbol, and also a doctrine. 

As a concept, its scope consists of all maritime jurisdiction zones (inland waters, territorial waters, continental shelf, exclusive economic zone), declared or undeclared, as well as rivers and lakes. The Blue Homeland, in an exact sense, is an extension at sea and seabed of our homeland located between 26-45 East longitudes and 36-42 North latitudes. The Blue Homeland is the name of our zone of interest and jurisdiction over salty and fresh waters located between 25-45 East longitudes and 33-43 North latitudes.

As a symbol, it designates Turkey’s maritimization as its grand strategic goal for the state and its people in the 21st century. It symbolizes redirection of land-based mentality in Turkey to seas and thereby to achieve maritimization of its people.

As a doctrine, it’s a roadmap aimed to protect rights and interests in the seas surrounding Anatolia as well as seas and oceans beyond its periphery. Thereby, with their unique features, maritime principles and thoughts would be transformed into an illuminating roadmap and define our future on the axis of geopolitical zones of influence and defense. This concept could present new opportunities within the global process at a time of transition from unipolarity to multipolarity, from Atlantic age to Asian age, to strengthen Turkey’s geopolitical control over the Eastern Mediterranean, the Black Sea, and the Straits. It may open unprecedented windows for change in Turkey’s dossier of global, continental, and regional relations. Naturally, this doctrine necessitates Turkey’s legitimacy with international law to dominate maritime zones as well as capabilities and volition to trigger events over political, diplomatic, military, and economic dimensions.

Gas Turbines For The Fast Fleet Replenishment Tanker

A CGI image of the Fleet Replenishment Tanker.

General Electric has announced that it will provide two LM2500 marine gas turbines for the new Fleet Replenishment Tanker of the Turkish Navy.

While it is not common to install expensive gas turbines to supply ships, the Turkish Navy required a fast tanker to keep up with the frigates and replenish them. Thus the new fleet tanker is getting LM2500’s.

A contract for the construction of the Fleet Replenishment Tanker was signed between Sefine Shipyard in Yalova in July 2017. The ship will provide fuel, water, food, spare parts, medical supplies and ammunition for the combat ships

She is expected to enter service in 2023.

Characteristics:
Length: 194.8 meters
Width: 24.4 meters
Displacement: 22,000 tons
Cruising Range: 4500 nautical miles (NM)
Length of the Sea:> 30 days
Economic Life:> 30 years

Nusret 2019 Mine Warfare Exercise

From left to right: TCG Akçakoca, TCG Akçay, TCG Ayvalık participated in Nusret 2019 mine countermeasures exercise.

Nusret 2019 mine countermeasures exercise will end tomorrow.

Nusret is an annual invitation exercise focusing mine warfare. The exercise is named after the famous minelayer Nusret. In even years the exercise is held in İzmir Bay and in odd years it is held in Çanakkale and Saros Bay.

The aim of the exercise is to enhance cooperation and interoperability between Turkey and allied and friendly nations navies.

This year 64 Observers and 5 staff officers from Azerbaijan, Georgia, Bulgaria, Kuwait, Malesia, Pakistan Qatar; Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and Romania attended the event. The presence of an officer from the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is a first. It is a counter jest to the invitation of the Greek Cypriot Administration to a NATO Event, even though the Greek Cypriot Administration is not a member of the organization

NATO Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group Two (SNMCMG2), Romanian hydrographic research vessel Cătuneanu, 3 EOD teams from Belgium, Romania and USA took part in the exercise along with one command and control ship, one corvette, one patrol boat, 6 mine hunters, one helicopter, one EOD team, one UAV team and one photography team from Turkish Navy, two boats from Turkish Coast Guard, two sorties of F-16 fighter jets, one C-130 airplane from Turkish Air Forces.

The exercise was divided into four phases. The first phase included force integration and harbor training. During the second phase, a command post-exercise was held and mine-laying operations from airborne and seaborne platforms were conducted. In the third phase, the laid training mines were detected by the participating units. Later the mines were identified and neutralized by mine clearance divers or remotely operated vehicles. Autonomous underwater vehicles were deployed for detection and identification. While conducting mine countermeasures operations the minehunters had to defend themselves against the threat of the asymmetrical surface vessels and air attacks. The last phase was a port visit in Çanakkale with some social and cultural activities

The below is the list of the participating warships:

Number Name Type Nationality Fleet
A-5329 ITS Vesuvio Tanker Italy SNMCMG-2
M-266 TCG Amasra Minehunter Turkey SNMCMG-2
5557 ITS Numana Minehunter Italy SNMCMG-2
M-32 ESPS Sella Minehunter Spain SNMCMG-2
M-62 HS Kallisto Minehunter Greece SNMCMG-2
ROS Cătuneanu Hydrographic Research Romania
M-260 TCG Edincik Minehunter Turkey
M-262 TCG Enez Minehunter Turkey
M-264 TCG Erdemli Minehunter Turkey
M-267 TCG Ayvalık Minehunter Turkey
M-268 TCG Akçakoca Minehunter Turkey
M-270 TCG Akçay Minehunter Turkey
L-402 TCG Bayraktar Landing ship Turkey
F-513 TCG Burgazada Corvette Turkey
P-1210 TCG Türkeli Patrol boat Turkey

For Further Reading:
Nusret 2018
Nusret 2017
Nusret 2016
Nusret 2015
Nusret 2014
Nusret 2013
Nusret 2012
Nusret 2011
Nusret 2010
Nusret 2009

Lest We Forget: DM-357 TCG Muavenet

DM-357 TCG Muavenet in her better days. This photo from 1989 is special to me. This was my very first photo to be published in Jane’s Fighting Ships, in its 1991 edition.

27 years ago, during the NATO 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.

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.


These two photos -new scans- show the extensive damage caused by the missiles. Though the missiles were designed for shooting down enemy airplanes, they also succeeded in crippling an allied warship.

It was quite a skill to bring the fire under control before reached to the gun turret in the B position. If the fire has spread further to the turrets and ammunition chambers of the guns, 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,

Replenishment tanker TCG Yarbay Kudret Güngör passing through Istanbul after sunset on a December day back in 2017. His name and legacy lives.

paid the ultimate price for the defense 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 the USA did not pay indemnities to the Turkish sailors

My previous wrtings about the incident.

And one video documentary about the incident:

http://vimeo.com/58526103

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